Change4Life has launched a new food tracker app as part of the annual January health improvement push.
The app will help parents to keep an eye on how much salt, sugar, and fat their children are eating throughout the day.
New Health Campaign
The new campaign will cost around £6.3 million to implement, and it is focused on helping parents to keep their kids healthy. The app is called Be Food Smart, and is an extension of the sugar tracking app which Public Health England released last year.
Parents loved the sugar tracker, with more than 2 million downloads helping it to soar up the charts. This new update should be very interesting to them, as it works in the same way: the amount of nutritional content eaten throughout the day will be counted up and displayed on the app.
Kids will be able to get involved too, as the findings each day are shown as cartoon renderings of a sugar cube, salt packet, and a globule of fat. In order to see how much of these is in any given item of food, the user just has to scan the barcode.
Understanding the quantities could not be easier. Along with the actual figures, a traffic light system is used to show whether the food is good or bad. Red signifies a high content, while green signifies a low content.
There are 114,000 items already loaded into the app with data which has been harvested from manufacturers, retailers, Broadbank, and FoodSwitch.
The campaign’s £6.3 million will also be spent on other resources, such as adverts to raise awareness. They will appear outdoors, on social media, and on other apps which appeal to parents. There will also be events taking place in schools so that kids and parents can see the results of the app for themselves.
The app was built by Dogfish, and will be supported by MEC on the media side while M&C Saatchi handle the creative side. PR is being done by Freuds. It’s a big group effort designed to help tackle the problem of childhood obesity in the UK, which is quickly translating into obesity and serious health problems later in life.
There has been a high focus on sugar recently, with more and more people starting to realise how much of it is added to our foods and drinks – and how bad this can be for our health. Anyone with an interest in food careers should familiarise themselves with the current literature and legislation changes, both those which are proposed and which have already gone through.
For now, Change4Life are hoping that this new app will make a big impact. While it is important to look at sugar intake, too much of a focus in one area could lead to unhealthy eating in a different way. It is widely consider unnecessary to completely cut out sugar from the diet, and there are other things lurking in processed foods which could be harmful to the health.
Fat in particular can be very bad for the waistline, and salt has been shown to have addictive qualities for those who consume it in large amounts. If left unchecked, children with poor eating habits could end up finding it even more difficult to kick these unhealthy quantities later in life.
Parents have a responsibility to ensure healthy eating, but so too does the food industry. There is a lot of call for development chefs to start reducing the quantities of sugar, fat, and salt in new products. This is particularly the case for those aimed at children.