As a health coach, we do not diagnose, treat, or prescribe. However, the health coach does have the duty to be familiar with resources related to general health and wellness. One such resource is the MyPlate Supertracker. When stumbling upon choosemyplate.gov, one can see that many resources at your fingertips, all for free. Perhaps the most beneficial to the general public is the Supertracker. This app allows individuals to track their food intake over time and observe patterns in eating, as well as get complex printouts of nutrient intakes. This is useful to take to a professional for interpretation, plus it’s free. Another great feature of Supertacker is that it has personalization options for children and pregnant women.
The Supertracker app will be discontinued on June 30th, 2018. This announcement is in big, bold lettering across the Supertracker homepage. When investigating why Supertracker is being discontinued, the answer given by the USDA is simple:
“The private sector has since launched many great tools that have a shared mission. It is time for us to discontinue SuperTracker so that we can invest in more modern and efficient ways to help Americans find a healthy eating style that is right for them”
Right! Private enterprise or the “backbone of America” will fill in this gap. So if our clients are left to find their own resources, what other resources are available according to the USDA?:
“There are also a variety of websites and mobile apps available for tracking your food, activity, and weight. We recommend an Internet search to find the tool that is right for you.”
The internet is a great tool. However without the backing of the USDA, a trusted government entity, a client may not have the consumer skills to identify trusted, reliable sources. Furthermore, consumers with lower health literacy may struggle finding valid sound info versus websites selling “fools gold”. A current Google search of the terms “food tracker” yield a top 5 results related all to the Supertracker. Come June 30th these “variety of websites” will be gone.
The USDA is discontinuing MyPlate Supertracker in favor of private enterprise, with no reasonable substitute in the foreseeable future. This will leave our clients without a source of personalized wellness and a major referral resource for the health coaches out of commission.