Obesity rates have reached epidemic levels in many countries, with an estimated 32% of American adults considered obese. Every year, many of them try countless new dieting fads, exercise regimens, and questionable dietary supplements, but their motivation often sputters out as they see slow results.
In the last few years, many of these determined individuals have turned to YouTube to share their weightloss journeys with their peers, who often respond with heartfelt and supportive comments. But YouTube doesn’t offer a dedicated community for the weightloss crowd, so its functionality is limited.
WatchMEmelt, a TC50 DemoPit company that launches tomorrow, is looking to fill this niche with a community site dedicated to helping users chronicle their weight-loss efforts. Users are encouraged to post video updates on their current progress, exercise regimens they’ve developed, and lighthearted clips to boost morale. The site includes standard community features like forums and groups, where members can share their difficulties with other users who may be in a similar situation (for example, there’s a group for gastric bypass patients).
The site is the creation of Brian Edward Kenny, an entrepreneur who was once obese and managed to lose 50 pounds over the course of a few months. To help increase the site’s exposure, he has recruited Marty and Amy Wolff, two finalists from the television show The Biggest Loser.
At launch the site is a pretty barebones effort, but the defining element of WatchMEmelt’s success will be its community, not its easily-replicable technology. There are many weightloss destinations on the web, including Traineo and 3 Fat Chicks, but this is a vast market that could easily support a number of successes – I could see it becoming a very popular destination provided it can build a supporting community that can self-moderate negative comments and helps members reach their goals.