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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

RemoveAllPicturesOfRon Mon 29-Jan-18 23:04:06

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices? Yes, sometimes - it certainly made me more aware of the choices I made.
2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app? It’s quite fun! DD enjoyed using the scanner and seeing it identify the foods.
3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app? Maybe, although the traffic lights on most foods are pretty useful too.
4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app? Not really, it just made me think about what I bought in general.
5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app? Not sure.

Azra12 Tue 30-Jan-18 04:26:39

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?
Yes, especially with fruit squashes and smoothies

2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app?
It was great to show my kids how much sugar was in things which were marketed as "healthy"

3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app?
Definitely!!! Its made me realise how much hidden sugar and salt there is actually in things

4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app?
Both my little ones enjoy drinking innocent smoothies which we thought were quite healthy but after looking at the sugar content it has changed our minds

5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app?
We were unable to scan certain products such as baby food, would be great to see how much sugar is in these products too

Gembo78 Tue 30-Jan-18 07:10:16

1.I try to encourage fruit and vegetables as snacks. I try to avoid too many processed foods.
2. I’m always shocked at how much sugar there is in foods that I would have considered savoury.
3. The app was fun and interesting. The children liked using it. For me a healthy diet is about a balanced diet - including low sugar.
4. That sugar is in all processed food and I will continue to avoid it as much as possible.
5. That food with sweetners in was recommended as an alternative. This is surely no better. I would prefer to avoid these foods.

pollywiggle Tue 30-Jan-18 08:31:11

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?
Yes, by highlighting items that had high/med levels of salt/ sat fats etc we would eat fewer of them (e.g. Veggie sausages, not as healthy as thought).
2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app?
Fun and easy to use. Graphics clear, child-friendly.
3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app?
For fun only, not daily basis or at supermarket.
4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app?
No, the app did not suggest an alternative and we chose just to eat less of an item rather than not at all.
5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app?
It would be good to have suggestions of healthier alternatives. Also, the info was per pack rather than per portion.

1969angep Tue 30-Jan-18 10:08:34

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices? Hmmmmm probably not if I'm honest. I think we have a reasonable understanding of what's good/bad and still but bad stuff anyway!
2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app? I love how visual it is - seeing those sugar cubes/sachets of salt stack up is quite shocking sometimes. It was a great way of demonstrating to my son about sugars in some of his favourite foods
3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app? Maybe. We tend to buy a reasonably small range of foods so once we've used the app to weed out the bad stuff it would get less use. I think I would tend to use it on stuff like sauces etc where hidden sugars lurk
4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app? It's a minor thing but I did buy Tesco own brand instead of Frosties as they were much lower in sugar than the branded cereal (albeit still not a good choice though!)
5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app? I'd love a little siren to go off or flashing red lights on a bad choice - this would really help me dissuade the 6 year old from some his worse choices!

danigrace Tue 30-Jan-18 14:51:28

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices? Yes probably, the fat / sugar / salt "stacking" with accompanying noises was a bit off putting!
2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app? Clear and easy to understand information with bold appealing colourful presentation
3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app? Probably
4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app? Not applicable yet as we shop online
5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app? More products added - some standard items were not found; and improved scanner - after trying to smooth and angle on shiny packets for a couple of minutes I sometimes gave up

muffinheaven Tue 30-Jan-18 15:03:02

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?
Yes a little bit. It made us consider our choices more, some things we just went ahead and ate/drank anyway as we like them but others it made us rethink whether we really wanted it now we knew how much sugar/salt was in it.

2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app?
It was easy to use and provided quick, easy to read information.

3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app?
Yes we probably will.

4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app?
I bought a very cheap orange squash as a one off once as the hi juice wasn't on offer. My DC and DH all loved it but I wouldn't buy it again as I considered it unhealthy. We scanned it in the supermarket and it actually came out as a healthier choice than what I had been buying so we are back to the cheap one !!

5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app?
Just to add more products, quite a few items we scanned were not found.

Abis04 Tue 30-Jan-18 16:49:58

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?
Yes... I was surprised with the nutritional value of some of our ‘normal’ choices
2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app?
My kids liked getting involved with the scanning and traffic light-ing
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? We took it to our normal supermarket and challenged ourself
5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app?
More products - lots werent listed. Also an option to choose a smaller portion (i would make my kids share a packet of crisps for example)

TooSleepyToCare Tue 30-Jan-18 17:18:04

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?
Yes, especially when dealing with my DS. I really like the visual aid in the scanner. My DS was shocked when I showed him the big pile of sugar cubes, for example, on a box of cereal he wanted me to buy. So at least it isn't just me and DH saying no and being mean.

