Elementor #17212

Trace your food – Transform your community

Building smart food environments
for improved nutrition

There is more to malnutrition than the challenges of hunger. Did you know that also the fast-growing numbers of the obesogenic urban populations in the world often lack nutrients and count into the category of malnourishment? That is a major health risk and a preventable factor in our healthcare. Also, many unhealthy foods containing high amounts of fat, salt, and sugar have devastating effects on the natural environment and rest on the exploitation of cheap labor. Food is an essential element of human life since we all deal with it on a day-to-day basis. So, let us start a change here!

NutriAIDE – Building smart food environments for improved nutrition” is a transdisciplinary project, meaning a cooperation of scientists with actors from the private sector. Its main objective is to understand food consumption in urban India and to transform the food environments of middle-class consumers by means of a mobile application (app), called NutriAIDE®. By tracking their food choices, the users of this app can not only improve their personal health, but also transform their city and make it a better place in respect to sustainability and social equality.

About

NutriAIDE® is not just another calorie-counting app. It is rather a tool that helps users to reflect on their own eating habits and enables them to transform their personal behavior. Our take is to understand eating as a social practice that happens at certain places. Food cannot be reduced to calories alone! Instead, it involves parameters like macro- and micronutrients, quality and hygiene, and ecological footprints. At the same time, eating is not thinkable without its connections to culture and economy but is also related to personal moods and motivations as well as to social interaction.

NutriAIDE® empowers users to define their own diet-related interests and goals, to improve their personal health and to get into contact with other users to transform the food environments in their city. To put it differently, NutriAIDE® helps users to unlearn what available apps in the market have taught them. It provides them the unique opportunity for their minds and bodies to reconnect in ways that are good for personal health and for the planet.

Science is nearly as complex as reality itself. To understand food consumption in urban India, we work with the concept of food environments. Food environments are basically all those places, where people get into contact with food, be they kitchens, markets, canteens, restaurants, tea stalls, temples, or the doorstep where food is received from delivery services. Food environments are coined by public discourses, larger economic structures, and policies, while at the same time they exhibit individual differences that play out along the lines of age, gender, religion, income, education, attitude, and many more. For providing you an overview of the most important dimensions we consider, we have drawn the figure on the right.

We take the technical affinity of India’s urban population as entry point for positive change. Most Indians use smart phones on a regular basis to find restaurants, order food, or pay at the many food stalls along the streets. NutriAIDE® builds on this widely spread practice and enables users to make better choices when it comes to purchasing food and to eating. The app is convenient and easy to use, and the game-like design keeps users’ interest high over a preferably long time.

NutriAIDE® serves to reduce malnutrition, especially overweight and obesity, and contributes to reducing human diets’ ecological footprint and to fighting poverty. As such it helps meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), declared by the United Nations, especially SDG #3 “Good health and wellbeing”, but also SDG #1 “No poverty”, SDG #2 “Zero hunger”, SDG #11 “Sustainable cities and communities”, and SDG #12 “Responsible consumption and production”.

Our Team

Prof. Dr. Markus Keck

University of Augsburg

Merle Müller-Hansen

University of Augsburg

Prof. Dr. Melanie Speck

Wuppertal Institute for Climate Change

Lenna Hennes

Wuppertal Institute for Climate Change

Katharina Gröne

Wuppertal Institute for Climate Change

Dr. Hemalatha R

Dr. Hemalatha R Scientific advisor Hemalatha is the director of the ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, India. As medical doctor by training she plays a leading role in Indian…

Vineet Singh

Calvry Wellness Solutions

Ravinder Parashar

Calvry Wellness Solutions

Dr. Manjari Chandra

Dr. Manjari Chandra Consultant – Clinical Nutrition MANJARI CHANDRA is a Functional Nutritionist and practices Nutritional Medicine. She is the founder @ BONATRA and ManjariWellness. Besides being an…

Dr. Archana Konapur

Dr. Archana Konapur Project coordinator Dr. Archana is a project coordinator in NutriAIDE project at ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India. Her expertise lies in understanding the intricacies…

Dr. Bhavika Singhvi

Dr. Bhavika Singhvi Project field manager Dr. Bhavika is a Project Field Manager in the NutriAIDE project at ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India. She brings a wealth…

Dr. Nida Fatima Hazari

Dr. Nida Fatima Hazari Project field manager Dr.Nida is a Project Field Manager in the NutriAIDE project at ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India. She brings a unique…

Pooja Singnale

Pooja Singnale Junior researcher Pooja is a Junior Research Fellow in the NutriAIDE project at ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad. Recognized for her exceptional academic performance, she has…

Sanjana Apsingekar

Sanjana Apsingekar Project coordinator Sanjana Apsingekar is a Project Technical Officer in the NutriAIDE project at ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad. Her background in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics,…

Prashanth V

Prashanth V Project technical officer Prashanth, a Project Technical Officer at ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, holds a Master's in Social Work. He brings valuable expertise to NutriAIDE…

Sampath Chigurla

Sampath Chigurla Field invastigator Sampath is a Field Investigator in the NutriAIDE project at ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad. With a Masters in Social Work from Osmania University…

Jinkala Jayanth

Jinkala Jayanth Field invastigator Jayanth is a field investigator in the NutriAIDE project at ICMR- National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from…

Sandhya Darga

Sandhya Darga Project data entry operator Sandhya is a Project Data Entry Operator in the NutriAIDE project at ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad. With a master’s degree in…