Pennington Biomedical Research Center will work with a Boston-based start-up on a project that could, if funded, help prevent and reduce obesity among teens in low-income neighborhoods.
The “Help Fight Teen Obesity” project, launched by Bon’App on Indiegogo, will put smartphones preloaded with the app in the hands of kids who could not otherwise afford the devices, according to the start-up.
The app will allow kids to easily find out what’s in their food in a language they understand, according to Bon’App. The app is text- or voice-powered so kids can say “Pizza Hut” and their phones will instantly show the calories, bad fat, sugar and salt in every slice of pizza at the restaurant.
Pennington and Boston Children’s Hospital will work with Bon’App to create customized health messages that will be sent to the teens to help guide them toward healthier choices.
“We’re excited to partner with Bon’App on this research that can benefit not only Louisiana’s children and youth but also many communities nationwide,” Pennington Executive Director Steve Heymsfield said in a news release.
Bon’App is seeking donations and wants to raise at least $15,000 for the project. That amount would enroll at least 120 teens. But Bon’App hopes to raise up to $1 million, which would enroll up to 12,000 teens.
Laurent Adamowicz, Bon’App founder and chief executive officer, said the company is seeking donations from the public because the firm couldn’t get government grants to fund the project.