Now there’s no excuse for blowing your diet while out and about. About.com Health is launching Calorie Count Mobile, a free service that allows mobile users to receive nutritional data and ratings of more than 70,000 foods.
The mobile service is an extension of the company’s Website. It includes two parts: a WAP site and SMS. They complement each other, but About.com Calorie Counter directors found that some people are more comfortable using SMS than trying to access a mobile site. Information can be accessed by texting the word “food,” with the name of the food for which you want data, to 432584.
About.com had been looking at the mobile space for a while; the calorie counter is the first thing to go live. It’s one of those things that people are constantly checking, but they can’t always be in front of a computer when they’re getting ready to have lunch. “It was a natural fit,” said Erik Fantasia, a director of Calorie Count at About.com.
It can resolve a lot of bets on the spot, too, he says. When friends are mulling over how many calories are in a salad or fries, they can look it up. The database includes food at popular fast-food restaurants and ratings.
A text with the word “food mcdonalds” generates a return text message with “small French fries C- and medium French fries C-”. Texting “food mcdonalds cheeseburger” generates a message saying “double cheeseburger, 460 cal, Grade F.”
It’s apparent from the mobile searches that people are using the information to make decisions at restaurants, said Igor Lebovic, also a director of Calorie Count. On the Website, the searches are more aligned with the types of food you would find in a kitchen.