Jan 9, 2019

Classic diets are hot again

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Armed to the teeth with apps and wearable devices and New Year's zeal, Americans still appear to be turning to methods of old in a battle to lose a few pounds.

Driving the news: "The main players – WW International (formerly Weight Watchers International), Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig and Medifast – grew 18.1 percent to $3.11 billion in 2018," USA Today reports.

  • "The average age of most weight-loss programs' members is mid- to late 40s. And female. Recent re-targeted marketing efforts have increased the number of men in these programs."
  • "WW products range from branded groceries ... to a partnership with the meal kit company Blue Apron, unveiled Dec. 20."

Between the lines: It's not hard to see the appeal for Apple and Google in a future where a connected watch or phone holistically manages a diet plan. It could log physical activity and food intake, provide health data to doctors, and order the next round of delivery or restaurant meals — all in one connected ecosystem, paying fees at every step or in a bundle.

  • For consumers, that would bring convenience and simplicity, but also a financial price and a loss of privacy.

The big picture: Apple is extremely interested in health, Axios’ Ina Fried noted this morning.

  • "If you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, 'What was Apple's greatest contribution to mankind?' It will be about health," Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC.
  • "We are democratizing it. We are taking what has been with the institutions and empowering the individual to manage their health."

The bottom line: Apple has already invested years to understand tech and build relationships with hospitals, doctors and regulators, reports Ina.

  • And Apple's work has already shown up in modest ways, like its fitness research lab, the ResearchKit that allows its products to be used in clinical studies, and the electrocardiogram in the latest Apple Watch.

Go deeper: Health is Apple's next really big thing

Go deeper

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll hits 3,900

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus has just hit 3,900, per Johns Hopkins data.

Details: Tuesday night's grim milestone came hours after President Trump said it's "going to be a very painful two weeks," with projections indicating the novel coronavirus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place. "They are going to be facing a war zone," he said of medical workers.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: UN warns of recession with "no parallel" to recent past

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced together since the formation of the United Nations just after the Second World War ended in 1945, UN chief António Guterres said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 858,000 and the death toll exceeded 42,000 Tuesday night, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 12,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 9 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 857,957 — Total deaths: 42,139 — Total recoveries: 178,091.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 188,547 — Total deaths: 3,899 — Total recoveries: 7,068.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  6. Coronavirus in custody: Inmates in all U.S. federal prisons are set to enter a 14-day quarantine on April 1. A federal judge on Tuesday ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release 10 detained immigrants who are at risk of contracting COVID-19 while in confinement.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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