Sugar Salt Fat

Last week I wrote a tweet about an idea for an app that would help people better understand food labels.

Sugar Fat Salt on Twitter

To find out about the potential of this idea, I felt I had to make a mini plan.

Something to discuss with people and get feedback on. So here it is.

Goal

Stimulate better eating patterns, by improving the understanding of what we eat.

**Why

** Obesity is getting more and more of a problem.

This is a health risk for them and expensive for society.

**How

**

Platform that makes it really easy to understand how healthy a product is.

Analysis

Eating healthy is (or at least feels) complicated. It seems that everything you eat or drink is unhealthy. If you eat or drink something, someone will say “research shows that this is bad for you”. Food labels are difficult to understand. As I’m writing this, I’m drinking “Multi fruit” juice, the label says: per 100ml, energy kJ 159 / kcal 38. To be honest, I have no idea if that is good or bad, and like most people I don’t care enough to do real research on it.

Labels are not the only option for knowing what is in the product. Food labels are created by the producer of the product, but improving the food labels to be easier to understand is against their interest. Why would they want to highlight any negative qualities of their products? Thankfully we can provide other channels to provide this information. For instance, a supermarket could provide this information, but they also have an interest in selling as many products as possible. So for me, it makes the most sense to have a neutral company/party to provide this information as a service.

The idea

  1. A tool on your mobile phone that helps you to quickly compare products and find out which one is healthier.
  2. A way to continuously collect information on the health of all products.

Mobile phone tool

This is the easy part, relatively speaking. You take a picture of a product, a label, or you type in the name and you will quickly see an easy to understand label and contextual information that helps you understand how healthy the product is. Also you can compare product X with product Y and see what product has a better health score for different qualities.

Collecting information on the products

My idea is to create a simple game that improves your understanding of what you eat, and also generates interesting data for the platform.

It is inspired by projects like Zooniverse (help process scientific data) and Fold.it  (invent actual cures by doing a puzzle). Here are some sketches to show you how it could work:

Challenge

Why sugar, salt and fat?

Why a game?

What is needed?

ProductOverview

So what do you think? And can you perhaps help me with this? In order to make this conversation public I suggest using twitter, replying to @ideagrowr. But you can also e-mail me or leave a comment here.

Idea Growr is a free Android app that helps you keep track of your ideas.
You can use question sets to help you grow your idea. Download it here:

Google Play - Idea Growr