Today is very exciting for us. We are pleased to announce the official launch of Founders In Technology Combating Obesity or as we like to call it, FITco. Nexercise, RunKeeper, Fooducate, Azumio, Wahoo Fitness, Achievemint, and Sade Wellness have partnered to fight America’s obesity epidemic. Collectively, we are using our products and apps, many of which are free, to change lives… and we’re seeing results. 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.
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.
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, our partners have banded together to form FITco. See our new website at www.fitconow.org.