Washington, DC (PRWEB) December 27, 2012
According to a recently published Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report, by 2030, at least 44% of Americans in EVERY state will be obese. Additionally, obesity rates will top 60% in 13 states. Simply stated, more than four out of ten Americans nationwide and more than six out of ten in 13 states will be obese, not just overweight. Put another way, over 132 million Americans will be obese if we do not do something about it. The report also estimates that cases of diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, and arthritis could increase ten times between 2010 and 2020 and then double again by 2030. The associated annual increase in the cost of health care will be between $48 billion and $66 billion per year between now and 2030 while the annual loss in productivity for the same period will cost us between $390 billion and $580 billion per year. Obesity is going to cost us trillions of dollars!
This crisis is unfolding in front of our eyes. Economic recovery from the recent recession may be short lived. The degrading health and ever expanding waistline of America threatens to lead us into both economic and national security crises. Health care costs will continue to explode, worker productivity will decrease, and the number of young people fit for military service will continue to dramatically shrink. Our status as the world’s leading power will be threatened, not necessarily through the actions of China, but by our own behaviors.
Entrepreneurial initiative, however, can reverse this negative trend. We are constantly reminded that entrepreneurial initiative is the key to economic growth and can help us surmount seemingly overwhelming challenges. In this crisis, entrepreneurs will not only spark growth, they will also inspire behavioral change in Americans everywhere; and this change has already started. The start-up ground game has begun and is attacking the problem head-on.
Hundreds of companies have created innovative ways to use technology to help people get or stay in shape. They provide everything from education and information to tracking, coaching, and health monitoring. Some have even figured out how to harness individual motivation and generate behavior change and are successfully getting and keeping people off the living room couch. Of these early and mid-stage companies, seven of the leading, most respected, and well-known have banded together to form Founders In Technology Combating Obesity, or more simply, FITco.
FITco is a coalition of innovative companies dedicated to developing technologies to help reduce obesity in America. These companies are using their products and apps, many of which are free, to change lives; and changing lives they are. Average Americans are losing weight while seeing their dress and pants sizes shrink. Those with high blood pressure are getting off of their blood pressure medication while others, who are diabetics, are seeing improvements in their physiology and blood work. These amazing changes, however, are just the beginning. FITco’s member companies are dedicated to spreading the word that technology is here to help. Contrary to popular perception, technology does not have to make you sedentary, overweight, or unhealthy. Technology, used effectively, can help people live the active, healthy lives they have always dreamed of, get in the shape they imagined, and even make a healthy lifestyle fun and engaging.
FITco is actively attacking the obesity epidemic and helping people meet their health goals every day. Each member company produces products that fill a specific health need. The inaugural list of FITco companies consists of the following:
RunKeeper is a Boston-based fitness technology company that packs the benefits of a personal trainer into the convenience of a smartphone. Using your phone's built-in GPS, our mobile app enables you to track your workouts, receive guidance from running experts, and connect with friends in order to better reach your fitness goals. It was one of the first 200 apps to launch in the iTunes app store in 2008, and we’ve since attracted a passionate community of millions of RunKeeper users around the world.
Azumio: Azumio is a leader in biofeedback health apps on mobile devices with more than 20 million downloads to date on both iOS and Android platforms. Azumio is dedicated to the improvement of people’s wellness by influencing healthy behavior through the use of innovative mobile applications and allowing users access to aggregated personal health data to lead a health-oriented lifestyle.
Nexercise: Nexercise delivers motivation to people who want to lose weight and get in better shape. As seen on the television show "The Doctors" and in several leading publications, the free Nexercise iPhone and Android app motivates people to lose weight, get in better shape, and finally be consistent in their exercise behaviors. Through physical activity, users earn real rewards like gift cards from national retailers. They can also stay in touch with and compete with friends and track their progress.
Fooducate: Fooducate is like having a dietician on speed dial. Lose weight, eat real food, and get healthy. Fooducate grades your groceries, explains what's really inside each product, and offers healthier alternatives. They have the largest database of UPCs - over 200,000 unique products and growing.
Wahoo Fitness: Wahoo Fitness is an electronics company whose products wirelessly connect your smart phone to fitness sensors. With Wahoo Fitness, your phone, the best fitness Apps and real-time activity stats are all in the palm of your hand - or on your arm, or mounted on your bike. Wahoo Fitness’s motto is “Smart Phone. Smart Athlete.”
AchiveMint: AchieveMint is a program that financially rewards mobile application users for behaviors that improve their health, like losing weight or quitting smoking. Working with mobile application partners, like Cessation Nation and Rundouble, users earn base points for completing healthy actions. These points, once amassed, can be exchanged for cash and merchandise.
Sade Clarity: Sade Clarity is a Corporate Wellness Solutions Firm that helps individuals achieve a life balance in body, mind and spirit. Their goal is to become instrumental in the simplification and balance of their client's lives. Through the use of proprietary software, Sade Clarity provides individual tracking within basic health plans while creating a positive environment that encourages individual, group and team camaraderie. From providing on site special speakers to creating inter-department challenges to organizing companywide road races, they offer a hands-on approach that ultimately translates to healthier, more balanced, and more productive employees that add value to the bottom line.