2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app?
My DS really enjoyed using it to scan everything in our cupboard to see what had big piles and what had smaller piles. He loves my phone so the fact that he was allowed to use it for the scanner was a huge hit! It made being healthier more fun and a lot easier to try and explain.

3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app? I will put the app on my tablet for my DS to use and hopefully this will keep him interested in health and diet. Something I wish I had been more informed about as a youngster who now suffers very badly with weight issues as a grown up.

4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app? When shopping recently with my DH and DS we used the app to help make a decision on a breakfast cereal for my DS. We always look at the traffic light graphic on the box but this was a lot easier for him to understand as the pile of sugar etc changed depending on what we scanned.

5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app?
an increased database of products.

BlueTablecloth Tue 30-Jan-18 17:20:46

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Read Mumsnetters’ feedback on the new Change4Life food scanner app133
25/01/2018 13:44 JustineBMumsnet

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?

Maybe made me think a little more whilst doing the test
2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app?

5yr old enjoyed the novelty value of it
3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app? No
4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app? No
5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app? For me I'd like much less simplistic nutritional advice. But I imagine this goes against the whole change for life thing 😉

sharond101 Tue 30-Jan-18 17:21:04

Additional questions, I bought own brand yogurts as these were lower in sugar than the branded ones we buy and I'd like to see recommendations on alternative brands or choices when a high sugar item is selected.

mummyofcutetwo Tue 30-Jan-18 17:27:17

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?
Yes, I think it did - and will continue to.

2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app?
It’s quite fun zapping things! It’s easy to see how good or bad something is for you.
I did get very frustrated in the shop though as I couldn’t get it to work. Even at home a lot of things wouldn’t scan, but those that would scan scanned quickly when I scanned my online shop while putting it away!
I’m going to get my DCs to guess whether things are better or worse using the app - a bit like Bruce’s The Price is Right!

3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app?
Yes I will. Provided more things are added.

4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app?
I can’t really as I’ve had most success with scanning once out of the supermarket, which has rather defeated the object of the exercise! If Mumsnet could campaign to get supermarkets to give better and more consistent Wi-fi then that would be great!

5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app?
A warning symbol for things that contain sweeteners. They make my DC1’s asthma much much worse so I avoid them wherever possible.
Keep on the good work with adding things to it please!

amiijoanne Tue 30-Jan-18 17:27:17

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?
No. I don't think I used it enough at the time. It would be more useful to use this whilst out shopping, but this requires having plenty of time to compare products.

2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app?
I don't think it's an app I particularly enjoyed using.

3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app?
Probably not. I tend to forget to use it.

4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app?
No. There wasn't an incidence where this happened.

5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app
I can't think of any at this time

HuggleBear Tue 30-Jan-18 17:28:18

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?
I think it made me not take the unhealthy choices!
2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app?
I liked the simplicity of it. DC liked the sugar cubes falling down.
3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app?
Yes definitely.
4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app?
Particularly with cereal. I usually get a choice of what I thought was healthy options. Porridge all the way now.
5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app?
Suggestions for alternative, healthier bersions of foods would be good.

HowsAnnie25 Tue 30-Jan-18 17:28:36

I think all the questions have changed and I can't find my original reply to check - I'll answer these ones now
1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?

No as I order food online so I was testing things we had already bought

2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app?

My daughter liked looking at alternatives. We made one of the nhs recipes at the weekend.

3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app?

Yes we will now and again, mainly out of interest - BUT a lot of items we scanned were not registering as there was no information and I'm talking big brands like Innocent.

4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app?

I haven't as I kind of know how to have a balanced diet.

5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app?

It needs to have more foods in there! Also sometimes it wasn't clear to me if they were saying no that's bad to the whole multipack or the individual item. Example - I bought a 3 pack of kinder eggs as a treat. I know they are not a healthy treat but there's hardly any chocolate and only 110 calories per egg and the app was well angry!! It came up as a 3 pack but I wasn't sure if the info being shown was per unit or for all 3!

gym Tue 30-Jan-18 17:30:42

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?
I used to have this app on my samsung phone but i couldn't download it onto my new one plus phone!
2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app?
Its quite good to use while u do your shopping and see how much sugar all the products have
3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app?
I still have it on my samsung and hopefully i an get it on my new phone as well
4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app?
I actually reduced the smoothies for my kids and be more careful of what i buy, especially snacks! I noticed a lot of brand name snacks have more sugar and salt contact
5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app?
Maybe international foods?!?!

