August 24, 2018: FoodSwitch USA: A Mobile Platform for Packaged Food Surveillance and Behavioral Research (Mark Huffman, MD, MPH)


Mark Huffman, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Medicine-Cardiology
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine


FoodSwitch USA: A Mobile Platform for Packaged Food Surveillance and Behavioral Research


FoodSwitch app; Mobile platform; Behavioral research; Packaged food surveillance; Crowdsourcing; Food supply; One Brave Idea; Community engagement; Health research; Food labeling

Key Points

  • FoodSwitch USA is a mobile platform that uses crowdsourcing for packaged food surveillance and can be used for behavioral research.
  • Crowdsourcing can be used to generate ideas, improve data collection, and enhance community engagement in health research.
  • The Global Food Monitoring Group brings together data on nutritional information for processed foods and can be used to drive national and international improvements in the food supply. There are 31 countries involved, with two-thirds representing lower to middle income countries.

Discussion Themes

There are hopes that FoodSwitch USA will eventually be classified as a mobile medical app by the FDA because the goal is to prove that if the application is used, it can help people lower their blood pressure by reducing their salt intake.

The FoodSwitch USA project is in the early stages of community engagement. There are current efforts to increase media exposure so that more are aware of the application and its benefits. The benefits include an easier sign up process, no “up-selling” to a premium model, and no linkage to any profit-driven interests.

 Crowdsourcing data “noise” can be reduced at the Label Insight level. Learn more about Food Switch USA and Label Insight.



@Mark_Huffman, @NUFeinbergMed, #MobilePlatform, #pctGR, #OneBraveIdea, #processedfoods, #communityengagement, #healthresearch, #crowdsourcing

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