• Sunday, June 26, 2022

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New app to help people eat better and exercise more

From January next year a pilot scheme will see users wear wrist-worn devices that can generate personalised health recommendations. (iStock Image)

By: Sattwik Biswal

A new app to help people make positive changes to their diet and physical activity will launch next year, the UK government has announced.

From January 2022, a pilot scheme will see users wear wrist-worn devices that can generate personalised health recommendations, such as increasing their step count, eating more fruits and vegetables and decreasing portion size.

Users will collect points for these healthy behaviours, which will unlock rewards including Menopause gym passes, clothes or food vouchers and discounts for shops, cinema or theme park tickets.

Following a competitive tender process, HeadUp has been chosen to deliver the new scheme, with £3 million also coming from the Department of Health and Social Care to provide incentives.

Evidence suggests that financial incentives can improve rates of physical activity and inspire healthier eating. The government is committed to helping people lead healthier, happier lives by making it easier for people to make healthy choices.

Health secretary, Sajid Javid said: “I want to ensure we’re doing as much as we can to tackle health disparities across the country, and this new pilot will pave the way for developing innovate ways to improve the lives of individuals, and also help to reduce strain on the NHS.

“The Office of Health Improvement and Disparities is driving forward our levelling up agenda for health and ensuring prevention is a vital part of everything we do.

“This pilot is an excellent opportunity to find how best to inspire people to make small changes to their daily lives that will have a lasting positive impact on their health.”

The Health Incentives Scheme was announced as part of a £100 million package of government support to help those living with obesity to move closer towards a healthier weight and give them the tools they need to maintain it.

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