London: A team of researchers has developed a new Android app to help people reach the recommended target of eating five portions of fruits and vegetables a day.
It tells users whether they are eating the right portion sizes, as well as the right foods, to meet the recommended guidelines, according to the study by Bournemouth University in the UK.
What the 'SMART-5-A-DAY' app does
"Almost everyone knows they should eat five portions 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," said Katherine Appleton, Professor of Psychology at Bournemouth University.
"Our studies also showed that lower knowledge was associated with lower consumption of fruits and vegetables," she added.
Figures from Public Health England have shown that only a third of adults, and 12 percent of eleven to 18-year-olds eat the recommended amount.
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.
"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," said Appleton.
'SMART 5-A-DAY' is available in the Google Play Store for Android phones.
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