September 13, 2011 in Health and Fitness (E)
[prMac.com] Ottawa, Ontario - Can you lose weight just from photographing a nutrition label? The recently released free iPhone App NutriScanner hopes so and points to a recent study that may indicate this is true.
The study by Bidisha Mandal published in 2010 in the Journal of Consumer Affairs reviewed the results from 3,706 participants aged 37 to 50. The study suggested that simply reading nutrition labels on packaged goods helped people lose weight. That's right, read the label before you eat, and you may stay trim. Most interesting in the study was that among people who only performed one activity (either label-reading or exercising), results suggested a possible weight loss advantage among label-readers alone compared to exercisers alone.
The developers of NutriScanner are hoping that the same success will be achieved with their new iPhone app. NutriScanner is the first iPhone app with Optical Character Recognition designed to scan Nutrition Facts labels directly from photos. Best of all NutriScanner is free.
Imagine you wanted to record your calories for the bowl of cereal you just had? You could just take a picture of the nutrition facts label on the box and NutriScanner will scan all the nutrient attributes for you!
Where NutriScanner maybe one of the newest tools it utilizes another free tool thats been around for decades. It's that small rectangle of information printed on nearly every processed product available at grocery and convenience stores: the Nutrition Facts label. This mandatory label was pioneered by The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) passed by Congress in 1990 which required nutrition labeling on packaged foods be done in a consistent manner.
The objectives of the NLEA were to clear up confusion about label information and help consumers make healthier food choices. The nutrient information per serving was required to be listed as well as specific nutrients including calories, fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Countries like Canada and Australia have also since followed the US lead and the EU is set to adopt similar requirements in the near future.
Now with the touch of a button consumers can simply photograph any standard NLEA label and have their iPhone scan and read the nutrient information on the label.
No more excuses for not recording calories, all you need to do is take a photo of the package. The iPhones high resolution camera provides the source for a detailed scan of the image. Artificial intelligence powered by advanced ARM processors in the iPhone searches the photo for Nutrition Fact attributes and interprets the information in a matter of seconds.
Even photos of curved surfaces which are typically very difficult for machines to read can be straightened or 'decurved'.
All the fundamental food nutrition attributes are extracted including serving size, weight, calories, fat, carbohydrates and protein. The artificial intelligence even let's you know which attributes it is confident it found in the photo.
All this takes place in the blink of an eye and once you have the info you can easily import it into hundreds of other applications. Best of all NutriScanner is available free on the Apple App Store.
While NutriScanner is free, the costs of not using NLEA Nutrition Facts labels could be very high. One study (Variyam and Cawley, 2006) has suggested that NLEA Nutrient Facts labels and the use of them will save over $166 billion over a 20-year period due to lower mortality risk, reduced medical expenditures, lower absenteeism, and decreased productivity.
So next time you are in the mood for another cookie take a picture of the box first and let your iPhone help you decide if should give in to temptation. Not only will you have made a wise choice for your body you may have also saved yourself some considerable future health related costs.
* iPhone, 4G iPod touch
* iPad 2 Wi-Fi, and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G
* Requires iOS 4.2 or later
* 6.1 MB
Pricing and Availability:
NutriScanner 1.0 is free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Healthcare & Fitness category.
For more than 10 years body-PRO has developed some of the most popular mobile health and fitness tools for iPhones and Palm OS devices. body-PRO is also available from the iPhone App store. Copyright (C) 2011 body-PRO. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.