Food log export smburns24 — Oct 04, 2015 04:40AM PDT
Hello, I would like to request a change to the display format for your PDF food log data export. The current way the table is exported with each day's values listed in separate HTML tables is *not at all useful* for working with my nearly 6 months of data in external analysis tools. I talked to a few people at the MFP booth at QS15 in June about possible improvements in data export that you might have coming. I'm curious about the timeframe of the availability of these features? I see you've been talking about this on the FAQs for nearly a year and a half now.
I'm not interested in exporting summarized data on calories burned and consumed, so none of the currently existing third-party tools are all that useful to me. I used to use the MyFitnessPal Data Downloader extension and that was very useful but now it's gone from the Chrome app store.
I prefer to see the food item level data exported in a CSV format rather than PDF. CSV is the standard for data export. It should include the following fields, and these categories need to be listed on all food item rows (not in the column header or table name): date, meal name, item name, quantity, calories, carbohydrates, fat, protein, alcohol (macros all in grams), sodium, cholesterol, and any other information about micronutrients that you have available for export.
I am in the midst of parsing out all this information by saving the text from the PDF you provide and writing a script to put it in the above format. None of the other third-party tools that I'm aware of will allow me to get the data in the proper format without doing extra scripting work. Most people would not have the skills to do so, and I'm a scripter, not a programmer, so it's time-consuming for me.
When you improve your data export tools, please provide export in CSV format and allow me to choose the time range for which I want to export data. Please also allow export of 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, or all days of my data history as an option. Thank you! I'll be glad to talk to one of your developers or product managers with more details about the specifics of my request and ideas for an export GUI if needed.
I apologize if I sound a bit grumpy! It's just that I've been struggling through data export issues with nearly every single quantified self tool that I use and I'm getting really, really tired of companies not providing CSV export in an analysis ready format. If the future of health tracking and medicine is to be able to integrate this type of information into medical records and databases, then export is going to be one of the things that really needs to be improved. This gets into the issues of who owns the data I've been laboriously entering into your system. If it's my data, then you really need to step it up and make it easier for me to get access to a useful summarized view.
I realized that a lot of people might not track their diet and fitness data for long, or blog about visualizing it like I do in my Fitness and Food series on my work blog (http://blogs.sas.com/content/jmp/tag/fitness-and-food/) and persona blog (weighthistory.wordpress.com). But we are the people who can open up others' eyes about how useful having this kind of data is for long-term weight loss and maintenance, so it's good if you can make our lives easier by providing useful data export tools that enable us to show others the value.
1 Community Answers
Blake MyFitnessPal Agent Oct 04, 2015 10:02AM PDT
Thank you for taking the time to post in the MyFitnessPal support center and thank you for taking the time to type out this wonderful request. Creating an export tool is something that we have been wanting to do for a while, but it has not been moved to the top of our list of priorities as of yet. I will pass your message along to the product team, so they can see how our members would benefit from a CSV export tool.
Again thank you for taking the time.