Fitwits is solving childhood obesity by using 21st century technology and gaming to inspire the power of play.

Bold Idea

At Fitwits, we know that our value-added services can curb the obesity epidemic, and the dollars used to treat obesity-related diseases, by using 21st century technology and innovative gaming. Our solutions offer a set of tools, both print and digital, that provide families, educators, and health care professionals greater insight into health-impacting decisions that children make on a daily basis. Through child's play, we use character agents and game activities to engage children in meaningful health improvement practices. And when Fitwits inspires children to practice healthy behaviors, everyone wins.

Our Methods

Fitwits motivates every child to eat and live well by making the child a partner in her health through active learning. When we enable human contact, facilitate a resilient online social gaming network, and make health information accessible, Fitwits educates children how to achieve health-related goals.

The Fitwits is a system of relationships and networks that can be channeled through on-line social gaming and/or person-to-person interactions. Fitwits strategically places itself at multiple levels where people can make healthy decisions to improve the quality of their lives. Families & care providers, places & products, and processes & networks: together, these systems of relationships are the underpinning of a healthy community.

Fitwits Infograph

Fitwits rewards three important actions — leadership, exercise, and eating right. This approach engages the entire community, while giving a glimpse into the health-related habits of children. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the improved health of children, and everyone gets a much needed context to make informed decisions, every day.

Impact

Fitwits is a startup out of the Carnegie Mellon University School of Design with five years of applied market research testing. We collect baseline knowledge about current practices that teach children the concepts of nutrition, portions, and wellness.

Using the findings, we develop new models and approaches to effectively communicate important information to children about obesity and nutrition. Fitwits' approach has been found to be highly effective in facilitating non-judgmental discussions about sensitive topics between children, families, educators, and physicians.

To date, the system has been prototyped and tested in a number of contexts, including schools, where health educators seek effective programs that improve school wellness policies; doctor offices, where physicians need well-researched strategies to prevent and reverse childhood obesity; and restaurants, where management searches for ways to educate their customers how to make healthy decisions when eating out.

The research consistently indicates results that everyone in the community can relish: better-educated children and families, increased physical activity, healthier BMI's, and physicians who feel more confident delivering obesity education to their patients. Simply put, Fitwits changes the dynamic, where everyone is involved in the solution, and fun interactions prove an effective tool to promote healthy choices.