Spurred by the movement around self-tracking, there are apps that can track your steps, runs, and rides, but tracking what you eat still requires continuous input from the user. Food tracking apps and books have been around for a while now, but a start-up based out of Amsterdam, Foodzy is a web based app that lets players compare, compete, and cooperate to maintain a healthy lifestyle, lose weight, or keep track of diet and nutrition. The service launched into beta in April 2011, but recently opened up the game to the public.
The game is not for dieting, “Foodzy’s primary goal is not to be all about health or weight loss. Foodzy believes the best diet is to eat well, varied and enjoy food.” It approaches the problem of nutrition from a positive perspective, and largely assumes that if diet and eating habits are made fun and social, that they can improve organically. Foodzy founder, Marjolijn Kamphuis, told FastCompany, “By introducing game and social elements in your eating habits, we try to encourage people to maintain a healthy lifestyle over long term, and bring back the fun in enjoying food with friends.”
There are some elements that make Foodzy more intriguing than many of the other options for tracking nutrition. Similar to Weight Watchers, Foodzy uses its own points, called bits, that are tied to calories but take into account age, height, and gender in order compare evenly across users. One bit loosely corresponds to 20 calories. But Foodzy also allows users to input their own product profiles and compare diets between players. It makes daily meals into a much more social event by allowing friends to share the information, no matter if they are dining at the same table or not.