The USDA announced a decision to discontinue the SuperTracker as of June 30, 2018. Here is what you need to know and what you can use instead.
Since its inception in 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) SuperTracker website has been a valuable resource for 27 million users, as it offered tools for tracking food and physical activity to be used in pursuit of achieving a healthier lifestyle. Earlier this year, the USDA announced a decision to discontinue the SuperTracker as of June 30, 2018. The decision to discontinue this service was made so that efforts could be shifted toward the creation of modern and more efficient ways to support Americans in adopting a healthy eating style. To find out more about this decision, please visit Super Tracker discontinuation frequently asked questions (FAQs). Considering this change, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) will be removing all references to the SuperTracker from its print and online resources and is recommending the use of the National Institute of Health’s bodyweight planner. Use of the bodyweight planner allows individuals to make personalized physical activity and calorie plans to reach or maintain a goal weight within a specific amount of time and then sustain it afterward.
While the bodyweight planner is a great tool for determining caloric needs based on current or planned activity levels and weight-related goals, it does not include all the features that SuperTracker offered. Currently in the private sector, there can be found many tools with a shared mission of allowing users to track food and physical activity in support of a healthier lifestyle. One such tool that can be used in place of SuperTracker is Myfitnesspal, which allows users to track food and exercise, join an online community, and obtain relevant content through blog articles. Myfitnesspal has over 5,000,000 food items in its data base, which allows users to quickly find items they consume and add them to their diary. Myfitnesspal users begin by creating a personalized diet and fitness profile, which the app uses to generate fitness and nutrition goals. Once a profile is complete, the user can begin logging exercise activities and food intake into his or her personal exercise and food diary, respectively.
Although there are many tools available for tracking food and physical activity, it is important to find one that best suits you and your clients’ unique needs. If you had made a practice of referring clients to the SuperTracker tool as way to support their health-related goals, it will be important to have alternate recommendations for them once this service ends. Also, it may be helpful to familiarize yourself with some useful facts about the discontinuation of SuperTracker and what the changes may mean for your clients.
Below is a list of some common questions your clients may have. More information can be found at SuperTracker discontinuation frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What does this change mean for current SuperTracker users?
After June 30, 2018, the SuperTracker website will no longer be available. After this time, you will not be able to access the website for any reason, including retrieving previously entered data. User’s account information will no longer be available in any format after June 30, 2018.
Am I able to export my data?
Several reports can be created that contain meal summaries, food groups, calories, physical activity, and other data. Those reports can be exported in multiple file formats for saving or printing.
What are other resources available to track my food and activity?
In addition to Myfitnesspal, the MyPlate Checklist Calculator can be used to determine an appropriate calorie level based on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level. Used in conjunction with the MyPlate Daily Checklist, users are given a printable list of food-group serving recommendations. This feature shows what and how much to eat from the foods groups within your specific calorie allowance.
What will happen to data previously entered into SuperTracker?
All accounts and user data will be purged in their entirety after June 30, 2018. No previous data will be available and the data will not be preserved nor distributed in any format.
Who can I contact for more information?
Please email the USDA with any other questions you may have related to the discontinuation of the SuperTracker website at SuperTrackerHelp@cnpp.usda.gov.