USDA SuperTracker


SuperTracker app: Healthier living through a data-driven diet

At a glance


U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services




To support implementation of new national dietary guidelines and tackle obesity.


Build an online, personalized tool to help people control their weight by balancing diet with exercise.

Obesity is at dangerous levels in the United States, contributing to an assortment of diseases and ailments that threaten to overwhelm an already stretched health care system. Health organizations are desperate to find ways to combat this epidemic, and to educate people on how to manage their weight.

In December 2011, the AgricultureDepartment’s Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services launched SuperTracker, an online tool aimed at helping people get a handle on their dietary needs. It also includes a way for them to track how much exercise they are getting, and provides an analysis of how effectively people are combining that with a proper diet.

SuperTracker, available at the USDA’s website, supports the department’s goal of taking new national dietary guidelines, published in January 2011, to as wide an audience as possible. It’s been phenomenally successful already. SuperTracker registered its 1 millionth user in early September, just nine months after its launch.

“It’s part of a very large effort to bring dietary guidelines into homes, schools, restaurants and supermarkets across the country,” said Robert Post, deputy director of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. “From previous tools, we learned a lot about consumer-friendly approaches, peoples’ motivation, their likelihood of being attracted and continued engagement with the tools.”

SuperTracker allows people to compare the nutritional information of over 8,000 foods and to receive recommendations on how much to eat and the amount of physical exercise they should be getting. It even provides personalized features such as goal setting, virtual coaching and writing daily journals. It draws on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines to help Americans make and assess daily healthy food and lifestyle choices.

 USDA SuperTracker team

(From left: Sarah Chang, Trish Britten, Jackie Haven, Robert Post, Mary Herrup, Angela Leone)

As a public-facing system, the USDA team based SuperTracker on Web 2.0 technologies such as Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, usually called AJAX, to make it as robust and dynamic as possible, including integration with social networking applications such as Facebook and Twitter. The content can also be updated in real time.

Future activities will be aimed at taking SuperTracker beyond the USDA website and incorporating it into other programs that deal with health and wellness. USDA already has been working with the Office of Personnel Management to use SuperTracker to promote wellness among workers in federal agencies.

Given its consumer orientation, the service has also been getting a lot of attention from other government agencies that are looking for ways to better engage with the public. “The level of personalization that comes with this tool is what other agencies are also looking to create as they build solutions for a world where such things as mobile devices and smart phones are becoming widespread,” Post said.

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Reader Comments

Sun, Jul 17, 2016 Eiffeltowergirl

I just started using supertracker this morning. I'm still learning how to navigate it, but it's really helping me limit the sugar and calories I eat and track my physical activity. I'm at the edge of the healthy weight for my age, and with the supertracker I'm hoping to get to the weight range that I'm more comfortable with.

Mon, Aug 10, 2015 Ronda Long Island, NY

I just started using supertracker today and I Love Love Love it. It does everything that I was trying to do on my own in less than half the time. It will definitely help me reach my goals. Setting it up isn't hard at all and as for the previous comment, you just have to go through the food list and if you still can't find it just add the recipe yourself and you will always have it. Thanks USDA, I love it.

Thu, Oct 25, 2012 Nina Rosser Ft. Washington

hi wat is the wesite adress gor super tracker

Mon, Oct 22, 2012

I tried to use this for over a month, and found it took too long to enter things. I had difficulty finding my foods in their lists. I finally gave up.

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