Nutritious apps for smart phones

Screenshot of "Calorie Counter Pro" by Casey Morgan

Posted by Casey Morgan

Just a few years ago, people needed registered dietitians to calculate calorie intake and learn about healthy food choices.

Today anyone can calculate calorie intake themselves, make healthier food choices and keep a comprehensive food log all in the palm of their hand.

If you’re familiar with the saying, ‘There’s an app for that,’ that’s because there is.

There are countless applications to assist and educate concerned eaters with the touch of a smart phone screen.

Apps like “Eat this, not that! Restaurants” by Men’s Health Magazine provide a simple tool to make ‘food to food’ comparisons, enabling the user to choose a healthier menu item over another. There’s even a section for the best and worst foods in America, regarding nutritional value.

Another app, “Calorie Counter Pro” by MyNetDiary, has a built-in UPC bar code scanner so users can scan items in a grocery store to see their nutritional value. It also keeps track of meals with in-depth calorie analysis, exercise activity, water intake, daily steps and blood pressure.

Other apps like “Meal Snap” and “The Eatery” generate nutritional value and caloric content based on food photos uploaded by the user.

Have you used any of these food-conscious apps? Do you think they’re beneficial? Can the obesity epidemic be impacted by these nutritious apps?

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8 responses to “Nutritious apps for smart phones

  1. Personally I have not used any of these apps. I think they could beneficial, but my guess is they will be used by people who are already health-conscious and motivated to lose weight on their own. I think the obesity epidemic needs to be controlled by doctors on a patient-to-patient basis.

  2. My mom and I got the “Lose it” app this summer. I absolutely loved it. I put in all my goals that I wanted to complete before the end of the summer, and then everyday I put in everything I ate, and all the exercise for that day. It was great! I had a ton of options from different restaurants, a varitey of exercises (inculding cleaning tasks) and it did all the calculations for me, and put them together in a chart. It helped a lot, and really made me aware of how many calories I was actually taking in. The only bad thing is remembering to put everything I do and eat in every single day. However, since it is on my phone it was convient because I always have my phone everywhere I go.

  3. This app looks really cool! This reminds me of the “service” aspect of magazines that every publication tries to offer to their readers. Publications like Better Homes & Gardens have created apps like their “Veggie Love” app and the newest, Recipe.com app has a grocery store locator so that you can find the best deals near you in order to make a Recipe.com recipe at home. Apps like these are essential for publications to have in that it is taking the “service” aspect of brands to the next level.

  4. Emily - Drake University

    I haven’t used any of these apps, but I think they’re a good idea. Many people that aren’t motivated to go see a nutritionist or research health and fitness may find these apps an easy alternative.

  5. It’s great that you find that app useful, Hilary. I think they’re quite handy and very practical. They can prove very effective as well.

    I do agree that more health conscious users will actually download these apps. But if they get enough exposure in the right market, less healthy users may decide to give them a try.

    Those apps sound very interesting, Courtney. I’ll definitely check them out.

  6. These apps are a great idea for those that are already health-conscious. I don’t think people who aren’t as healthy already will use them nearly as much, but apps like this could motivate some people. I may be more interested in exercising if I had a goal and maybe some way to see if I’m working toward that goal. I may have to check some of these apps out!

  7. I think these apps are new versions of the standard food journals. Instead of having to tote a notebook around, people now can access them right on their phones. It’s great that the apps do calculations and can track goals. I think it makes the process of losing weight more manageable.

  8. I agree with Katelyn: These apps make a food journal infinitely more convenient. If I were to really dedicate myself to weight loss, I think I’d make the most of these tools. Your note about the change from face-to-face conversations with dieticians, though, is another good point. While I don’t think these apps can entirely erase a patient-physician relationship, they are on track to do so eventually. I spend more time on Web MD than I do calling my doctor, for example…the WebMD site may replace a lot of the diagnosis work in minor situations. Perhaps these apps can take a similar place in the weight loss world.

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