USDA Offers Free Food Nutrient Info DB
PDA owners with a mind for healthy eating can now pull out their stylus and start pointing their way to nutritious food choices. A handheld version of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Nutrient Database listing more than 6,000 food items is now available for download free of charge for Palm OS devices. The searchable nutrient database program will soon be available for download onto personal computers as well.
HealtheTech, Inc., of Golden, CO and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) announced the new capability this week at the American Dietetic Association's annual conference in Philadelphia. The software package has been made available for download from the Internet to users through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between HealtheTech and ARS Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville, MD.
"It's nutrition in your pocket, at home or at work," Phyllis Johnson, director of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, which manages the nutrient database, said in a statement. And it is available to consumers free-of-charge, as an "e-government service," she added.
"Easy access to nutrient information on thousands of foods provides a new tool to help consumers follow a healthy diet," USDA Secretary Ann M. Veneman said in a statement. "Consumer information and education about healthy lifestyles and diets will help advance President Bush's Healthier US initiative."
Assembled by food groupings, the searchable program will allow users to browse a given category by scrolling through foods listed alphabetically. Another option of the program is the "portion modifier" feature. The searchable software program and database-in-one provides information on about 30 nutrients for each food listed in a highly portable and easy-to-access format, just be careful not to spill your lunch on your PDA.
Users can visit this site to download the program. The download takes less than 30 seconds and requires 2 MB of free memory on your handheld. Mac users are instructed to email the lab at firstname.lastname@example.org for the installation files.
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