HYDERABAD: LAUNCHED in the US earlier this year, the Weightless Project: Turning Calories into Dollars is a health endeavour started by Bangalore-based Poonacha Machiah and Happy Services Creative. They are now actively working towards expanding its presence in India with global fitness brands, corporations and charitable organisations. Telling us about the concept, Machiah explains, “The aim is to fight both obesity and malnutrition by rewarding people for adopting an active lifestyle-converting calories people lose through exercise into money and giving it to those who need it,” adding that the concept of ‘calorie transfer’ works by instilling a sense of empathy.
Thus far, Fltbit, a San Francisco-based fitness tracking company as well as wearable technology biggies Jawbone have partnered with the programme. But Machiah will soon be adding apps such as Moves and Runkeeper to the list. “Activity tracking apps like Moves and Runkeeper will help leverage smartphones. We will release an app so anyone with a smartphone can enroll and contribute,” he says, elaborating that it will be instrumental in involving India and the rest of ASEAN.
Proceeds of the calorie conversions go towards various causes that focus on eliminating malnutrition - the most recent funding worth 30 million calories going to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. They now also work with The Chopra Foundation and are expanding to add regional charitable organisations and also global programmes such as World Food Program.