Making healthy choices easy for shoppers

January 19, 2012, University of Sydney
Making healthy choices easy for shoppers
The Foodswitch app gives shoppers instant nutritional information on food products.

FoodSwitch, an Australian-first iPhone app, has been launched recently to help shoppers make healthier food choices in the supermarket and reduce high levels of fat, salt and sugar from their diets.

By simply scanning the barcode of Australian packaged foods using an camera, shoppers will receive immediate, easy to understand nutritional advice via the FoodSwitch app.

"FoodSwitch's three-step approach marries the latest technology with cutting edge research. Australians can now scan barcodes, see what's in a food, and switch to a in an instant," said Professor Bruce Neal, senior director at The George Institute for Global Health, University of Sydney.

The app makes recommendations based on the nutritional value of more than 20,000 packaged food products found in Australian supermarkets and is underpinned by more than three years of research by pre-eminent food and health policy experts from The George Institute.

The initiative is part of a new partnership with Bupa, one of Australia's leading healthcare organisations. Together, The George Institute and Bupa are committed to help Australians make healthier .

Heart disease, stroke and other diseases caused mostly by a are the biggest killers in Australia, and by simply switching to a healthier alternative, shoppers could be reducing their risk of these illnesses.

The app will demystify nutritional labels and front of pack health claims, and give shoppers a true report of a product's fat, sugar and salt levels.

"Choosing a healthier diet has to be made easier, because good eating habits are one of the best and most cost-effective ways to prevent disease. For too long, Australians have grappled with confusing . And with FoodSwitch there is no reason why this should continue," Professor Neal said.

Explore further: Report: Food labels need Energy Star-like ratings

More information: www.georgeinstitute.org.au/foodswitch

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