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Read Mumsnetters’ feedback on the new Change4Life food scanner app

(335 Posts)
JustineBMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 25-Jan-18 13:44:07

This is the feedback thread for the MNers who have been testing the Change4Life food scanner app.

Here’s what PHE has to say: “Without realising it we’re all eating too much sugar, saturated fat and salt. The new and improved ‘Food Scanner’ app is here to help you and your family make healthier food and drink choices. Simply scan the barcode of your food and drink to reveal what’s inside.”

Testers, please answer the below questions.

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?
2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app?
3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app?
4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app?
5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app?

All testers who give their feedback will be sent a £5 Amazon voucher.

Thanks and good luck!

MNHQ

Standard Insight T&Cs apply

Mimozaaa Sat 27-Jan-18 21:31:18

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?
Yes , or I like to think that I do . I tend to look at the chart at the front .
2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?
I always look at the charts and get the lowest in salt and sugar stuff.

3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?
It’s a really good app and loved that I can check the products so easily.
4. What have you learned while testing the app?
Almost everything has more sugar than what I thought.
5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?
How much sugar is in everything , even on the things that you would never think of.

claza93 Sat 27-Jan-18 21:58:51

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this? I am not very good at monitoring sugar as such but I don't buy squash (they just have water) and I do make sure we eat a variety of fruit and veg
2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally? Not as much as I should!
3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods? Yes - it has highlighted quite a bit
4. What have you learned while testing the app? To balance what we eat - you can have treats as long as you also eat healthy food
5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you? Aldi low fat yogurts - so much sugar!!

Coffeeforever Sun 28-Jan-18 07:12:02

. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?

I don't monitor it as such but I try not to add sugar to home cooked food except where absolutely necessary and limit the DCs snacks and pre-prepares convenience food. Just common sense really.

2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?

Quite a lot.

3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?

It has been a good illustration for DC1 but probably hasn't told me anything I didn't already suspect/know.

4. What have you learned while testing the app?

It is a quick way to find a suitable snack. However, I think the easiest way is to try and avoid food packaged as snacks as much as possible and stick to fruit/veg. Although that obviously isn't always realistic!

5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?

Sadly not!

Chocolou Sun 28-Jan-18 08:39:49

1. I try and monitor although not as well as I should. I simply try and count the treats although after using the app it has scared me how much hidden sugar there is in ordinary food and not necessarily treats.
2. We are possibly more aware becatof the traffic lights on packing although I don’t think we understand and calculate our daily total.
3. Yes. Has shocked me more than anything.
4. How much hidden sugar there is in so called healthy snacks.
5. To see the sugar content visually was great. Whilst the traffic light are good to see the sugar in actual cubes was great

murzite Sun 28-Jan-18 10:46:32

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?
By checking labels on everyday food. And having sugary treats only once a week.
2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?
Know a bit about it, as have done some research.
3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?
I think it’s made more fun for my 8y old daughter to undarstand what mummy always been saying to her.
4. What have you learned while testing the app?
Nothing much
5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?
No.
But I will continue using to help my kids undarstand and make fun out of it smile

ilovecake77 Sun 28-Jan-18 11:12:30

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?
I usually look at the traffic light system on food labels.

2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?
I thought i was pretty clued up,but the app has shown me that im actually not!!

3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?
yes,i was shocked at the hidden sugar and salt in foods i thought were healthy!

4. What have you learned while testing the app?
dont be fooled by marketing!!always check labels as even items i associated with being healthy have lots of hidden sugars in.

5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?
things that are marketed for children and you think are healthy are full of sugar!this app has really made me more aware of what i am buying.

lostleonardo Sun 28-Jan-18 14:03:12

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?
I do try to monitor sugar levels - more so for the children rather than ourselves I think. I'm used to looking at traffic light labels now but when I first had kids I was naive enough to believe snacks aimed at toddlers were healthier than they are and wouldn't be pumped full of sugar. I do try to make snacks for them now and the majority of their food at home is fresh and cooked from scratch.

