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New site to help consumers make healthy choices.

18 August 2011 - 09:46 by Sarah Collinson

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A website is being created by Unilever to aid UK consumers when they are buying groceries via online shopping. It will not compare prices across various stores, but instead compare products and choose the items that are better for your body.

Healthy lifestyle promotion is big business, with the obesity epidemic threatening a generation of youngsters and many families looking to improve their diets and increase exercise levels to avoid dangerous diseases in the future.

The new site that will hopefully help in this quest is called smartswaps.co.uk and it takes advantage of complex algorithms to analyse your typical weekly shopping list and then pick out the items which could be exchanged for goods that will be healthier.

It has taken two years for this project to come to fruition and the good news is that it is compatible with a number of major UK retailers, including Tesco, which means you can carry out safe shopping online without having to jump through hoops to make the best choices for your family.

Unilever has been keen to point out that the site is not linked to any one supermarket chain, which should give it a degree of objectivity when selecting products. However, there will be a partnership with spread firm Flora, which itself has made clear that there will be no bias towards its own products when using the service.

There is no doubt that even with all the new labelling standards and calorie indications, picking up food that is good for you can be a complex chore, particularly if you do not have much time on your hands. Using the power of e-commerce and clever programming to eliminate the things that are a little too full of saturated fats and E numbers seems like a sensible move.