Scottish Daily Mail

Snack app to help children eat healthily


An NHS app will allow parents to scan barcodes on their children’s snacks and suggest healthier options.

The NHS Food Scanner app, which previously showed only products’ nutritiona­l content, has been updated to encourage users to swap snacks for ones that are lower in sugar, salt and saturated fat.

Tested with one family in London, it recommende­d replacemen­ts such as a thin and crispy pizza instead of a deepdish, stuffed-crust one.

A total of five replacemen­t products were found to reduce the sugar intake of seven-year-old Gloria Denovagien­e and brother Arlo, four, by the equivalent of 40 sugar cubes a week. Their salt intake was cut by the equivalent of 15 sachets and saturated fat by 80 grams.

The app is part of the NHS’s new Better Health campaign and comes after a survey of 2,030 parents by website netmums last month found 58 per cent gave their children more sugary or fatty snacks than before the pandemic.

However health experts warn it may appeal only to parents already interested in improving their children’s diet. Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovasc­ular medicine at Queen Mary University of London, said: ‘It would be better for the Government to get the food industry to reformulat­e unhealthy food products.’

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