Eating Well

App Helps Make Healthy Food Choices

Wondering which brand of a certain food is the most healthful? There’s an app for that. FoodSwitch, a free mobile app developed by researchers at Northwestern University, asks users to crowdsource information on new and changing foods to update the app’s 268,000-product database.  A Northwestern news release reports that the app, which is available in Apple and Google Play stores, scans a packaged food’s barcode, then provides a simple Health Star Rating that scores each food between 0.5 stars (unhealthy) to 5 stars (healthiest). The scoring is based on a scientific algorithm that weights the impact of different nutrients on health. The app also provides a breakdown of the food’s fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt in grams and gives a percentage of an adult’s daily intake for each. This is shown as red, yellow and green traffic lights.


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