Linear Programming

The Diet Problem

Summary: The goal of the diet problem is to select a set of foods that will satisfy a set of daily nutritional requirement at minimum cost. The problem is formulated as a linear program where the objective is to minimize cost and the constraints are to satisfy the specified nutritional requirements. The diet problem constraints typically regulate the number of calories and the amount of vitamins, minerals, fats, sodium, and cholesterol in the diet. While the mathematical formulation is simple, the solution may not be palatable!

The Diet Problem Applet

The Diet Problem case study provides the history and presents a linear programming formulation of the diet problem. The objective of the diet problem is to select a set of foods that will satisfy a set of daily nutritional requirements at minimum cost. In this interactive demo, you can select the foods to be considered and specify the nutrient levels to be satisfied. You might be surprised at the contents of an optimized menu!

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