NutraCheck: A UK weight loss app to rival MyFitnessPal?
Posted Oct 05 2013 3:31am
NutraCheck App for iOS7
NutraCheck is an online food and exercise diary, also available as an app. Many studies have shown that tracking your food and exercise is the way forward to losing weight and also cleaning up bad habits. NutraCheck stands out for having a photo database of 100,000 UK foods and drinks that you can manually search or lookup using the app's barcode scanner. I also like the way it tally's up your 5 a day (app and website) and alcohol units (on the website).
You can weigh in using the app and site and choose to have a 'live weigh-in' along with other members of the site, like a virtual WeightWatchers meeting. There's also a community section with a forum for advice, moans and inspiration and lots of resources written by NutraCheck's team of nutritional fitness and medical experts.
In terms of rivalling the incredible popular and international MyFitnessPal, NutraCheck has quite the challenge. The online photo database of food and the 5 a day counting are it's main individual features, along with it's extensive resources and the forum available through the app (one thing the MFP app is missing!).
However, there's still a lot of food missing from the database, requiring extensive user input, which'll hopefully lessen over the course of loads of new members and it's oddly focused on only calories and a fat, which as we know, there's a lot more to nutrition that one macro nutrient (protein and carbs anyone?)
I'm uncomfortable with it's grouping of saturated fat in with the far healthier mono and poly unsaturated fats and I also feel tracking fibre, salt and sugar are very important, particularly for western diets which are typically lacking in sufficient fibre and have far too much salt and sugar. Perhaps that's jut me, after the last few years of really focusing in on my nutrition which I feel is important for overall health rather than weight loss alone.
A major barrier to this app's success is the price. After a 5 day free trial which limits you to logging only 5 foods a day (I eat more than that in one meal!), the app and site then requires you to subscribe at a rate of around £15 for two months. Although this is cheaper than WeightWatchers, it's very expensive in comparison to 100% free and extensive MyFitnessPal.
I feel this app has potential with it's qualified team's advice, but it needs to drop the subscription based price tag, (perhaps swapping to in-app advertising for it's income), extend it's nutritional tracking features and also introduce a friending feature so that you can build a more exclusive support network on the site rather than having to utilise the forums and live weigh in features for this support.
Conversely, it would be great to see MyFitnessPal take some tips from this app and include the 5-a-day fruit & veg tracking feature as well as the alcohol units tracker. MFP users have been asking for these features for a very long time now!