By Alexandra Burlacu | Dec 07, 2012 10:07 AM EST
FoodCalc Inc. announced the launch of its new EveryoneEat! app for Android and iOS, enabling people with chronic diseases to make better meal decisions.
As many as 150 million Americans are struggling with chronic diseases, and millions more are at risk. EveryoneEat! aims to help those people make informed meal decisions at 180,000 restaurant locations across the U.S.
Nearly half of the people in the U.S. are suffering from nutrition-related conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and numerous other conditions, according to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Based on the National Restaurant Association's assessments, 47 percent of all dining occurs in restaurants. This means that people suffering from those chronic diseases are spending significant amounts of money dining out, without being able to receive proper nutrition guidance at all times.
Nutrition information is almost never provided to diners, at least not in the context of their specific health conditions. To deal with this issue, people have to perform complex calculations to determine whether a dish is suitable for their dietary restrictions. EveryoneEat! is designed to fill that gap and deliver proper nutritional guidance for specific dietary guidelines, based on an individual's personal health profile, condition, and disease stages.
The app is available for both iOS and Android, and it's fairly easy to use. After downloading the app, users need to enter their basic information - gender, age, height, weight, activity level - and their chronic health conditions and dietary limitations.
FoodCalc uses that information to calculate a proper dietary guideline, determined in collaboration with renowned health associations, including the American Diabetes Association, the National Kidney Foundation, the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and many others. The app performs the analysis instantly, and users can immediately search for meals at nearby restaurants based on their needs.
The app sorts the dishes in question based on how closely they match the user's dietary restrictions. EveryoneEat! also provides "Nutrition Insights," as FoodCalc calls it, a comprehensive overview of the dish at a nutrient level, laid out in an easy-to-understand manner and attuned to the user's specific health condition.
When a nutrient level has too many carbs, too much sodium, phosphorus, or is in other way inappropriate, the app provides the user with special context for how the dish compares to a meal actually suited for their health condition.
"Today, there are dozens of 'nutrition' apps providing basic nutrition facts or generic health 'scores' for hundreds of restaurant chains. But for Americans with special dietary restrictions, it's unfortunately left to them to decipher the nutrition facts provided, in order to understand whether a dish is appropriate for the needs mandated by their specific condition," explained FoodCalc CEO Ken Marshall.
"What we recognize is that no matter how simple or complicated a dietary restriction, people need to easily answer the basic question, 'does this dish meet my dietary guidelines?', and if not, 'what's off and by how much?' EveryoneEat! addresses this need head on."
Furthermore, the app encourages users to "nominate" their favorite restaurants, so the company can then contact those venues and ask them to participate. EveryoneEat! also allows users to connect with registered Dietitians, be it their own or one in FoodCalc's network, to further personalize their dietary guidance.
"Web, mobile and social apps like EveryoneEat! are the future of diabetics," said Meri Raffetto, Registered Dietitian, author of Glycemic Index for Dummies and co-author of Restaurant Calorie Counter for Dummies. "To guide their journey of nutrition transformation, our patients and clients need us to provide guidance to them wherever they eat, and the level of personalization we are able to provide people through this app is absolutely unprecedented. Going forward, this type type of solution is oing to be our primary driver of patient and client coaching."