The GOOD TUCKER app was developed by Uncle Jimmy Thumbs Up!, The University of South Australia and Menzies School of Health Research in partnership with The George Institute, to provide a simple way for people to identify the healthiest food and drink options available in stores.
Uncle Jimmy Thumbs Up! was established in 2007 by legendary Australian entertainer Dr. Jimmy Little AO with veteran musician and founding CEO Graham “Buzz” Bidstrup. The Thumbs Up! program uses music and new media to bring awareness of good nutrition and healthy lifestyle to Indigenous children living in regional and remote communities across Australia. Thumbs Up! engages with the whole of community, including traditional owner groups, schools, local food stores, health services and community groups.
The University of South Australia is Australia’s University of Enterprise. Our culture of innovation is anchored around global and national links to academic, research and industry partners. Our graduates are the new urban professionals, global citizens at ease with the world and ready to create and respond to change. Our research is inventive and adventurous and we create new knowledge that is central to global economic and social prosperity.
The Menzies School of Health Research is Australia’s leading medical research institute dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians. The Menzies nutrition program is dedicated to finding practical and innovative solutions to improving health through access to good food in remote Indigenous communities. Menzies continues to translate its research into effective partnerships and programs in communities across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.
Good Tucker – Long Life!
How it works
1. Scan the Barcode
2. Check the Thumb Rating
3.Look up a Non-packaged Product
How do I get the Good Tucker app?
iPhone1 users: Download Good Tucker from the App Store1, either online or on your device.
Android2 smartphone users: Download Good Tucker from Google Play2, either online or on your Android smartphone.
The app is free of charge. An internet connection (mobile/cellular data or Wi-Fi) is required to download it and to share information by social media and email. Standard usage charges may apply – check with your internet and mobile service providers for more information.
Once the Good Tucker app has been downloaded onto your phone you do NOT need to have phone or internet connection for it to operate. All information on products will be stored on the phone.
What devices does the Good Tucker app work on?
Good Tucker works on:
- Apple1 mobile devices that run on iOS version 7.0 or later that have a camera with auto-focus.
- Android2 smartphones running Android version 4.3 and above that have a camera with auto-focus.
Please note: If you’re using a smartphone or tablet without a camera capable of auto-focus, Good Tucker may not be compatible with your device. Without auto-focus, the pictures of the barcode may be blurry and Good Tucker may be unable to identify the product.
Why isn’t the app scanning the barcode?
If you’re having trouble scanning with a compatible device, here are some tips that may help you scan more easily:
- Shake or tap your phone to force the camera to auto-focus
- Try again in a different light setting to avoid glare and shadows
- Check the auto-focus capability of the camera. Try tapping on the screen at far and near objects to see if the focus changes
- Try holding the object further away from the camera and make sure it doesn’t fill the whole screen so that the auto-focus can find the barcode.
If you’re using a smartphone or tablet without a camera capable of auto-focus, Good Tucker may not be compatible with this device. Without auto-focus, the pictures of the barcode will be blurry and Good Tucker will be unable to identify the products.
Is Good Tucker available to anyone?
Good Tucker is free and available to everyone in Australia who uses an Apple1 or Android2 smartphone that supports the Good Tucker app!
Is the app free?
The app is free of charge and available to everyone.
Can I use the app outside Australia?
Currently, Good Tucker is only available in Australia.
Who do I contact if I have a question that hasn’t been answered here?
You can give feedback or ask a question by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
How are the Thumbs ratings determined?
The Thumbs rating used in the Good Tucker App are based on an algorithm that looks at the Health Star Rating (HSR) in conjunction with the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG) and Australian Bureau of Statistics definition of core and discretionary foods.
There are 4 different Thumbs ratings a product can receive. These include:
Double Thumbs Up: Foods score a HSR of 4.5 or higher and are classified as a core food as determined by ADG/ABS definition.
Thumbs Up: Foods score a HSR of 3.5 or 4.0 and are classified as a core food as determined by ADG/ABS definition.
Thumbs Sideways: Foods score a HSR of 3.5 or higher and are classified as a discretionary food as determined by the ADG/ABS definition; OR foods score a HSR of 3.0 or lower and are classified as a core food by the ADG/ABS definition.
Thumbs Down: Foods score a HSR of 3.0 or less and are classified as a discretionary food as determined by the ADG/ABS definition.
What is Core and Discretionary classification?
The Australian Dietary Guidelines describes discretionary foods as being: “foods and drinks not necessary to provide the nutrients the body needs, but that may add variety”. However, many of these are high in saturated fats, sugars, salt and/or alcohol, and are therefore described as energy dense. They can be included sometimes in small amounts by those who are physically active, but are not a necessary part of the diet. Some examples of these foods include sweet biscuits, cakes, desserts, processed meats, ice cream, confectionary, pastries, fried foods, chips, energy drinks and sugar sweetened soft drinks.