Rainboho Tue 30-Jan-18 17:35:42

Hey! You can’t just change the questions! Do we have to keep answering questions when they change to get the £5 voucher @mnhq?

lyndseyh78 Tue 30-Jan-18 17:38:50

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?

Yes I think that the fact that the app is so easy to use so I can use it while shopping will help me make healthier choices, also I think it will help educate my children to make healthier choices too when they scan things while out shopping or at home

2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app?

The fact that like I previously said it’s so easy to use even my 5yo can use it and she does she scans everything! I love that it’s so informative and I will continue to use it while shopping to make healthier choices

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?

Yes while buying yoghurts for school we out back the ones e normally buy and bought natural yoghurt instead and they kid took it to school with some chopped up fruit instead

5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app?

Old quote like to be able to link it to my online supermarket account so I can make healthier choices while shopping online 😋

HermanCakeDestroyer Tue 30-Jan-18 17:40:17

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?
Yes, I found it useful testing fruit juices and cereals in particular and it would affect my choices.
2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app?
My family and I all enjoyed using this app. My children loved scanning everything in sight (including my wine!!) and telling me how unhealthy it was!!
3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app?
It is still on my phone and I’ve recommended this app to various colleagues at work.
4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app?
I changed my cereal from banana weetabix to regular weetabix as it was much lower in sugar.
5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app?
More barcodes working. I noticed a lot of the cheaper foods in supermarkets didn’t work but it would be helpful if they did. This is a great, quick glance information tool for parents. This will help get the nation eating healthier!

librarypictures Tue 30-Jan-18 17:40:46

Missed off the last question from my earlier post - re q5 improvements I suppose a wider range of products available to scan. A few items didn't show.

Noodleeoodledoodles Tue 30-Jan-18 17:41:24

1. The app stopped me consuming certain snacks. I didn't choose a healthy alternative though.
2. Convenience and unbiased information. It's very user-friendly. My daughter enjoyed the sound of the sugar cubes stacking up 😕
3. I will probably use the app again in the future.
4. I didn't change any purchase choices. Our weekly shop is from Aldi and the app didn't seem to recognise any of their barcodes.
5. I think more brands/products could be added although I do appreciate there's a lot already there. Also suggestions for healthy alternatives would be a bonus.

librarypictures Tue 30-Jan-18 17:48:30

Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices? It hasn't changed my selections - already fairly healthy but it does reinforce the correct choices.
2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app? It was quite fun to have a visual of how much sugar contained in items
3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app? Probably won't continue to use as uses precious memory on my phone - like to have a wide variety of apps on my phone.
4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app? Haven't changed choices as a result - already quite healthy
5 can't think of any improvements

agnelcarol Tue 30-Jan-18 17:51:32

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?
Yes, but that was only after it started working!!! It gave me a lot of grief in the beginning, as it refused to scan anything.
2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app?
The family loved the fun of actually using my phone to scan every food item within visible distance!
3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app?
Yes, definitely, as it is very informative and makes me feel good when I pick the healthier options, knowing that I've picked the right foods for my family.
4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app?
None, until now !
5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app?
Make the scanner work a little better, so it scans at any angle. With mine, I have to hold the phone in a particular position for the barcode to scan properly, which took quite a bit of getting used to.

Alannahpickaver Tue 30-Jan-18 18:06:29

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?
Yes it did
2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app?
The visual demonstrations on the components of food I.e. the sugar, fat and salt.
3. Do you think that you will continue to use the Food Scanner app?
Yes we will.
4. Can you tell us about a time - if any - you changed your purchase choice as a result of the app?
It has stop annd made us think and perhaps consumed a bit less. However it has not changed our purchases as the app does not suggest alternatives.
5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app?
We would like a larger database.
A manual search.
Profiles and ability to log and track consumption.
Suggested alternative or healthy alternatives.

PinotAndPlaydough Tue 30-Jan-18 18:09:12

1. Do you think the Food Scanner app helped you to make healthier food and drink choices?
Not at the time because I was scanning stuff that we already had at home. But they made me more aware for future food shops.

2. What did you and your family enjoy about using the Food Scanner app? The children enjoyed the scanning aspect and liked the things like the sugar lumps falling.

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? I haven’t used it on the go yet, most of our food shopping is done online.

5. We’d love to hear about any features you think could further improve the Food Scanner app?
Maybe some games or activities for children to play on the app. Also I found that some items from places like lidl weren’t recognised.

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