How the FoodSwitch App Helps Users Make Healthier Food Choices


Finding ways to support individuals and help prevent diet-related illnesses and diseases is one of the challenges of the healthcare industry. By utilising technology, The Food Policy Group at The George Institute for Global Health has developed and launched a smartphone application called FoodSwitch that does just that. The FoodSwitch application helps users make better food choices by giving alternate options for foods from crowdsourced data. The app suggests better, healthier food options for users when dining out or shopping at their local supermarket.

Professor Bruce Neal of The George Institute explains how FoodSwitch has made a healthier diet more accessible, “Good eating habits are one of the best ways to prevent disease and as long as food labels remain a mystery to many, FoodSwitch will be here to help Australians do what they can to reduce the risk of dying early from two of the nation’s biggest killers: heart attack and stroke.” The Foodswitch app helps users demystify food labels while they are shopping. If a user scans an item that isn’t good for them, the app can suggest alternate food choices. Shoppers can easily get overwhelmed when the task of shopping becomes even more of a chore trying to decipher food labels and figure out what is healthy and what isn’t. Some foods that seems healthy are often shockingly high in sugar, sodium, or saturated fats. The app quickly and easily tells you what to put in your shopping basket and which items to leave on the shelf. The application also works when dining out at a variety of different restaurants and uses crowdsourced information from other users to apply to a broad range of restaurants and dishes.

What is the FoodSwitch App?

FoodSwitch is a revolutionary app that is empowering Australian shoppers to make healthier food choices and help reduce their risk of dying early from two of the nation’s biggest killers – heart attack and stroke.

The app was developed in Australia by The George Institute for Global Health, parent organization for George Clinical, and is tailored for Australian shoppers, FoodSwitch allows users to scan the barcode of packaged foods using their phone camera and receive immediate, easy to understand nutritional advice and seek healthier choices while still shopping in the store.

The app displays healthier food choices based on the nutritional value of close to 40,000 packaged food products found in Australian supermarkets – the result of three years of research by pre-eminent food and health policy experts from The George Institute for Global Health.

There have been close to 350,000 Australian downloads to date, and the app now includes other options to help specifically tailor the app for your dietary needs: SaltSwitch, FatSwitch, EnergySwitch, SugarSwitch, and GlutenSwitch. All of these filters to helps the app to cater to a wider variety of needs and people.

Since the Australian launch in 2012, the app has been released in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, South Africa, India, and China. They are working on a USA version of the app now.

The FoodSwitch app has truly been making a difference for its users. It was recently announced as a top 10 global innovative solution.


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