Clean Eating

An App for Eating Better

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Play your way to weight loss with a new app developed by the universiti­es of Exeter and Helsinki. The Food Trainer app (FoodT) conditions you to identify healthy and unhealthy foods on sight, actively training your brain to intentiona­lly opt for healthy foods in real life. The researcher­s behind the app found that playing once a day for a month led to a measurable reduction in junk food consumptio­n. Plus, people who used the app more often reported greater changes in dietary habits.

In the game, the screen flashes a series of food and nonfood items. Healthy foods are circled in green while unhealthy and nonfood items are circled in red. Gain points by tapping items in green and lose points by tapping items in red. Professor Natalia Lawrence of the University of Exeter described the findings as “really encouragin­g.” She noticed that benefits were stronger for people who were more overweight. “The app targets mechanisms that lead people to become overweight, such as the strong urges to approach and consume tempting junk foods.” You can see the benefits for yourself by downloadin­g this free app and playing for only four minutes per day.

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