With so many weight-loss tools, diets, and exercise programs, why are 2/3 of American adults overweight or obese? The Body Weight Simulator, an innovative online tool for personalized weight management, is a new and effective way that doctors, researchers, and policymakers can address this public health issue using the latest available science.
America’s obesity epidemic is a major public health issue that costs us billions each year. Though most people know that a healthy diet and regular exercise are integral to weight management, few resources have been available for planning specific, personalized lifestyle modifications to achieve and sustain an individual’s goal weight. Existing online tools and mobile applications have tended to exaggerate weight loss.
Developed by the National Institutes of Health, Body Weight Simulator is the result of scientific advances in nutrition and metabolism that allow for realistic mathematical models of human weight change. This innovative online tool, which has been vetted by the scientific community and is being tested to determine practical utility, accurately predicts body fat and metabolism changes that occur during a diet and/or exercise intervention. Since its launch in August of 2011, the Body Weight Simulator has been accessed online by over 750,000 visitors, has been featured in several major media outlets, and was used in collaboration with United States Department of Agriculture to predict the effectiveness of a sugar-sweetened beverage tax. The simulator represents an important advancement for weight management professionals, policymakers, and researchers to help Americans achieve and permanently maintain a healthy weight.
HHS Innovates is one of the ways we are building an innovative culture at the Department of Health and Human Services. HHS Innovates is a contest that recognizes and rewards action taken on good ideas. To date, HHS employees have submitted nominations of innovations for nearly 500 exciting new staff-driven innovative projects, and our employees have cast over 60,000 votes to select 42 finalists over seven rounds. This project is one of the finalists of HHS Innovates. Learn more about HHS Innovates.