Article by Franco Beer
13th August 2019
3 Reasons You Need a Food Scanner App
When it comes to food shopping for the little ones, as a parent with a busy and hectic lifestyle you still want to ensure your family is eating healthily, so when it comes to making the decision on what to purchase, the last thing you want to do is to think too much and read a bunch of numbers on back of pack labels which somehow they end up confusing you even more, Right?
Making food choices for the family is so important, that’s why the majority of parents are most likely to choose the products, featuring child-friendly cartoons, animation or characters on the pack for their children, and most parents do trust that these products will be good for them.
Well, in fact, lots of food we buy looks ‘good’ at first, but if you take a closer look you can find out the shocking truth of what’s really inside these favourite foods. To take an easy closer look, you can simply use food scanner apps to guide you, a good example is the change4life app most apps are free and easy to navigate.
What is the change4life food scanner?
Change4Life food scanner tool, from Public Health England’s (PHE) is aimed at families and children, to raise awareness of the health problems linked to eating too much sugar, salt and saturated fats. If you have never used this sort of app, it works by scanning bar codes of food and drink. Once an item has been scanned the app tells you how much sugar, salt and saturated fat and calories is in the food you have scanned.
Why do I need this you ask?
Well recently, Action on Sugar and Action on Salt published an article that may shock you.
‘The biggest recent survey of its kind, new research by Action on Sugar and Action on Salt-based at Queen Mary University of London, in association with Children’s Food Campaign, has found half (51%), of 526 food and drink products which use cartoon animations on pack to appeal to children are unnecessarily HIGH in fat, saturated fat, sugar and/or salt. Manufacturers and retailers are accused of deliberately manipulating children and parents into purchasing ‘dangerously’ unhealthy products, which can encourage pester power and excessive consumption.’
So, when there is a lack of traffic light labelling on the packaging, it is hard to easily identify the levels of fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt in your families favourite food, or compare which options are healthier and the use of child-friendly images is not always useful and can be misleading.
So, here are 3 reasons why a scanner app is worth using.
1. You can see the traffic lights labelling
Traffic light labels use green, amber and red signals to show consumers whether a product is high, medium or low in fat, saturated fat, salt, sugar and, ideally, energy (in calories). The colour codes act as a signpost that consumers can use, at a glance, to identify healthier options and to make quick comparisons between similar products. Traffic lights do not tell people what foods are ‘good’ or ‘bad’, they simply help people to make informed choices and ensure they have a healthy and balanced food basket.
2. You can make quick comparisons between similar products
Using the traffic light labelling will show nutritional information, at a glance. This can help you make comparisons between foods to allow you to make a healthier choice; for example, when selecting a sandwich for lunch or snacks for your children.
3. You can make a healthier decision
This app helps make your decision easier, instead of having to read every line on the back of the product, the app sums it up for you and its simple to use, just open the app scan the barcode and the app gives you a quick summary of the product, using easy to understand images. So, all in all, the app helps you make a healthier decision for you and your family.
Have you used any food scanning apps before? – We are keen to hear which you have used and which you prefer; do let us know on our social media or [email protected]
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