As of June 30, 2018, SuperTracker fulfilled its mission. According to the USDA, “The private sector has launched many great tools that have a shared mission. It was time for us to discontinue SuperTracker in order to invest in more modern and efficient ways to help Americans find a healthy eating style that is right for them.” What was Supertracker and can personal trainers recommend instead?
What was Supertracker?
The USDA’s SuperTracker was launched in 2011. Its intention was to provide consumers with a comprehensive way to track nutrition and physical activity.
All user data previous entered in SuperTracker was purged and is not available to past users. However, there are other tools available for consumers to enjoy and for personal trainers to suggest to their clients.
While the discontinuation of SuperTracker as a service and database might be disappointing, it is also a positive sign that there are new and improved tools that were developed that encouraged this decision. This means we are coming further in our understanding of what consumers need and want in order to support a healthier lifestyle.
Other Tracking Options For Consumers
We can consider ourselves fortunate as fitness professionals to have numerous tools available to us to help our clients balance their nutrition and track activity. Here are some options to research and share with your clients.
MyFitness Pal is a free user-friendly app that allows users to track food and beverage consumption, monitor physical activity, set goals, and add recipes. It also includes a barcode scanner and a robust food item database.
This USDA-based website offers a version of personalized meal-planning based on age, sex, height, weight and physical activity level. This site also offers a wide variety of downloadable and/or accessible tools such as a body weight calculator, recipes, information on portion distortion. It’s free to consumers.
Developers of this app boast its easy, mindful, and motivating format for consumers. You Ate allows users to photograph meals and review patterns of eating and adjust based on a mindful vs. strict method of eating.
Meal Logger is a free app similar to You Ate in that it allows users to create and track a food photography journal. Users of this app can network with others on a journey to a healthier lifestyle as well as connect with professionals.
Fooducate is a fun and free app that uses a “grading” system for foods. The app helps consumers evaluate their food choices by giving food items scanned or entered a letter grade. Users have access to reputable resources and healthy recipes.
Consumers can access this site to create a personalized calorie and physical activity plan based on individual needs and goals.
This app uses a coach approach to guide consumers towards their goals. Users of this app can learn to beat cravings, create a unique avatar, and engage with their “coach”. This app is really fun and offers great motivational features.
Like other weight-loss apps, this one does a great job of helping users set a reasonable and realistic goal, track calories and physical activity and connect with a community for social support.
Users can browse an endless supply of research, information, and toolkits for a wide variety of nutrition-related topics.
This is USDA’s initiative to support child nutrition. Team Nutrition offers training grants, webinars, and informational packets focused on improving childhood nutrition.
The purpose of using an app or other similar tools to track nutrition and physical activity is not to establish restrictions but to create awareness about behaviors around food choices. The app should support – not detract – from the overall goal.
You and your clients have no shortage of nutrition resources available. Invest time in researching the nuances of each resource so that you can teach your clients and assist them in making an informed decision about the most effective and efficient tools that will support their quest for a healthier lifestyle.
Do you use any of these apps or have others to suggest not listed here that are a suitable alternative to Supertracker?