Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Is Apple Inc. the New Weight Watchers?


Health care and weight loss could be a major market for technology companies.


This article was originally posted on the Buzz & Banter, where subscribers can follow over 30 professional traders as they share their ideas in real time. Want access to the Buzz plus unlimited market commentary? Click here to learn more about MVPRO+.

Since the 2014 WWDC event last week, the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) news flow has been heavily focused on health care.

The company's new HealthKit platform will almost definitely be a major component of the iPhone 6 marketing push.

In fact, Apple just released a TV ad called 'Strength' showing athletic people doing athletic things using iPhones, wearable accessories like the Misfit Shine, and apps like Nike's (NYSE:NKE) Nike+ Running app.

The commercial features a song called "Chicken Fat", which was originally commissioned for John F. Kennedy's Presidential Fitness Program. So it's not just any old inspirational weight-loss song -- it's a hint that Apple itself has big plans. We're short on details of course. We'll know a lot more when the iPhone 6 is officially rolled out.

On a related note, pre-WWDC, Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) announced its own health platform, including a $50 million fund for health startups.

Health care initiatives, and weight loss specifically, could turn out to be a huge selling point for next-generation smartphones and wearable devices. The economics and demographic trends are extremely attractive.

According to Marketdata Enterprises, Americans spend over $60 billion per year trying to lose weight. That figure includes spending on things like diet plans, doctors, gym memberships, weight loss surgeries, etc. There have also been studies indicating 40-60% of Americans are on diets.

Meanwhile, obesity rates are increasing at scary levels.

Here's a very troubling statement from the CDC:

The percentage of children aged 6-11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12-19 years who were obese increased from 5% to nearly 21% over the same period.

Data from around the world isn't particularly encouraging either.

The implication is that there's a very large base of money available to be directed away from traditional weight-loss products and services towards electronic ones.

Think about all the times you've seen exercise machines turn into laundry racks. Fitness and weight loss products sell whether they end up being used or not, because good intentions don't necessarily lead to action.

It's just plain easy to justify health-related purchases. I should know. I'm too cheap to replace my four-year old Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle -- but I do have money for a FitBit.

Twitter: @MichaelComeau

Follow the markets all day every day with a FREE 14 day trial to Buzz & Banter. Over 30 professional traders share their ideas in real-time. Learn more.

< Previous
  • 1
Next >
Position in AAPL
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Videos