This new digital health and nutrition system, described as being "like FitBit for food," uses the data from each food purchase (nutritional value, ingredients, price, and other attributes) to score food choices, in order to help guide users toward foods that better fit the user's lifestyle and health goals.
We recently covered the Food Scores app, which helps shoppers see what food companies are really putting into their food, and it shows potential as a very useful tool in learning to make healthier food choices. But there's another entry in the food/health/diet market that also promises to help us move toward better dietary habits, by using data from the foods we purchase and consume to create a food diary that can track our food history, virtually effortlessly.
BigIQ, which can sync with Google Fit or Apple Health Kit, works by automatically logging each food item or meal that gets purchased by the user, and then by analyzing the nutritional value, the ingredients, the price, and other attributes and assigning it a food score that ranges from 0 to 1000 (1000 being the highest). The food purchases can be automatically imported when made at any of 100+ grocery chains, online food delivery services, or through an online retailer, or can be manually added by snapping a photo of a paper receipt, making it simple to keep an accurate food diary.
The food scoring algorithm used by BagIQ, which is loosely based on the NuVal scoring methodology (created by David Katz, M.D., Director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center), was created through collaboration with dieticians, and aims to make it easier to identify which foods in our diets are healthier, and which ones may be keeping us from our health goals. BagIQ scores foods using some individual food data (such as the amounts of fats, sodium, sugar, calories, carbs, fiber, cholesterol, etc. in the foods), as well as attributes of the products (organically grown, frozen, processed, etc), and applies an analysis of the food based on 15 different nutrients, weighted according to category.
"Our goal is to give everyone this key to managing their health by providing them with a complete and ongoing history of every food item they’ve ever eaten…effortlessly. Reading and comparing food labels is tedious and tricky, even for the most dedicated food loggers, but it is now unnecessary." - Matt Stanfield, Founder and CEO of BagIQ
In addition to identifying the relative healthiness of a food or meal, BagIQ also attempts to help explain some of the questionable, misleading, or controversial attributes found in some foods (such as highly-processed ingredients, or GMO ingredients), so as to give consumers more information about the foods they eat in order to make informed decisions.
Although the term 'big data' might seem meaningless to most of us, BagIQ, which is a free app for both iOS and Android (and a web app), might be a fitting application for the brave new world of using big food data to guide and improve our own individual food choices. Find out more at BagIQ.