A different angle on geometrical analysis of diets: developing a tool for using geometry to communicate nutrition to laypeople

Citation

Bissell H. 2015. A different angle on geometrical analysis of diets: developing a tool for using geometry to communicate nutrition to laypeople.  In Bissell H, Brooks M Eds. Proceedings of the Eleventh Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Portland, OR.

Abstract

Geometric analysis provides an intuitive and powerful tool to examine the diet and feeding behavior of animals. Because of its visual nature, it may also be a powerful tool to assist in communications with laypeople, such as clients or zoo staff members, who are often intimidated by a more numerical analysis. A new tool, a ternary graph using color for a fourth axis, allows the visualization of diets on a simple graph. By comparing a proposed diet to defined regions for that species, a layperson can quickly see whether or not a proposed diet fits within a target range. By making “live” adjustments to the diet together, the nutritionist and client can converge on a diet that is balanced nutritionally but also encompasses the training, enrichment and social needs of the animal.

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