While you can find an app for just about anything you want to track or organize… they are not all created equal. University of Missouri Extension has some tips to help you make SMART choices when selecting health and nutrition apps.
S: What is the source of the app? Is it a research-based source like a University or at least a non-biased organization? You can learn more about an app if it has a website associated with it. Look for things like or contradicting health information and incorrect grammar to indicate poor quality.
M: Does the app meet your needs? If you are tracking food, is the database of foods large enough to reflect the types of foods you eat? If recipes are part of the app, do they reflect the types of food you like to prepare and eat? Do you have the equipment the health app is requiring?
A: What actions will you take? Does the app require you to track something, or maybe encourage social media as a source of support? Does the app provide useful information?
R: What do the reviews say? Take some time to carefully review an app before you download it. What do the professional organizations have to say? Is the app user-friendly? For registered dietician reviews on nutrition apps, check out the Visit the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
T: Do you have the time? If the app requires tracking, is this something you will take time to do?
Check out this list of suggested apps from Extension research professionals in Missouri and Iowa. Before you spend your time and phone storage space, make sure the app is a SMART choice for you and your health goals.
Written by: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County
Reviewed by: Joanna Rini, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Medina County
Photo credit: Fairleigh Dickinson University