There’s a new Australia-based social network called FatSecret – it’s designed to help overweight people leverage a network of friends and online resources to lose weight. Like Traineo, which we wrote about last year, Fatsecret focuses on building a support network around you to monitor your progress.
Users first state their current and goal weights, and are urged to report in daily with their updated weight. This data builds a graph that is included on their profile page showing progress over time. Each user is also provided with a blog/journal and can add other Fatsecret users as friends.
Users are given information on various diets (Atkins, South Beach, etc.). Diets are commented and ranked by other users, creating a top list. There is also a recipe area with a detailed breakdown of the nutritional value of the recipe, along with user ratings and compliance with various diets. Users can upload their own recipes in a very structured way, and Fatsecret will calculate the nutritional value by analyzing the amount and types of ingredients.
Fatsecret doesn’t currently have any way to encourage or track exercise, and this is a natural place for expansion.
Overall the service is a great resource for people trying to lose weight. I believe Traineo’s method of getting four friends involved who will monitor your progress via email is a a really good idea. With Fatsecret, unless you make friends on the site or get your existing friends to also join and become members, it could quickly become a very lonely place. I would also like to see Fatsecret provide the weight graph as a widget, so users can add it to their website (see Skinnyr).
CenterNetworks has a good overview of some of the other new weight loss focused websites.