June 2, 2013
Google Adds Nutritional Information To Their Search Engine Results
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
People who are health conscious, on special medical diets, or just trying to lose a few pounds will soon have a new weapon in their arsenal thanks to Google, who has unveiled plans to add the nutritional information of more than 1,000 different food types to their search engine results.
Furthermore, a Google spokesperson told Samantha Murphy of Mashable that drinks will also be included, and that users could “compare types of avocados or English muffins” if they wanted to.
The information will be presented in a box located above the search results, no there will be no scrolling necessary. The feature will also support voice commands on mobile devices, Murphy noted.
“This new nutritional information builds on our work on the Knowledge Graph, which brings together all kinds of information from across the web that wasn't easily accessible,” Google Product Manager Ilya Mezheritsky explained in a May 30 blog post. “The graph helps us connect things that are related, even in cases when those foods have a completely different sounding name from what you asked.”
The feature was launched in English shortly after the announcement and should be rolling out over the next week or so, Mezheritsky said. Google is also promising to add additional features and more types of food or drinks in the near future, and also has plans to make the feature available in other languages.
“Anything that makes healthy choices even easier gets a gold star in our book,” said Sophia Breene of the health and fitness website Greatist.com. Breen said that the information provided by Google comes directly from the US Department of Agriculture, making it “pretty legit,” but added that “the database does have some legitimate limitations: It doesn´t list specific brand-name foods like a Big Mac or a KIND bar, and 1,000 items is pretty minimal.”
In fact, she said, Google´s offering has far less data than many commonly used food-tracking websites, “but therein lies the distinction: Google´s growing array of nutritional information is not supposed to replace fitness trackers. It´s meant to be a tool to help people make healthier choices via speedy data so they can compare food items (and pick the smartest option) quickly.”