The world is getting fatter. In 2016, almost 40% of the global adult population was overweight and no OECD country has been able to reverse the obesity epidemic.
Weight problems significantly increase the burden on human health and the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and musculoskeletal disorders. 4.53 million people died of causes attributed to obesity in 2016.
The chance to reach the United Nations targets to halt the rise of obesity were deemed “virtually zero” by Lancet researchers. As countries grow wealthier and more efficient, people can do less and get more. Processed food is cheaper and readily accessible, commutes fast and easy. As a result, more and more people do not burn enough energy to offset consumed calories.
Making the situation worse, roughly a third of all the food in the world is lost or wasted. Food waste is costing us almost one trillion dollars annually. The production-consumption cycle we are currently on is neither sustainable nor healthy. Humans need to take real action and address the increasing impact our uncontrolled food consumption has on us and the world.
Unsurprisingly, obesity is generally caused by eating too much and moving too little. Modern technology offers a solution in that it has made it easy to track calories, activity, and health. Smart applications let users input and track their calorie intake on any device and wearables provide an accurate daily energy expenditure by monitoring daily activity levels.
Providing fulfilling incentives with technology can encourage more people to become and stay healthy. Customers who hit and maintain their calorie and activity goals can be rewarded with points spendable on gym memberships, discounts online, and tickets to events. With our API, consumers can earn, store, and redeem their points on any connected prize using their personal cloud wallets.
Participants can receive points for entering challenges and attending events that encourage a healthy lifestyle. Gifting points to friends and family to motivate them to participate is a great way of involving more people in the cause that can benefit everyone.
Even though governments need to work on improving food systems, nutrition education, and economic incentives to discourage excessive consumption, our wellbeing remains in our hands. By working together, we can help people take the first step to a healthier future.