Although most participants didn't change their buying habits (in part because they were still buying food for their families), the study did have some positive results. Subjects reported that the application made them more aware of their diet and 40% changed their purchase decisions based on the information provided.
The study established that while technology could make information accessible, education and motivational tools are needed to encourage participants to change their overall purchasing and eating habits, according to the study's authors.
The only problem? The users wanted more data. More than 90% said the system would be more useful if more products were included.
App developers are working fast to build those databases. One example: Quickka Calories PRO, which offers nutritional information for more than 20,000 food items, delivering the user with a list of calories, carbs, fats, fiber, protein, and salt content. It can also do so via barcode scan for more than 9,000 items.
Salt Lake City, UT–based Intermountain Healthcare recently announced it has developed a free app for children and teens to help them make good nutrition and fitness choices.
The new application is part of Intermountain's LiVe campaign which reaches out to parents and children about the importance of increasing physical activity and adopting healthier eating habits to prevent obesity.