Need Some Cheer? Curious About Calories? There's An App For That

New apps promise to count any food's calories -- and supply you with a mood boost.

The holiday season is officially here -- a mostly happy time that can occassionally bring on a blah day. However, should I require an additional form of external, cell phone-related validation this year, I can log on to TrackYourHappiness.org. Created by Harvard researchers, the new iPhone app randomly contacts users, inquiring about their day and how they're feeling. Your responses are then logged and used to craft a personalized happiness report. The researchers recently published findings in the journal Science showing that 46.9 percent of TrackYourHappiness.org members were daydreaming when their iPhone checked in on them -- and those daydreamers were more likely to report feel unhappy.

And what about weight-loss apps? Oh, they've got you covered. Having trouble decoding the calories in those Christmas cookies? Japanese researchers are launching an application that will allow you to snap a picture of any food -- from donuts to sushi to airport fruit and yogurt parfaits -- and instantly tell you how many calories are hidden inside. Just don’t point and shoot it at that gross, congealed blob of goo your Aunt Sissy always plunks down on the Thanksgiving dinner table or your PDA may implode. Call me crazy but when I’m about to take down a Chicago-style stuffed deep dish, that is exactly when I don't want to be reminded of the fat bomb I’m about to launch on my thighs.

I’ve already wrote about my desire for apps that ID nearby stores with vanity sizing and help me steer clear of French fry houses; here are a few more I’d like to download:

This Model Was Obviously Airbrushed App You know those multicolored, stamp-sized tags some magazines are now using, that encourage you to snap a photo and be rewarded with all sorts of downloadable freebies, like movie trailers and coupons? We need one of those for models. Imagine a little symbol in the bottom right hand corner of the page that, when snapped, instantaneously reveals all of the artisan craftsmanship that went into making that model look so wrinkle-resistant and cellulite-free. (For instance, check out the dirty details on how Playboy models are handpainted to look like they do.)

Find My Flavor Fro Yo App Sometimes (OK, three times a week), I get a craving for cold, creamy, peanut butter frozen yogurt. Gourmet, it’s not, but I got hooked on it in high school and the synthetic taste reminds me of my youth. I only know of three local spots that are able to produce my icy crack on demand, but in a major metropolitan hub like Chicago, surely there must be more. This app would help me get my fix.

Sugar Me App Truvia, Stevia, Splenda, Sweet N Low….there are enough sugar substitute options to make a calorie-conscious girl’s head spin. Hit this button and you’ll learn about the science behind Aspartame, Sulacrose, and Acesulfame K – along with the Acceptable Daily Intake, as deemed by the FDA (Good news for diet soda fans: The FDA says you can down 18-19 cans of NutraSweet-enhanced soda per day and still be safe!)  Because not all artificial sweeteners are created Equal.

If you could create an app today, what would it be?
Chime in below!

 

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