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The Next Healthier Shopping Tool You Wear on Your Wrist

A simple wristband can help grocery shoppers make healthy choices

The Lempert Report

Chris Toumazou, a professor of biomedical engineering, has created a simple wristband that uses a shopper's DNA to help them make healthy choices as they shop for groceries.

Lifestyle, he says, has a “huge impact” on many undiagnosed conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Changing behavior could save lives.

By analyzing the part of your genetic code and determining susceptibility to nutrition-related health conditions such as diabetes, DNANudge tells you which foods are best for you, and which you should avoid. The wristband scans barcodes and shows a green light if a product is OK and red if it may be harmful in the long run. The wristband's linked smartphone app suggests healthier alternatives when the red light comes on.

Toumazou also invented a microchip that can read an individual’s DNA from a simple mouth swab sample. It’s now used to upload a DNA profile to the new wristband—a process that takes an hour.

"We're not telling people they can't eat biscuits, that they should eat grapes. No, they can eat biscuits, but eat the better biscuits based upon your DNA and lifestyle," says Toumazou. "It's using biology to nudge and guide you to have a healthier lifestyle in the long term."

The device also helps to promote overall health by warning if you are inactive for too long. An orange light means it's time to get up and move about.

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