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iPhone App Review: Healthy U

iPhone App Review: Healthy U

January 28th, 2011 by

With the New Year well underway, it’s about time some of us get started on our resolutions. In an unscientific poll that I just made up, 75% of New Year’s resolutions involve fitness: getting in shape, losing weight, eating better foods, etc. There are no shortage of fitness apps in the App Store, but there is one new entry called Healthy U that aims to educate you on eating right and even help you develop a personalized meal plan.

How It Works

Healthy U starts with a main menu that sets itself apart from other apps by being unique without sacrificing usability. You have essentially three choices (not including the “Help” option, which basically just has links for sharing the app, rating on the app store, and visiting the app’s website).

Nutrition Tools takes you to a list of things intended to help you make better choices about eating. Things like general guidelines on what the color of a food means, what things you can substitute for that doughnut or danish, help with estimating serving sizes, and suggestions on overcoming barriers to good eating. There is a wealth of information here that’s worth a good reading straight through.

Nutrition Facts shows you a sample nutrition label. It’s interactive, so touching a section of the label brings up a screen telling you how to interpret the data presented. If you’re someone who thinks that a nutrition facts label may as well be written in an alien language, this is a good place to start.

The final option on the main screen is to Create A Meal Plan, where you can input several different personal factors about yourself and be presented with a full eating plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Pros And Cons

One thing I want to stress about Healthy U is how well the entire app has been designed. The screens are attractive and easy to read, you’re never more than one click away from the top-level menu, and the information itself is presented clearly and concisely, without being overly simplistic.

To be sure, all of the information presented in this app is available online, in greater detail, from any number of free sources. What the developers of Healthy U have done well is take the most useful information for someone interested in eating healthier and packaged it in a well-designed app for easy reference. The Color Information section alone is a beautifully compiled fruit-and-vegetable reference section that can be used as a handy guide when shopping in the produce section of your grocery store.

The only weakness the app has is something that has the potential to be its greatest selling point: the ability to create a meal plan. The drawback as it is currently is that not only does it not have a way to export or email the plan you’ve created, but it doesn’t even remember the selections you made when you created the meal plan in the first place. In other words, you have to build the plan anew each and every time you want to view it.

The way to improve this section of the app is to at the very least present us with the ability to email or copy and paste the text so that we can refer to it later without having to re-answer the questions again.


The bottom line is that this is a nicely formatted app full of very useful nutrition information. The Nutrition Tools section alone is a wealth of handy reference material, and if the developers can improve and expand upon the meal plan portion, then this app would become an indispensable part of anyone’s fitness app folder.

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