America Awakens to the Obesity Crisis
By Annie Case
Obesity now outranks cigarette smoking as a top societal health problem. A new Gallup poll released yesterday finds that 81% of Americans believe obesity is an “extremely” or “very serious” problem, up significantly from the 69% who said the same in 2005. The increase is likely due to Americans’ growing awareness of obesity as a serious health issue, through public awareness drivers including First lady Michelle Obama’s high-profile nationwide anti-childhood obesity campaign, launched in 2010.
These findings serve as a glimmer of hope in an otherwise overweight landscape, as the CDC found that 1/3 of Americans were considered overweight and 35.7% of U.S. adults were obese in 2010, up 3% from 2005. Does this mean Americans may finally be waking up to the realities of our obesity crisis? If so, it is a huge leap forward and one that should be celebrated by health advocates everywhere.
Awareness is only the first step; the real change will come when it converts from research to action. If you’re motivated to bring that 35.7% statistic down by managing your weight or spreading the word to others, look no further! Here are a few of our favorite digital health startups in the wellness and weight-management space:
Keas – Keas is an Employee Wellness Program that combines the best of social media and online games to create happier, healthier, more engaged employees.
Sessions – Sessions pairs you with a real-life health coach who designed a plan that fits your life and then supports you through mobile guidance and support.
Skimble – Skimble powers the mobile fitness movement with an ecosystem of fun, dynamic, and social coaching applications that track all of your sports activities.
GAIN Fitness – GAIN Fitness’s web and mobile applications generate personalized training plans based on exercise science and your individual body, goals, and lifestyle factors, to help optimize your fitness.
HealthRally – HealthRally is a crowdfunding platform that lets friends and family motivate one another to achieve health goals with money and rewards.