Science

New App Helps Support 5 A Day

An App developed by researchers at Bournemouth University is helping people eat a healthy diet.

Users select food or drink from an extensive choice of icons. Image credit: Bournemouth University

The free App, SMART 5-A-DAY is available in the Google Play Store for Android phones from 29 December.

Katherine Appleton, Professor of Psychology at Bournemouth University, who led the studies and the development of the new app commented:

“Almost everyone knows they should eat five a day.

“But when we looked a little further, it was clear that a lot of people did not know what counts towards the target, they did not know what a portion size is, and many did not realise that they needed to eat five different things.

“Our studies also showed that lower knowledge was associated with lower consumption of fruits and vegetables.

“What is unique about this app is that as well as tracking daily fruit and vegetable intake, it teaches people about portion size, so they get to the point where they know what they need to eat themselves. We think this will be an effective tool to improve people’s diets for the long term, rather than simply for the short period that they use the app.”

The free SMART-5-A-DAY app has been created specifically to help people understand portion sizes and see how the amounts of fruits and vegetables that they eat contribute towards their daily target. Users select the fruit or vegetable they have just eaten and will then be asked to enter how much of it they ate. The app will then tell them whether that amount made up a full or partial portion and how much more would be needed to take it up to a full portion. It also keeps a running total of their progress towards the five a day target.

Image credit Bournemouth University