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A practical solution to improve the nutritional balance of Korean dine-out menus using linear programming

  • Jang Ho Kim (a1), Woo Chang Kim (a2) and Jihye Kim (a3)



We analysed optimal nutrient levels using linear programming (LP) to reveal nutritional shortcomings of Korean dine-out meals and to stress the importance of fruits and dairy products for maintaining a healthy diet.


LP models that minimize deviation from recommended nutrient values were formulated to analyse deficiency or excess of nutrients under the best situation.


Korean dine-out menus and nutritional information were taken from the nutrient composition tables for dine-out menus developed by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and the nutrient database from Computerized Analysis Program. Acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges of macronutrients such as carbohydrate, protein and fat, and recommended intake levels for energy, vitamins, minerals and cholesterol, by sex, were based on the Dietary Reference Intake for Koreans aged 30–49 years.


Optimization was performed on selecting the optimal Korean meal combination.


LP optimization models showed that it is unlikely to satisfy all nutrient recommendations with any combination of dine-out menus. Specifically, meal combinations of Korean dine-out menus had high levels of Na and cholesterol and low levels of vitamins and minerals. Four formulations were considered to compare the effects of controlling Na and including fruit and dairy products. The unbalanced diet was resolved with extra consumption of fruits and dairy products.


The best meal combination in dine-out menus, even though the proportion and pairing of menus may be unrealistic, is not healthy, and thus one should consume fruits and dairy products to maintain a balanced diet.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email;


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