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Foodie Smartphone App Hits 30,000 Downloads

Foodie Smartphone App Hits 30,000 Downloads

The foodie smartphone app that aims to help New Zealand shoppers make healthier food choices by reducing their risk of dying early from two of the nation’s biggest killers, heart attack and stroke, has now reached 30,000 downloads.

FoodSwitch was launched in August this year.It was 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).

FoodSwitch gives New Zealand consumers the ability to reduce excessively high levels of fat, salt and sugar in their families’ diets.

The 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 FoodSwitch 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.

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 plans to release filters for FoodSwitch to meet the needs of different types of consumers, such as those interested in salt, or gluten free products”, she says.

“The myriad of packaged foods on supermarket shelves led us to believe the app would be popular with New Zealanders,” says Bupa’s Managing Director, Gráinne Moss. “With the holiday season fast approaching we see the app as a helpful tool to make those decisions on which packaged foods to take on holiday or keep in the pantry a lot easier”.

FoodSwitch is compatible with most iOS (Apple) and Android smartphones, and can be downloaded for free on the New Zealand Apple iTunes and Google Play stores..

For more information, or to download the app, go to http://www.facebook.com/FoodSwitch or www.foodswitch.co.nz

ENDS

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