76% of Americans want to eat healthier, according to a recent Food and Health survey. But despite this goal, Americans are unhealthier than ever. 70% of the US population is overweight or obese, putting them at higher risk for chronic conditions like heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes.
Diet change is the #1 recommendation for these conditions, but between busy schedules, the prevalence of unhealthy options, and a lack of personal guidance, behavior change is challenging; 80% of diets fail. That’s why innovators have started to realize, in order to help people eat healthy and live healthy, technology is the key.
Founded in 2012 and headquartered in San Francisco, CA, PlateJoy is a personalized nutrition service which assists in preventing or managing chronic disease by creating customized meal plans designed to help you eat healthier, and avoid the common roadblocks people have to changing their diet.
PlateJoy started by personalizing nutrition plans for any health goal, schedule, allergy, or household, with a consumer meal planning subscription for $99/year. It uses over 50 data points about your health goals and preferences to determine what you should be eating each week, and sends a personalized, weekly shopping lists and recipes, making it easier to follow through.
Now, the company is going one step further, using these meal plans in programs that target conditions like obesity and diabetes.
Inspiration Lies Within
Christina Bognet is the Co-founder and CEO of PlateJoy. A MIT neuroscience graduate, she experienced her own struggles with healthy eating. After losing 50 pounds by modifying her diet, Bognet created PlateJoy in 2012 with the vision of making healthy eating easier and more sustainable through personalization and technology. She raised a $1.7M seed round to launch the company’s personalized meal planner.
In 2017, Bognet was featured in the list of the ‘Forbes 30 Under 30’ in consumer technology, and PlateJoy continued to evolve. Now, PlateJoy employs its personalized nutrition technology in larger digital behavioral health programs that target chronic conditions. PlateJoy’s diabetes prevention program launched in the fall of 2017, and is now covered by insurance for over 60M people nationwide.
Problem and Cure
Diet and behavior change, specifically weight loss, is widely accepted as the best most effective treatment for conditions like diabetes. In a 2002 National Institute of Health study, lifestyle management programs were shown to be nearly twice as effective as the leading medication at reducing progression to Type 2 diabetes in those with prediabetes.
But although doctors agree on the efficacy of behavior change, they typically don’t have time with patients to counsel them on the details of eating better.
PlateJoy has tailored solutions to those problems. PlateJoy’s personalized quiz allows it to understand about your dietary preferences, time constraints and personal tastes. Then it creates a customized meal plan and grocery list that not only meets users’ dietary needs, but also reduces food waste and saves time.
PlateJoy’s diabetes prevention program pairs this meal planner tool with weekly video lessons, virtual coaching, fitness and weight tracking, and a free digital scale and Fitbit, so that participants can monitor their progress toward their goals.
PlateJoy’s vision is to improve existing models of eating better: make it easier, cheaper, and more sustainable. It has integrated with grocery delivery services to cover all the pain points to healthy eating: from the planning and the nutrition management to the convenience of same day ingredient delivery. It will continue to add more features and more value to its services in coming years, as well as expand its disease treatment offerings.
Motivating Client Admirations
“A few products have changed my life so much that I have a hard time remembering how I managed before they came along: Uber is one of them, but PlateJoy is the one I can’t live without.”
“My husband is a diabetic and has struggled with weight issues for many years. This is the FIRST healthy eating plan I’ve tried where he compliments the dishes. His snacking between meals has cut down, and he is losing weight, slowly, but consistently. Most importantly, his glucose levels are coming down, and his doctor is talking about lowering his insulin dosage. I, also, am losing weight, and have reached one personal goal, and my doctor is considering taking me off one and maybe two medications. Great Job!”
“I signed up for PlateJoy after losing 20lbs. I didn’t want to continue dieting but didn’t know how to get myself back into cooking healthy meals. PlateJoy has been extremely successful in helping me maintain my goals. Not to mention I don’t have to meal plan or be creative at meal time. All I do is push a button and it’s all laid out for me. We’ve also ended up saving grocery money because there are no more late last minute trips to the grocery store.”