Health App Review: Dietary Guidelines for Indians

Not very long ago, we wrote a review for the NHP Swasth Bharat App. This time, we review the ‘Dietary Guidelines for Indians’ android app, also an official governmental resource. The content is created by the Indian Institute of Nutrition – Hyderabad, a premier research institute under the Indian Council of Medical Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare; and the app is developed by C-DAC Hyderabad. It is available for free from Google Play Store.

What we found in this app?
It is the best starter pack for those looking to delve into diet and nutrition consciousness without going very technical. There are the national dietary guidelines, explained in a very simple uncomplicated language. Though created for Indians, it is fairly generalised in nature, so that everybody can surely give them a read atleast once.

The Dr. Herbz review goes as follows –

Name: Dietary Guidelines for Indians
Developed by: Indian Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad (under ICMR)
Platform: Android (Version 2.3+)
Size: 6.39 MB
Permissions: No special permissions required.
Intended user: common public, semi-skilled health workers.
Interface language: English.
Maturity level: 3+ on Google Play.

Navigation:
Menus and the whole app in general, is as simple as it gets. On starting, we are presented with a splash-screen that is replaced by a scrollable main menu showing titles of the guidelines, 15 in all, preceded by a short introduction .

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Tapping any of the titles leads into the content index of that guideline, from where you can go into reading each topic in detail. The rest is self-explanatory. Here are some screenshots.

What we felt of this app?
This app is a GREAT resource for people having little or no science education beyond high-school. It is an especially good read for the homemakers who want to provide the best nutrition to their family through food in a typical Indian setting. Most specific dietary groups have also been given attention, and overall topic organization is great. Topics are summarized at the end of every guideline in ‘Points to Ponder’ section. The only noticeable negative point we found was, technical terminology being used at some places without explaining the meanings adequately.

We also felt that the content writers could easily have included a bit more numbers in the info, without overwhelming the readers. The app makes a good go-through for professionals too, refreshing and updating the knowledge here and there.

One feature that we especially liked was the font size adjustment toolbar on the reader page. This small facility, usually neglected by app-makers, makes a huge difference for the elderly and/or weak-sighted people, who turn their backs to informative reader apps because of that single reason.

So that’s quite all of it.
To summarize –

Pros
* Simple, uncomplicated language.
* Useful to all age and diet groups.
* Well organized authentic info.
* Good visual accessibility.
* Works offline, small app size.

Cons
* Could have used more numbers and charts.
* Technical terms are used without explaining at some places.
* Available only in English, when the target user base is better comfortable with Hindi or regional languages.

Bottom line
The app is a great resource to learn the basic A-to-Z of diet and nutrition for everybody. Also a good reference for health staff and professionals.

Our Rating
The app is great (and more importantly, authentically safe) for civilians. What could be even better is that the IIN make another sister app meant for healthcare practitioners. That could be a pivotal turn towards open-sourcing in Indian public healthcare.
For now, our rating goes –
****°
4/5

Google play store download page link
Dietary Guidelines for Indians

Don’t forget to share your own reviews and ideas for the app in comments. They mean a lot to us.

Stay healthy, stay happy!

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About the Author
Dr. Harshad Rajandekar is a practising physician based out of Nasik (India), licensed in Ayurvedic, modern and Integrated systems of medicine. He has special interest in tracking latest innovations and developments making the delivery of healthcare efficient and affordable for all. His online/offline consulting info can be read here. Brief health queries can be asked here.

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