Core foods are foods that fit into the five food groups as defined by the Australian Dietary Guidelines. The five food groups include vegetables and legumes, fruit, grain (cereal) foods, lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans and milk, yoghurt cheese and/or their alternatives.
For information on recommended serves and serving sizes, please check the dietary guidelines. https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-dietary-guidelines-1-5
What if my product is not in the Good Tucker App?
As there are always new products coming on the market, and some products are only available in certain locations, it’s really important that users like you are able to help us update our list of food products. If you would like to see your favourite product in the Good Tucker App, please contact email@example.com. Alternatively you can use the FoodSwitch App. In using the FoodSwitch App, if you scan a packaged food product that isn’t in the database, you’ll be invited to take three photos – one of the front of the product, one of the nutrition label and one of the ingredient list. FoodSwitch will then automatically email these pictures to The George Institute to validate the item and add it to the database.
Please note that with users contributing hundreds of photos to the database every day, it can take some time for the product to appear in the FoodSwitch app. A series of quality control checks are also completed before listing products on the app. Here are some links to the FoodSwitch App:
Foodswitch for IOS:
FoodSwitch for Android:
What do I do if a product does not have a barcode?
Healthy fresh foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables or lean meats and seafood are a vital part of a nutritious diet. However, as they are typically not packaged and don’t have a nutrition information panel, they won’t have a Health Star Rating.
The focus of the Health Star Rating system is on processed packaged food and beverage products. However, to assist you with making decisions about non-barcode products we have allocated a Thumbs rating and simple messaging for fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meat and seafood and some takeaway foods. Please use the “Look it up” function to check the thumbs rating and message for these products. For specific guidelines and recommended servings for these products, please check the Australian dietary guidelines. https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-dietary-guidelines-1-5
What do the Thumbs ratings mean for the “Look it up” function?
For “Look it up” items the Thumbs ratings should be considered in combination with the messaging.
Double Thumbs Up: Products in this category are likely to be the best choice. The Australian dietary guidelines recommend enjoying a wide variety of products from this category. There are very few unhealthy options within this product category.
Thumbs Up: Products in this category are likely to be a good choice. The Australian dietary guidelines recommend enjoying a wide variety of products from this category. There may be less healthy options within this product category and these should be limited or avoided. The category message advises which foods to limit or avoid.
Thumbs Sideways: Products in this category will typically have healthier and less healthy varieties The Australian dietary guidelines recommend that intake of these products is limited and when possible the healthier options are chosen. The category message advises which foods to choose and which foods to limit or avoid.
Thumbs Down: Products in this category should be avoided if possible. The Australian dietary guidelines recommend that intake of these products should occur only sometimes and in small quantities. There are very few healthier options to choose from within this product category.
What do I do if I think a product has an incorrect thumbs rating?
Food composition is ever-changing and every day we make updates to ensure the information behind the Good Tucker App is as current as possible. The information here is the best available to us and has undergone quality control. There may, nonetheless, be some errors and if you spot one please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do all fruit Juice and fruit drinks receive a “Thumbs sideways”?
According to the ABS, 100% fruit juice is classified as a core food. At this point in time, we do not differentiate between fruit juice and fruit drink in our database and hence both fruit juice and fruit drinks have been classified as a core food. This means that some juices and fruit drinks could potentially score an incorrect thumbs rating. As such we have scored all Fruit juice and Fruits drinks a “Thumbs sideways”
We recommend you choose 100% fruit juice and avoid fruit drinks with added sugar. Water is always the best option.
What do the Thumbs ratings mean?
Double Thumbs Up: This product scores a HSR of 4.5 or higher and is a core food. This is the best choice.
Thumbs Up: This product scores a HSR of 3.5 or 4.0 and is a core food. This is a good choice.
Thumbs Sideways: This product scores a HSR of 3.5 or higher and is a discretionary food OR scores a HSR of 3.0 or lower and is classified as a core food. You should limit consumption of this product.
Thumbs Down: This product scores a HSR of 3.0 or lower and is classified as a discretionary food. This is not a recommended choice. You should avoid this product if possible.
For more information on the food groups and recommended serves, please check the Australian dietary guidelines. https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-dietary-guidelines-1-5
To provide health and nutrition education and to strive for excellence in health care for Indigenous Australians.
to improve the quality of life for Indigenous Australians.
To provide health and nutrition education and to strive for excellence in health care for Indigenous Australians.