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Scanning barcodes while shopping could be good for the health

A Victoria University researcher is investigating whether consumers will make healthier food choices if they scan nutrition barcodes while shopping.

Carla Battaglia, a nutritional therapist at VU’s St Albans Campus, is conducting an eight-week study to see if participants will modify their choices on breads, breakfast cereals, and biscuits once they learn how much salt and saturated fat they contain.

Participants will use mobile phone cameras linked to a database of nutritional information, and also keep food diaries.

“Many people find it difficult to make the correct dietary choices to help prevent or even reduce high blood pressure,” she said.

“Enabling people to scan food products in the supermarket to get nutritional information related to their requirements can help them make an informed health choice prior to purchasing.”

Overweight men and women between the ages of 40 and 60 concerned about high blood pressure are invited to participate in the study.

The technology for the project was developed by GS1 Australia, and international software companies, Acratus and Qsn Technologies.

A jpeg photograph of Carla demonstrating the technology in a supermarket is available.

Contact:

Carla Battaglia, Nutritional Therapist, Victoria University

Mob: 0401 190 221 or carla.battaglia@live.vu.edu.au.

Media Contact: Ann Marie Angebrandt, Media Officer
Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University
Ph: (03) 9919-5487

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