New App Counts Calories Through Photos Of Food

MealSnap uses a database of 500,000 food items to calculate calories.

Want to know how many calories you are going to consume when you reach for that cheese burger or slice of pie? Take a picture of it using your iPhone. A new app called MealSnap allows users to photograph food and get the calorie count.

"We've heard from members over the years that calorie counting can be time consuming and harder for some of our users to sustain over time," said the developer DailyBurn's CEO Andy Smith in a press release.

"We knew we had to come up with a solution - one that provides people the simplest way possible for them to become aware of what they put into their body and understand their daily consumption."


The solution is this: Users snap a picture of their meal and within minutes the photo is matched to a MealSnap database of 500,000 food items. The app then sends a alert with a range of calories for the photographed food.

Bacon, eggs and hashbrowns? You'll be taking in between 290 to 436 calories. Mixed salad with goat cheese? That'll cost you 330 to 495 calories. You may be better off with roasted red peppers and toast for 111 to 166 calories.

"The database can quickly help identity the food, how many calories there are, proteins, fat, carbs, vitamins, whatever you may want to know," Smith was quoted saying by Reuters. "Users can then choose to share what they've eaten on Twitter or FourSquare, leading to social accountability."

As well, MealSnap can act as a food diary. Once the app is installed, users can browse the photo log and visually keep track of their diet. MealSnap is available on iTunes for $2.99.

Photo: Imagemore Co., Ltd./Corbis