2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?
I think I'm probably less clued up than I should be. Sometimes I am thrown by products' natural sugars

3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?
It's certainly made me look at everything I give the twins between meals and I have used it for myself and my partner too. I'm not sure if it's helped me understand it but it has helped put it in front of me.

4. What have you learned while testing the app?
That so many things have hidden sugars and that I really do need to be more aware. That my kids actually will eat fruit rather than flapjack or sugary snack if I insist.

5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?
That it's not just hidden sugars to be aware of but salt and fats too. Also, it's not always the things that taste sweet that are the main culprits with sugar.

Thanks for the chance to try this. Me and the kids have had fun trying the app and I think it will help me be more informed to make better choices in future.

Youresovain Sun 28-Jan-18 17:14:27

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?
Try and find healthier alternatives i.e. greek yog and berries instead of kids sugary yoghurt.
2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?
I know quite a lot about hidden sugars due to my job.
3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?
Not anymore than I already did but could see how it would be helpful if you didn't have prior knowledge.
4. What have you learned while testing the app?
It's helpful to me in regards to saturated fat etc.
5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?
No I feel there could be more information re vitamins and minerals.

slightlydomesticated Sun 28-Jan-18 17:31:15

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?
I use the info on packaging and I limit high/medium sugar foods. I do a lot of home cooking for everything from bread to tomato sauce and use lo/no sugar in most foods.

2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?
I think I know quite a lot about sugar content, but only learning more recently and mostly from doing my own research.

3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?
A little more for a few items, but I wouldn't say it helped a whole lot with sugar, probably more about the salt and sat fats.

4. What have you learned while testing the app?
Nothing new really in terms of sugar, some items I would've been interested in weren't recognised yet. It did make me think a bit more about salt and saturated fats in the shop bought things I buy.

5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?
No nothing really, just in regards to the amount of items that weren't recognised was surprising in a new launched app.

luanda111 Sun 28-Jan-18 18:31:27

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?
It is very important to monitor my family's intake of sugar, fat, protein, carbs, salt, fibre and calories. I try to check food labels as often as possible.
2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?
Quite a lot, I started to check food labels around 15 years ago. I like to read articles in similar themes as well.
3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?
Yes, this app is brilliant. It is a huge help to kids to learn how to choose food wisely in shops.
4. What have you learned while testing the app?
I have learned checking food labels and scanning barcodes is easy even for kids.
5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?
Sugar content of soft drinks is really shocking. But I do not think substituting sugars with any sweetners is a good idea.

Bringmewineandcake Sun 28-Jan-18 19:17:45

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?

I try to make sure that our meals are balanced, and leave the treats for snacks. We do eat too much sugar as a family but it’s not a terrible amount. We have reduced sugar options wherever possible.

2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?

I’ve become more aware of the sugar content of foods over the last few years. I always water down fruit juice and can’t drink it “neat” any more. I am surprised at the amount of sugar in things though, in reference to the amount recommended we eat. It seems we eat a lot of foods we really shouldn’t be.

3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?

No I don’t think so. The traffic light system was there on the packets I was scanning so it was just telling me the same thing but in a different way.

4. What have you learned while testing the app?

The app likes rice.

5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?

No.

Sleepysausage Sun 28-Jan-18 19:53:45

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?
Usually we avoid sugary snacks.
2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?
I think we are usually quite aware of a sugary food. Perhaps notify the exact %or grams of sugar though.
3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?
I think we are already quite aware of what sugars are in foods. I do however think this app would be good to help someone who is less confident or knowledgeable about sugar
4. What have you learned while testing the app?
I think more than anything it has reinforced how much sugar there is in so many foods.
5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?
I was quite surprised that foods with sweetener is promoted over sugar. I. Would consider a sweet treat an occasional treat. And would prefer my child had sugar occasionally rather than a more often sweetener treat

ncullinane Mon 29-Jan-18 09:42:54

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?
It's always in my mind but I wouldn't say I monitor it as such.

