“Obesity comes with a hefty price medically and economically. It comes with bad conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, and some cancers. It comes with a medical price and economic price because people spend a lot on medical costs to cure conditions that are caused by obesity,” said Ahmed Tawfic, co-founder of Instadiet.me.
Based in Egypt, Instadiet.me is a company that seeks to connect people to credible nutritionists and dietitians to help them maintain a healthy weight.
It is one of the start-ups that graduated from Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa, a programme that was launched in 2018, and is committed to training 60 African start-ups over three years.
About 40% of the world’s population is either obese or overweight as a result of an unhealthy diet, among other reasons.
“The challenges people are faced with are eating healthy foods and dedication (people don’t like the feeling of being on a diet). When someone advises you to follow a diet, you’ll immediately think you’re being restricted on food and that you’ll eat food that’s not tasty and in small amounts. That dents your motivation and dedication. This is what we’re trying to solve,” added Tawfic.
The app seeks to provide information on “fun” diets and affordable healthy food.
“After talking to a number of dietitians, we found that there were less famous food items that are as nutritious as the famous ones. We can make our meal plans tasty, healthy, and affordable. People who want to manage their weight start in high school and university because they get stressed and resort to emotional eating.
“People across different age groups want to lose weight for different reasons. We have tailored our programmes for different age groups and reasons for losing weight.”
The founders are still looking for ways to highlight the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight to men.
“Most of the expenditure in this industry are females even though statistically, men are more overweight. Women seem to care more about how they look compared to men.”
One of their studies, however, revealed that the few men who found maintaining their body weight important were too ashamed to be seen seeking help from dietitians. The online alternative has proven to work for them.
The app has helped at least 400 users – mostly females.
“Obesity is not about looking nice, but also for health reasons. Improvement on body weight equals improvement on overall health.”