NHS launches food scanner app to help families make healthier choices

The feature available on the free to download app enables families to scan product barcodes from their shop and suggests healthier food and drink alternatives.

It has been launched by the Department of Health and Social Care as part of its Better Health Campaign and in response to a record rise in obesity among children since the start of the pandemic.

It comes after survey findings revealed that parents are now giving their children more unhealthy snacks.

The Netmums poll of 2,030 parents with children aged five-11, carried out in December, found that nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) of parents give their children more sugary or fatty snacks than they did pre-Covid, while nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) said they often worry about how healthy their children’s snacks are.

A total of 90 per cent of parents said they would benefit from an app that would help them make healthier choices for their children.

Public Health Minister Maggie Throup said, ‘We know that families have felt a lot of pressure throughout the pandemic which has drastically changed habits and routines

‘The new year is a good time for making resolutions, not just for ourselves, but for our families. Finding ways to improve their health is one of the best resolutions any of us could make.’

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at DHSC said, ‘We are all aware of the increased pressures families have been under throughout the pandemic with children being stuck at home more. With advertising promoting unhealthy foods to kids, it’s not surprising that parents say they’ve often found it hard to resist pestering from their children for more unhealthy snacks, and that is why the NHS Food Scanner App is a great tool to help families make quick and easy healthier swaps.’