2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?
I know what's obviously got high sugar in but it's the things that are sold as an alternative "healthy" snack but have lots of hidden sugars/salt etc.

3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?
Yeh I think I've a better idea of some of the snacks I was buying weren't as healthy as I thought so may have to rethink them.

4. What have you learned while testing the app?
Not everything I thought was low sugar is!

5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?
Just that some of the snacks I was buying that are branded for children are extremely high in sugar and I shouldn't just assume otherwise!

misskatamari Mon 29-Jan-18 10:06:19

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?

I don't strictly monitor it but am mindful of avoiding too much obviously sugary food, and cook from scratch the majority of the time

2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?

Quite a lot. I'm pretty aware of which foods are sugary, and have hidden sugars etc

3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?

Yes, it's useful to see quickly how much is in things. Although it would be more useful to see how much is in a suggested serving sometimes

4. What have you learned while testing the app?
It's made me more mindful of checking the amount of sugar and salt in things. For example, I know a lot of cereals have sugars in, even when they aren't the obvious sugary kinds. My kids have slipped into the habit of having things like Cheerios and red berry cereals though, despite me knowing they aren't the healthiest. Seeing the sugars in the app though has made me rethink this and we've gone back to things like shredded wheat and weetabix for day to day.

5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?
Some foods it is shocking the amount of salt and sugar in them, especially ones which are marketed as "healthy" and for kids. I did find it odd that things with sweeteners were recommended as okay though. I know the point of the app is to help people be more mindful of sugar and salt, but I feel some sort of mention about artificial sweeteners would be useful. Eg on sugar free squash.

agnelcarol Mon 29-Jan-18 10:09:49

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?
Don't monitor it actively, but keep an eye on thinks that are generally high in sugar and try to eat healthily, while maintaining the 5-a-day concept.
2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?
Not much, but reading the ingredients and the colour code information on food packs, usually gives me the answers I'm looking for.
3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?
A little bit - it took a few days, as the app refused to recognise any barcode!! I was almost about to give up, when it suddenly woke up. It was good and handy, so will definitely keep using, unless it decides to go into hibernation again!
4. What have you learned while testing the app?
Mostly it has confirmed my suspicions regarding most foods, but some (like fruit juices/cereal bars/ baby food) were quite surprising.
5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?
The amount of sugar in most ready baby foods!! The last thing one would expect was sugar content in baby foods - they can't eat that much sugar!! Surely the FDA hasn't noticed (or just not bothered)?

wineandcheeseplease Mon 29-Jan-18 10:32:40

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?

I use the traffic lights on packets

2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?
an average amount

3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?
yes a little more
4. What have you learned while testing the app?
There is more sugar in things that i realised!!

5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?
I guess as above, that more things had sugar in that I thought they did!

greenjojocat Mon 29-Jan-18 11:14:45

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?
I mainly prepare meals from scratch but if I'm using packet ingredients then I check the labels and always looks at sat fat, salt and sugar, especially when cooking for my DC

2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?
I think I have a good understanding of nutritional values in foods, I have used apps in the past when trying to manage my diet and I avoid things like fizzy drinks and processed foods where I know there will be a high level of salt and sugar.

3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?
It's helped to quantify what I thought already about most foods and I've found it really useful.

4. What have you learned while testing the app?
More information about sat fat and also it's good to have the scanner easily accessible to use quickly when doing the food shop.

5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?
I checked some items that I wouldn't buy because of my belief that they would have high levels of salt and sugar and I was surprised that they actually exceeded what I expected.

BlueTablecloth Mon 29-Jan-18 11:27:31

Testers, please answer the below questions.
1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?

DC get one sweet treat a day, avoid ready made sauces etc

2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?

Reasonable amount, now about hidden sugars in sauces etc

3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?

No more than I already knew

4. What have you learned while testing the app?

Nothing new

5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?

