Posted on 03/14/2011 at 08:11:02 AM by Student BloggerBy: Krystle Z.
With the new Dietary Guidelines just released, the next move is to find effective ways to communicate these important recommendations to the general public. I know that there are plenty of people that had no idea that we've had a new food pyramid since 2005…kind of scary. We're in a booming age of technology which provides an excellent opportunity to communicate nutrition through social media such as Twitter and Facebook or applications for smartphones and tablets.
I was delighted to discover Apps for Healthy Kids, a part of the Let's Move! campaign sponsored by the USDA. This program awarded monetary prizes to drive the innovation of games and tools (like smartphone applications) to get kids to eat better and be more physically active. Take some time to check out the winners, and this is a perfectly valid excuse to play computer games. However, if you are too “mature” for these, there are many free and cheap interactive nutrition and exercise tools available as smartphone applications. A wealth of information is literally at the tip of our fingers with an “app for everything.” I'm a fan of free, and the Daily Burn and Nike Training Club apps available on Itunes are just a couple of my personal faves. What are some of your favorite health apps?
We are just scratching the surface of technological tools we can use to help people learn about nutrition and stay on track with their health and fitness goals. However, the future launch of Autom, a robotic weight-loss coach, just might be a little more technology than nutrition needs. Robots can vacuum my floors and roam around Mars, but I don't think they can replace a health professional. As cool as it would be to have a robot, it can't provide the personalized nutrition information and help that a professional can. I also found it a little unsettling that a major insurance company will be sponsoring the pilot program and they are hoping to eventually have this robot be able to talk about Type II diabetes and other chronic diseases. What do you think about this new robot weight-loss coach? Am I just paranoid after seeing I, Robot?
Ok, so robots will probably not take our jobs or take over the world. However, this robot weight-loss coach should be a motivator for nutrition professionals to become tech savvy and take advantage of technological tools to communicate nutrition to the public. Food models and pictures of exercises might not be able to capture people's attention anymore. We need all the tools we can get, and the technology is there, so let's use it!