There’s an App for That!
  • In the United States, more than 100 million people own smartphones, app downloads number in the billions per year, and the typical user spends more than an hour a day using apps.  As these numbers rise, apps will continue to become more and more integrated into the lives of average Americans.  The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is committed to empowering its members to be food and nutrition leaders and recognizes the opportunity that apps offer. Thus, the Academy has begun developing apps for both practitioners and consumers.  Currently, there are three Academy apps, available for download from the iTunes App Store and Google Play, with several others in development.  The three that are currently available are listed here:

    NutriGuides provides dietetics practitioners with a mobile version of the Academy’s Evidence Analysis Library (EAL), a valuable resource for nutrition research and practice guidelines.  Beginning at the home screen, users can choose to search NutriGuides in three ways—by topic, diseases/conditions, or steps in the Nutrition Care Process.
    The Is My Food Safe? app, part of the Home Food Safety public awareness campaign from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and ConAgra Foods, guides consumers through a series of questions about safe cooking temperatures, food storage, and kitchen safety to help them make decisions that reduce the risk of food poisoning.
    The Gluten Detective app helps consumers with gluten sensitivity negotiate the often difficult task of shopping for groceries while avoiding foods with gluten-containing ingredients.  The heart of the app is the Gluten Detector Tool.  This interactive questionnaire guides users through a decision tree to help them determine whether a particular food contains gluten.  It progresses through a series of questions about the product’s ingredients and package label until it can be determined whether the product fits into one of three categories:  Contains Gluten (or may be cross-contaminated with gluten), Labeled Gluten-Free, or Seems Gluten-Free.

    In addition to these apps, the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is available through Elsevier’s Health Advance Journals app and an individual Journal app is currently in development. The Academy and Commission on Dietetic Registration are also working on a Professional Development Portfolio app as well as an app that allows members to take Journal Continuing Professional Education quizzes on their mobile devices. As apps become more and more commonly used tools for education, organization, and productivity, the Academy will continue to find ways to use them to help both practitioners and the public improve the nation’s health.

    Sylvia Escott-Stump, MA, RD, LDN
    Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics