UK launches new scanner app for healthier food choices

The app uses a ‘Good Choice’ badge to help people indicate healthier foods (representation)

London:

The UK health service on Monday launched an NHS Food Scanner app that offers healthier alternatives as part of the government’s Better Health anti-obesity multimedia campaign.

This feature, available on the free downloadable app, allows families to scan barcodes of products that suggest healthier alternatives to help them make an easy exchange on their next shopping trip.

The app uses a “Good Choice” badge to help tell people about healthier foods and drinks, according to the government’s dietary recommendations for added sugar, saturated fat, and salt.

“We know that parents really have a hard time finding healthier snacks for their children, especially if they are difficult to eat,” said Dr Linia Patel, an Indian-born dietitian, who tested the new app. from the National Health Service (NHS).

“The NHS Food Scanner app is a fun way to get kids involved in choosing healthier foods that they’ll love – so go ahead and scan, swipe, swap,” she said.

The goal of the free-to-download smartphone app is to help families improve their children’s nutrition as new statistics reveal the number of parents giving their children unhealthy snacks has increased during the pandemic. COVID-19.

This follows a record increase in childhood obesity since the start of the pandemic, with NHS analysis showing that one in four young schoolchildren in England are now overweight or obese.

“We know families have felt a lot of pressure throughout the pandemic which has drastically changed habits and routines,” said UK Public Health Minister Maggie Throup.

“The New Year is a good time to make resolutions, not just for ourselves, but for our families. Finding ways to improve our health is one of the best resolutions any of us can make. By downloading the free NHS Food Scanner app, families can replace weekly store foods with healthier alternatives and avoid foods high in salt, sugar and saturated fat, ”she said.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at the Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSC), said: ‘We are all aware of the increasing pressures on families throughout the pandemic as children are increasingly stuck at home. “

“With the ad promoting unhealthy foods for children, it’s no surprise that parents say they have often found it difficult to resist their children’s anger over more unhealthy snacks, and this that’s why the NHS Food Scanner app is a great tool to help families make healthier exchanges quick and easy.

“It is so important that children reduce the amount of sugary, fatty and salty foods they eat to help them stay healthy and reduce the risk of health problems such as diabetes and tooth decay,” he said. said Tedstone.

The app is part of DHSC’s broader anti-obesity strategy for the Better Health campaign, which is to regulate the promotion of less healthy foods to children, supported by funding of around £ 100million.

A survey by UK-based parenting center Netmums showed that almost 58% of parents give their children more sugary or fatty snacks than before the pandemic and almost two-thirds (64%) of parents said that they often worried about the health of their children’s snacks. really are.

Almost 90 percent of parents said they would benefit from an app that helps them make healthier choices for their children.

“That two-thirds of parents find they give children more treats as snacks than before the pandemic surprises me in the least – we all ate comfortably during the pandemic and I know my kids ate a lot more more treats than usual, ”said Annie O’Leary, editorial director of Netmums.

“Buying snacks can be an absolute minefield for busy parents so thank you for once again coming to the rescue, NHS,” she said. PTI AK VM VM

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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