Why baby steps are not enough to tackle the obesity epidemic
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Why baby steps are not enough to tackle the obesity epidemic

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A presentation by Fooducate CEO Hemi Weingarten at Stanford's Mobile Health Conference in May 2012. ...

A presentation by Fooducate CEO Hemi Weingarten at Stanford's Mobile Health Conference in May 2012.
Weingarten explains why individual efforts at tackling the obesity epidemic may not be enough and suggests ways to tackle the problem from a societal angle.

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  • Usually means preventable chronic disease. You know – diabtes, heart disease, stroke
  • By this I mean: despite an individuals best efforts, and the best baby steps designed by graduates of this conference, most of America will still be struggling with weight and weight related disease 10,20 and 30 years from now.
  • How many people here are or have been on a diet? The lady is walking up against the escalator which is heading down. That’s what we as individuals are facing in our struggle
  • We’ll talk about the “economics” in a few slides. in the meantime – how many people are overweight / obese in the US?
  • Let’s start with a simple
  • That’s why I would invest in Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. Great recurring revenue model…
  • Your doctor, your dietitian, the USDA, your wife
  • Many more signals to eat more: commercials, food everywhere (When did it become OK to eat in a book store?)
  • Back to obesogenic economy 10’s of millions of jobs, thousands of smart ceo’s, and practically all of washington DC getting lobbied to keep status quo
  • Calories available per person per day in the US
  • Some examples of fucked up economy: selling to your kids and overriding your judgment FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz recently rejected regulation: “ it’s probably time to move on” from attempts to regulate junk food marketing to children. the commission does not support legislation restricting food advertising to children.”
  • Food Manufacturers make more money on junk food. 90% profit margin on soda 10% of veggies
  • Abe Lincoln installed the USDA exactly 150 years ago this week to help encourage farm output. But why would the same agency be responsible for lessening calories?
  • Long shelf life. Seems like the more shelflife of food increases, ours decreases.
  • Nothing to say here. It’s just a nice pic of giant Twinkie. Well actually – it has 37 ingredients
  • Lastly – exercise myths: By food industry = We’re less active today than we were 30 years ago and that’s why we’re getting fat. Not True, same activity level By ourselves = Working out 30 minutes in the morning gives me a free calorie pass for the day Burning off the calories from a 12 oz can of soda (150 calories) Walk for an hour (2 miles) Run for 15 minutes (1.5 miles)
  • 10 guys with facebook and twitter accounts started a revolution that took less than 3 weeks to topple a leader in Egypt
  • Bettina Siegel is a mom from Houston. just wanted to keep pink slime out of her daughter’s school lunch. Her online petition went viral and toppled Beef Products Incorporated
  • Even Whole Food’s CEO Famously said – “90% of what we sell is junk”


  • 1. The Future of Baby Steps in Health Innovation*Mobile Health Conference May 17, 2012 Stanford University Hemi Weingarten @fooducate @hemiw
  • 2. Shameless Plug: FOODUCATE app Download the Fooducate app Do it!
  • 3. * I will only talk about “food” relatedhealth
  • 4. The title of this presentationWhy Baby Steps aren’t Enough
  • 5. Q: Why is dieting so hard ?
  • 6. Q: Why is dieting so hard ?A: Confronts our basic biological drive toeat and defend against weight loss
  • 7. 80%of people who lose weightgain it back within 2 years
  • 8. eatless
  • 9. 390032001980 2012
  • 10. “Fast Food” • Can’t blame them for trying to make a profitFTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz: “it’s probably time to move on from attempts to regulatejunk food marketing to children. The commission does not support legislation restrictingfood advertising to children.”
  • 11. 10% profit margin90%profit margin
  • 12. Food Manufacturers • Can’t blame them for trying to make a profitEnriched Bleached Wheat Flour [Flour, Reduced Iron, B Vitamins (Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate(B1), Riboflavin (B2), Folic Acid)], Corn Syrup, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, PartiallyHydrogenated Vegetable and/or Animal Shortening (Soybean, Cottonseed and/or Canola Oil, Beef FWhole Eggs, Dextrose. Contains 2% or Less of: Modified Corn Starch, Glucose, Leavenings (SodiumPyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate), Sweet Dairy Whey, Soy Protein Isolate, Caland Sodium Caseinate, Salt, Mono and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60, Soy Lecithin, Soy Flour, CornstaCellulose Gum, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sorbic Acid (to Retain FreshYellow 5, Red 40.
  • 13. Food Manufacturers • Can’t blame them for trying to make a profite longer the shelf life of food –e shorter the shelf life of humans
  • 14. technology + baby steps  change to large systems
  • 15. Our ChallengeHarness technology and the collective babysteps of millions to change the world…
  • 16. Baby Steps for Myself My Family My CommunityMore please My Society
  • 17. Thank you! Hemi Weingarten hemi@fooducate.com