Moving America Forward

The Ability to Fight Hunger and Obesity is Right at Your Fingertips

October 6, 2014
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The Ability to Fight Hunger and Obesity is Right at Your Fingertips
The Foodtweeks app encourages users to consume fewer calories by giving alternative choices to their food choices. Calories not consumed are donated to food banks. Foodtweeks

How many times have you heard someone proclaim that they’re going on a diet? When this declaration is made, the person usually sticks with a few weeks, but then becomes bored with the food selection and falls off the wagon.

Well, one man thinks he may have found the solution to this dilemma and our country’s hunger problem at the same time. It’s called FoodTweeks and it’s an app that donates your “saved” calories to a local food bank.

America is a giant paradox when it comes to food: More than 200 million people overweight and obese, yet at the same time, another 49 million go hungry. After doing research about both topics , the idea for FoodTweeks popped into founder Evan Walker’s head.

“Two years ago, a small team of us were trying to figure out how we could get 50 million Americans — the approximate number you would need to have any meaningful change in the country— to have an easier and more successful time of managing their weight,” Walker explains. “Diets are not sustainable, and most people go running from food that has the label ‘healthy’ attached to it.”

So, how is this one app going to solve both problems? Well, every time a person eats something (whether it’s at home or at a restaurant) they log the food item into FoodTweeks. It then suggests ways to make the meal a little healthier, and the consumer can choose the most appetizing alternative.

After a selection is made, FoodTweeks calculates how many calories are saved for that meal. For every 600 calories saved, the app donates a meal of that caloric amount to a local food bank.

“Millions of families do not have reliable access to nutritious food. In a serendipitous twist, it turns out that addressing both of these problems at the same time is easier than dealing with them individually,” Walker says. “Turning our users’ actions into donations encourages them to continue making their calorie-reducing changes.”

Helping a person in need might just be that extra motivation that most of us need.

MORE: Are Marketing Tricks the Secret to Making Healthier Choices?

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