Can Technology Make America Thin Again? A Future Tense Event.

People jog near the U.S. Capitol building.

Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

In the face of high rates of obesity, technologies have been developed to encourage exercise, monitor eating habits, and help people manage their weight. Personal data tracking tools have empowered people to know more about their bodies and lifestyles than ever before, and advances in biological sciences could expand still further.

At the same time, many of us spend our days sitting in cars and at computers. Our communities aren’t designed for walking, and our junk food is engineered to be addictive. How will advances in science and technology shape the future of America’s waistline? Will we ever have a magic pill for weight loss, and are gadgets and apps enough to help us until then?

Join us at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14, at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C. for a Future Tense event about how technology will affect America’s waistline in the coming years. For more information and to RSVP, visit the New America website.

Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State University.


12:15 p.m.: Introduction

Alexandra Brewis-Slade
Director of Operations, Arizona State University-Mayo Obesity Solutions
Director, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University

12:25 p.m.: Engineering healthy food: Can we eat our way thin?

Alexandra Brewis-Slade

David H. Freedman
Contributing editor at the Atlantic and at Inc. magazine and consulting editor for Johns Hopkins Medicine International

Robert C. Post
Chief Science Officer, FoodMinds
Former associate executive director of the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion

Moderator: Laura Helmuth
Science and health editor, Slate

1:15 p.m.: Beyond calorie counting: Can gadgets help fight obesity?

Walter R. Thompson
Chair, American Fitness Index Advisory Board, American College of Sports Medicine
Associate dean for graduate studies and research, Georgia State University

Brian Russell
Founder and CEO of Zephyr Technology Corp.

Moderator: Marvin Ammori
Future Tense fellow at the New America Foundation
Author, On Internet Freedom

RSVP for the event here.