The ontology of fast food facts: conceptualization of nutritional fast food data for consumers and semantic web applications

Muhammad Amith, Chidinma Onye, Tracey Ledoux, Grace Xiong, Cui Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Fast food with its abundance and availability to consumers may have health consequences due to the high calorie intake which is a major contributor to life threatening diseases. Providing nutritional information has some impact on consumer decisions to self regulate and promote healthier diets, and thus, government regulations have mandated the publishing of nutritional content to assist consumers, including for fast food. However, fast food nutritional information is fragmented, and we realize a benefit to collate nutritional data to synthesize knowledge for individuals. Methods: We developed the ontology of fast food facts as an opportunity to standardize knowledge of fast food and link nutritional data that could be analyzed and aggregated for the information needs of consumers and experts. The ontology is based on metadata from 21 fast food establishment nutritional resources and authored in OWL2 using Protégé. Results: Three evaluators reviewed the logical structure of the ontology through natural language translation of the axioms. While there is majority agreement (76.1% pairwise agreement) of the veracity of the ontology, we identified 103 out of the 430 statements that were erroneous. We revised the ontology and publicably published the initial release of the ontology. The ontology has 413 classes, 21 object properties, 13 data properties, and 494 logical axioms. Conclusion: With the initial release of the ontology of fast food facts we discuss some future visions with the continued evolution of this knowledge base, and the challenges we plan to address, like the management and publication of voluminous amount of semantically linked fast food nutritional data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number275
JournalBMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Fast food
  • Micropublishing
  • Nutrition
  • Ontology
  • Semantic web

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics


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