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Helping America Lose Weight: Calibrate Launches Digital Tool Backed By $5.1M Seed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in February that 40 percent of Americans are now obese, and while many start out wanting to lose weight, they often end up losing motivation rather than pounds.

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In the midst of weight loss app overload, Calibrate, a new telemedicine metabolic health startup, is unveiling its own digital tool aimed at proving that biology—not motivation—is really the key to helping people lose weight.

The new app guides users toward resetting their metabolic health through a one-year, science-based program that combines prescribed medicine with personalized coaching to help patients lose up to 10 percent of their body weight.

“Obesity is a chronic disease and there are factors at play, such as biology, genetics, hormones and environmental consequences,” Isabelle Kenyon, founder and CEO of Calibrate, told Crunchbase News. “We are focused on understanding what the root cause is and helping people learn how their brain and gut are connected.”

New York-based Calibrate launched Wednesday with Redesign Health and backed by a new $5.1 million in seed funding led by Kirsten Green on behalf of Forerunner Ventures.

Calibrate is available in four states—New York, California, Texas and Pennsylvania—and the fresh funding will help add new states over the next six to 12 months. It will also help scale the company as more people use the app, Kenyon said.

“Calibrate is the first company to shift the focus to where it belongs—holistic metabolic health,” Kira Wampler, venture chair, Redesign Health, said in a written statement. “Historically, we’ve focused on the wrong problem: we keep telling people to fight weight with willpower, and it’s not working. Calibrate will reset the paradigm to focus on success beyond the scale.”

Users are initially screened through questions to ensure they are eligible for the program. After a metabolic panel is done, the user will meet virtually with a Calibrate doctor who will go over the results and share a plan for helping the person lose weight. There will also be virtual meetings with a personal coach who helps users to set a goal for the week, such as getting enough exercise and a good night’s sleep, and track the goals on the app, Kenyon said.

“You only focus on one thing per week, but making those tiny tweaks will add up over the year,” she added. “We believe we are bringing to market a first-in-class product that is taking 40-year-old proven science and making it accessible to everyone.”

Photo of Isabelle Kenyon courtesy of Calibrate.
Blogroll illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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