The FoodSwitch App is a revolutionary new smartphone application (app) originally developed in Australia by The George Institute for Global Health and tailored for New Zealand shoppers by researchers at the University of Auckland’s National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI). Less than five months post-launch, FoodSwitch has been downloaded by more than 30,000 New Zealanders and is well on its way to helping people reduce excessively high levels of fat, salt and sugar in their family’s diets.
How does the Foodswitch App work?
The FoodSwitch App works in just three easy steps: Consumers scan the barcode of packaged foods using their smartphone camera to see immediate, easy to understand nutritional advice in the form of traffic lights; receive healthier choices to switch to; and are able to share healthy shopping lists with friends and family.
The release of the FoodSwitch App – New Zealand is the result of several years of research by prominent food and health policy experts from The George Institute and researchers at NIHI. It was launched thanks to a new partnership with Bupa, one of New Zealand’s leading healthcare organisations.
The app displays healthier choices based on the nutritional value of more than 14,000 packaged food products found in New Zealand supermarkets. New Zealand shoppers are encouraged to help increase the number of products in the app by sending photos of packaged foods not already in the database. Since its launch New Zealand consumers have sent in more than 6000 new food products, most of which have already been added to the app.
What do the experts think?
Dr Helen Eyles from NIHI says “We are really pleased with the number of New Zealanders who have downloaded FoodSwitch so far, and hope we can help even more people to make healthier food choices in the future. About 60 per cent of New Zealand adults own a smartphone, and this number is growing all the time.”
“We also have exciting