UK Launches Food Scanner App for Healthier Food Choices

UK's health services on 10th January 2022 launched an NHS Food Scanner App under its multi-media anti-obesity Better Health Campaign to offer healthier food alternatives. The feature available on the free-to-download app allows scanning of barcodes on food products to provide healthier options.

The app will display a scanned item's nutritional information using food swap recommendations, a traffic light system, and augmented reality to bring to life the scanned item's salt, sugar, or fat content. The app additionally has a 'Good Choice Badge' that highlights foods in line with the government's current dairy recommendations for saturated fat, salt, and sugar. 

The government's campaign was launched to help stop the growing tide of obesity amongst young people. In the NHS Digital National Child Measurement program England 2020/2021, it was found that one in four children in school is overweight or obese, rising to 40% for children in year 6. The pandemic has been blamed for the poor diet of the children and increasing obesity.

To counter this, the government's obesity strategy has seen the Department of Health and Social Care give £100m as funding to support all citizens reaching a healthy weight. The government also announced the pilot of an app that uses wrist-worn devices to help people make a positive change in their lifestyle last year.