Healthy eating app developed for indigenous Australians

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/11/3 13:50:40

A smartphone application aimed at helping improve the eating habits of indigenous Australians has been launched.

The Good Tucker app, launched in Darwin on Thursday night, gives users instant diet advice, marking a move away from traditional healthy food campaigning.

Users of the app utilize the camera on their smartphone to scan the barcode of a food product or photograph, for example, a piece of fruit. The app uses information from a five-star rating system to tell the user whether a food is good, bad, or fine in moderation.

Graham Bidstrup, creator of the app, said that although the app was designed for all ages, it was being marketed to children so they can develop healthy eating habits early in life.

"It was set up for kids in remote communities, that's what we first thought this app would be for, but it's actually gone much wider, it's something everyone can use," Bidstrup told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

"Our mantra is 'good tucker, long life', so I'm hoping people start adopting healthy eating practices and particularly the sugar drinks."

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)' 2012-13 Health Survey found that 66 percent of indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over were either overweight (29 percent) or obese (37 percent).

Indigenous Australians were 1.6 times more likely to be obese as non-indigenous Australians, the ABS found.

Tom Wycherley, an exercise science and nutrition expert from the University of South Australia and member of the Good Tucker team, said that research indicated people in remote areas would have access to technology for the app to be successful.

"We're getting a huge uptake in both the availability of networks and the use of smartphones," Wycherley said.

"Technology is at hand for most people these days in the form of a smartphone, so it's very accessible to have the information at hand and be able to look it up when you're in the store, when you need that advice.

"You don't have to go searching for posters, you don't have to wait hear the information on another traditional form of media to access that information."


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