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SuperTracker – USDA’s new app. brings together big data to help you get healthy

SuperTracker is the new app. for USDA. It allows individuals to track their food intake in the dietary guidelines put out annually by the USDA.

Dr. Robert Post is the Deputy Director for the Center Nutrition Policy and Promotion at the USDA. He and his team are also finalists for the ACT- IAC Excellence.Gov Awards. You can check out all the winners here.

He told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program that the app takes the science behind the guidelines and makes it interactive and personalized so that people can determine what to eat, how much to eat and make their choices so that they are healthy and physically active.

“So far more than 2 million people have downloaded the app since it was created back in 2011,” said Post.

How it Works

“It was created alongside the My Plate initiative. It was built off of previous apps from the USDA that were related to the food pyramid. We also learned what makes engagement instinctive and intuitive is online resources,” said Post.

  • Developed high level requirements.
  • Developed wire frames.
  • Completed a user evaluation.
  • Created different tiers of use.
  • Rigorious user testing.
  • Software development.
  • Beta testing.

“We learned through personalized nutrition that consumers are looking for something that is easy to use, doesn’t involve a detailed information dump to get started and can build a deeper and more intense experience as you go,” said Post.

Food-A-Pedia

“There are a variety of resources that are part of the SuperTracker. The biggest is probably Food-A-Pedia. You can look up nutritional information for over 8,000 foods and do a side by side comparison to determine which foods really fit your needs,” said Post.

Measure Success?

“The big metric for us is the awareness factor. The analytics give us a level of penetration in terms of social media. We know for example that the My Plate initiative created 2 billion media impressions. Overtime we will be measuring perception and the consumer’s intent to change,” said Post.

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