2014 was dubbed “the year of the wearable” as the consumer market exploded with wearable fitness trackers such as FitBit, Jawbone UP, Nike Fuelband and the Apple Watch. These products were aimed at improving health and weight loss.
However, a recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) study illustrated the health disparity in the United States in which African Americans and Hispanics had the highest rates of obesity. Unfortunately, obesity often comes with other financial and health burdens such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. And, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 80% of the deaths by diabetes occur in low and middle-income countries.
Low income, uninsured families are unlikely to drop $100-$300 on a wearable fitness tracker that will spit out long lists of data that can be confusing to low literacy individuals. Finally, take a look at some of the advertisements for these fitness trackers. They are not targeting low income, overweight individuals, but rich, well-educated, fit people.