SAN FRANCISCO — FareWell, an app designed to prevent and reverse chronic weight-related diseases, announced the launch of its first online program, a 16-week pilot focused on dietary behavior change for people with elevated body mass index. Last year, the company raised $8.5M in venture funding from its co-founder & Chairman, David Perry, and other individual investors.
FareWell provides a suite of tools and personal support that were previously limited to people attending in-person programs at leading medical centers for much higher cost. Pilot participants will receive:
- Intensive support from a certified health coach with guidance from a lifestyle medicine physician, a chef-educator, a behavioral psychologist, and a registered dietician,
- An evidence-based dietary program focused on whole plant foods, with video tutorials, customized menu plans, smart shopping lists, and a database of healthy plant-based recipes,
- Digital tools for tracking progress and to help with the formation of long-lasting healthy habits.
“I watched my dad suffer his first heart attack at age 44, followed by multiple open heart surgeries before he died,” said David Perry. “It was the kind of wake-up call that drove me to focus on my own health. I was dedicated to exercise and competed in triathlons, but even that was not enough to stop my cholesterol from creeping up. When my doctor suggested I needed to start taking statin drugs for the rest of my life, I knew I had to find another way to stay healthy. After experiencing first-hand the effectiveness of good nutrition in controlling my own risk factors for heart disease, I wanted to help others discover a better way of eating – one that would not only help them lose weight, but also improve health and vitality. That is the inspiration behind FareWell.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “chronic diseases and conditions – such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and obesity – are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.” Poor nutrition is one of the four leading causes of these chronic diseases and conditions.
“Diets don’t work,” said Dr. Mark Berman, Head of Health at FareWell. “We’ve known this for a long time. At the same time, there is clear consensus among the experts on what does lead to a healthy lifestyle. Eating whole foods – mostly plants – is optimal for both achieving and sustaining a healthy weight, and preventing and even reversing chronic diseases. The challenge has been to bring this knowledge and support to everyone who needs it. With FareWell, we now have a platform to deliver the proven results of clinical weight management and behavioral change counseling to help more people at less cost.”
During the pilot, FareWell will coach several hundred people at-risk of weight-related disease through its new dietary intervention program, which it has developed over the last 12 months. The pilot will help the team validate the feasibility of FareWell’s approach and gather evidence supporting the efficacy of the FareWell program to help people that are overweight and motivated to lose it, change behaviors and create new habits that result in meaningful weight loss, improved food literacy, and reduced risk of disease.
“If the results from our intervention program turn out the way we expect, our team at FareWell will have designed a program that could lead to a better quality of life for millions of Americans, and save billions of dollars in health care spending” said Kevin Appelbaum, co-founder & CEO. “These diseases are robbing quality years from our lives. And they add a heavy burden to our healthcare system. Just a 10% decrease in the costs of treating preventable diseases would unlock $70 billion a year in value. Few opportunities in the world have that sort of potential.”