TEDMED owner launches app to tweak diets, donate to food banks

By Aditi Pai
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FoodtweeksStamford, Connecticut-based Walker Health Labs launched an app this week, called foodtweeks, that focuses on tweaking a user's daily meals so that they eat healthier.

“Eight hundred million times a day in America, weight-conscious individuals ‘tweek’ their food by making small changes that remove unwanted calories,” foodtweeks founder Jay Walker, who previously founded Priceline and also owns TEDMED, . “For example, they ask for less mayo, drink diet soda, or buy a low-fat dressing. But they don’t weigh food portions or count calories when they do it."

foodtweeks asks users to tell their app what they plan to buy or eat and the app will respond with suggestions of ways to tweak their meals so that they get rid of unnecessary calories. While people can tweak meals themselves, the app helps users remove enough calories to make a difference while still leaving the user full at the end of their meal.

Every time users takes a certain number of calories out of their diet, the company will donate the same amount of food to a local food bank. If users post each tweak on Facebook or Twitter, Walker Health Labs doubles the donation.

“For most people, just three tweaks a day is enough to make a positive impact on weight,” Elisa Shannon, foodtweeks Executive Vice President of Partnership Development said in a statement. “A couple of days of tweaking provides a full meal to a hungry family.”

The app's food database is crowdsourced and offers 44,000 suggested tweaks. Users can tweak meals they want to buy in a restaurant or a grocery store, but the database also provides suggestions for home-cooked meals.

Because foodtweeks is supported by advertisements, some of the tweaks will come from restaurants, grocery stores, and packaged food manufacturers along with coupons to those stores. The app will, in turn, send information to advertisers about what consumers buy, make, and eat.

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