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Shop smarter, eat better 

placeholder imageA revolutionary Australian app is helping shoppers to make healthier food choices and reduce their risk of dying early from two of the nation’s biggest killers – heart attack and stroke.

The result of a partnership between The George Institute for Global Health and Bupa, FoodSwitch has proven a big hit with consumers, with the app being downloaded more than 170,000 times in its first four months. More than 700 comments of thanks and suggestions for improvement have been received from keen users, resulting in a further 8,500 items being added to the FoodSwitch database.

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The app has also attracted positive comment from Australia’s health experts, including the National Heart Foundation and the Obesity Policy Coalition. CHOICE magazine also congratulated Bupa and The George Institute on the app, saying, “FoodSwitch has the potential to help many consumers who want to make healthier decisions but find it difficult to navigate the complex information on food labels.”

By scanning the barcodes of packaged foods, FoodSwitch provides immediate, easy-to-understand information on a product’s total fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt content using a traffic-light style, color-coded system. To encourage healthy food choices, the app also suggests healthier options of the type of food that has been scanned.