News

Making healthy choices easy for shoppers


19 January 2012

The Foodswitch app gives shoppers instant nutritional information on food products.
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 iPhone 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 healthier choice 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 food choices.

Heart disease, stroke and other diseases caused mostly by a poor diet 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 food labels. And with FoodSwitch there is no reason why this should continue," Professor Neal said.


Follow University of Sydney Media on Twitter

Media enquiries: Kimberley Ramplin, The George Institute for Global Health, 02 8238 2424, 0401 710 679, kramplin@georgeinstitute.org.au

Kath Kenny, University of Sydney, 0478 303 173, 02 9351 1584, kath.kenny@sydney.edu.au