Nutrition is often overwhelming and complex for adults, which is why children more often than not have a difficult time swimming through the sea of confusing ingredients and dietary requirements. Imagine having an app to not only make it easier to understand but also entertain the kid? In a strange and silly twist to teaching, the new app Fart Code is being used as a health and science tool to clearly communicate nutrition labels with humor and creativity.
After downloading the app, a scanner window pops onto the screen, which allows kids to scan any item in the grocery store. The app searches its database of food ingredients, calculates them, and highlights ones that are known to cause gas with an algorithm to determine the level of toxicity on a “fartometer.” It even simulates the digestive system’s response to gaseous foods with a corresponding fart noise and vibration. Once the ingredients are calculated, users can share their fart info through text messages and media posts, complete with a fart emoji symbol. Friends can pass on their farts, vibrations, sound simulations, and all.
“Learn about nutrition the rad way,” says the new Fart Code app video opener.
- Pick a food item
- Scan its bar code
- Discover its fart power
- Share the nutrition facts with friends
“It’s a fun and engaging way to get kids to think about what they are putting in their bodies,” Margaret Johnson, GS&P’s executive creative director, said on the company's website.
The agency GS&P BETA Group developed the group with the goal of promoting kid’s health education through entertainment. In the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents, which makes any type of health-conscious approach a positive and welcome innovation in our society.
It’s not just a fun learning tool at home, but schools in San Francisco, Calif., have signed their health classes up for the app. National teacher resources are even recommending the use of Fart Code to teach within their school’s networks.
“Eating foods that cause gas is the only way for the microbes in the gut to get nutrients,” Purna Kashyap, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., told NPR News. “If we didn’t feed them carbohydrates, it would be harder for them to live in our gut … a healthy individual can have up to 18 flatulences per day and be perfectly normal,” Kashyap said.
Top Five Flatulence Foods:
- Onions, artichokes, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage: The sugars, raffinose, and fibers in certain vegetables breakdown in the large intestines and cause gas.
- Prunes, apples, peaches, and pears: Sorbitol is a sugar inside each of these fruits and tends to cause excessive gas in the large intestine.
- Corn, certain breads, and potatoes: Wheat and starches that are high in carbohydrates release a lot of gas during the digestive process. Unlike, rice which is a non-gassy starch low in carbohydrates.
- Cheese, ice cream, and milk: Dairy products that contain lactose will be hard on the digestive system and highly gaseous for those who don’t have enough of the enzyme lactase.
- Beans: The infamous bean is known for causing gas because they are high in the gas-causing sugar, raffinose, and are also high in soluble fiber, another known flatulent.