I had to borrow a phone to use app as it wasn't compatible with my (not very old) phone

thUnderdog Mon 29-Jan-18 11:32:08

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?
I don't give my child (1 year old) anything sugary, I check the labels on anything I buy for her and would usually only allow natural sugars like fruit.
2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?
I keep an eye on labels for my child but I'm not bothered about a little sugar for myself. I'm more concerned about salt for my child though, than sugar, so that was my main reason for using the app.
3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?
No, none of the products I buy for my child worked with it. I learned nothing from the app but can still read the labels.
4. What have you learned while testing the app?
Nothing. I scanned a product that I buy for myself but occasionally give to my daughter (breadsticks) and that was the only thing that has worked so far (partially...it didn't have the calories on file) but it was less informative than reading the label. E.g. told me how much salt in a portion but didn't tell me how much constitutes a portion.
5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?
That it didn't register any of the (children's) products I scanned, and I thought this was the main target. I'll just continue reading labels.

carolinefromislington Mon 29-Jan-18 11:36:08

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this? Just try to avoid processed and hgh sugar foods.
2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally? A fair amount
3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods? I don't think it has added to my knowledge but it is a good, very simple way of checking foods.
4. What have you learned while testing the app? Not a lot but I think it would be a great and fun way to teach slightly older kids (mine is a baby so not relevant yet!)
5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you? no

Starlight85 Mon 29-Jan-18 11:55:26

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?

Just by looking at the nutritional information on packaging.

2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?

I’m very aware of it when it comes to what I give my one year old.

3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?

I was aware before, but it is a simple way to find out.

4. What have you learned while testing the app?

How much sugar and fat is in the food I eat as I don’t usually check everything I eat.

5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?

No.

WarmHugs Mon 29-Jan-18 12:01:23

1. If you usually manage or monitor your family’s intake of sugar, how do you do this?

I don't actively monitor every bite/sip, but I don't have fuzzy drinks in the house, and sweets are limited.

2. How much would you say that you know about the sugar content in foods generally?

I thought I knew, but it seems I underestimated!

3. Do you think the Change4Life app has helped you to understand the sugar content in your foods?

Yes, it was easy to understand

4. What have you learned while testing the app?

That I had vastly underestimated how much hidden sugar was in our food.

5. When testing the app, was there anything that shocked you?

Yes, I was surprised at how many food items were on there. I thought I could trick it with obscure food items, but it didn't work.

PerfectlySymmetricalButtocks Mon 29-Jan-18 12:02:23

1. I don't usually manage or monitor my family's intake of sugar.

2. I know nothing about the sugar content of foods generally.

3. Yes, I think the Change4Life app has helped me to understand the sugar content in my foods.

4. I've learnt that I'm doing exactly the right thing. No sugar between meals.

5. The thing that shocked me was the amount of sugar in my DC's preferred breakfast foods. I'll still give them what they ask for though, as they don't eat much sweet stuff.

Bez33 Mon 29-Jan-18 12:24:26

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?
Yes - I think even simple things like the sound effect of the fat dripping made an impact and made you think twice.
2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app? We tested it on things we had in the house - fruit pastilles, chocolate digestives...and it’s quite sobering to see the fat on just one. Even though it’s on the packet, it’s easy to ignore.
3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app? Yes
4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app? It was more testing things we had in - cue ryvita, cheese and apple slices being brought out!
5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app? Nothing really - very simple and effective.

danson16 Mon 29-Jan-18 12:27:00

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?
I have never really monitored my sugar intake and it definitely made me step back and think about what I was eating as well as everyone else. It also made me consider what I was purchasing as I got to scan while shopping.
2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app?
We enjoyed how interactive it was, seeing the sugar cubes and the fat dripping, it was fun for the children and showed them what foods were good or bad.
3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app?
Yes definitely, it is really good to have.
4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app?
I looked at stuff I had at home, I had been eating crisps and crackers and I reverted to getting different crackers and reducing the crisps I eat.
5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app?
It would be great to see calories and vitamin levels, its definitely worth seeing all the different sides to the food.

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