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Helping shoppers make healthy-eating choices on the go.

FoodSwitch is a really practical tool to support people to put dietary recommendations into practice."
- Professor Susan Jebb

An app developed by researchers at the University of Oxford is one of three winners of a new competition run by Public Health England.

The FoodSwitch app, developed in conjunction with the British Heart Foundation, Consensus Action on Salt and Health, the Medical Research Council and researchers from the University of Oxford, is designed to help consumers make better food choices as they shop. It works by displaying nutritional information and offering the user healthier alternatives to the items in their shopping basket, providing a real advantage over regular labelling.

Professor Susan Jebb, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, who was involved in the project, commented:

"The switch element is really important, FoodSwitch doesn't say: 'You're buying a bar of chocolate, why not buy a banana instead?' It offers alternatives within a category, so the changes are modest changes. If you're committed to buying a pizza, it will suggest two or three other pizzas instead. This feature makes FoodSwitch a really practical tool to support people to put dietary recommendations into practice to improve their health."

The Public Health England Health-X competition aims to transform the way people use technology to monitor and improve their health. Around 150 entries were submitted, and ten finalists shortlisted before the three winners were chosen.

The app is available for both iPhones and Android phones and contains nutritional information on around 100,000 packaged food items and drinks.

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