Health in the UK FW_Splash_C_1136

FoodSwitch – A Free and Simple App to Help You Choose Healthier Products

Imagine not having to scrutinise the nutrition labels in the supermarkets – but still being able to quickly pick the healthiest product on each shelf? Would save a lot of time right? 

In our quest to help our community make informed choices about looking after their teeth, we came across the FoodSwitch app. The app was developed by leading UK nutrition research experts; Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH), the Medical Research Council Human Nutrition Research, The British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group, and the Nuffield Department of Population Health and Nuffield Department of Primary Care, University of Oxford, and led by The George Institute for Global Health (TGI).

How Does It Work?

The function of the app is simple, but ingenious – by scanning the barcodes of food and drink products you can instantly see whether they are high (red), medium (amber) or low (green) in fat, saturates, sugars and salt per 100g:

Red – (high) try to choose products with fewer red circles.

Amber – (middle) this choice is OK, but going for choices labelled green is better.

Green – (low) the more green circles, the healthier  choice.

FoodSwitch App

But it doesn’t stop there; the app also searches a large database for similar but healthier alternative products, making it easier than ever to switch to healthier food choices. You can do this at home while planning your next shop, or in the supermarket aisle while you’re picking out products.

The App was launched in February this year and already includes the barcodes and nutritional data for more than 80,000 packaged foods and drinks sold across major UK supermarkets.

Can the App help me eat less sugar?

Yes – not only can you easily monitor your salt and fat intake, you can find alternative sweet treats with less calories and sugar. As covered in earlier posts, finding alternatives to unhealthy foods is essential for changing behaviour longer term, especially for children.

The process is simple: ‘Scan’ the bar code, go to ‘Switch’ to find alternatives, and ‘Share’ to save your healthier products list and share it with friends should you wish. Here is a guide to using the App.

FoodSwitch is available as a free, UK-only download from iTunes and Google Play. Download it today!