SparkPeople: A (5-Minute) History

This short video clip from Fox News Chicago does a great job sharing a brief history of SparkPeople. Our Founder, Chris "SparkGuy" Downie, reached his own goals by co-founding eBay's leading competitor and selling that company to eBay as their first acquisition.

Chris first developed the SparkPeople program to overcome his own social anxiety. A co-worker named Pat then used the same program and lost 50 pounds, which changed his life. Pat then went on to start a walking group and motivate many people. Seeing Pat's transformation made Chris understand that our daily actions and words impact more people than we realize.

Chris then decided to start a new company with the mission to SPARK millions of PEOPLE to reach their goals using health and fitness as a springboard to reach milestones in all areas of life (yes, this is where our name came from). Now, Chris considers himself to be just a small part of the SparkPeople team--and that team includes our millions of members supporting each other to reach goals.

Our team loves seeing real people reaching life-changing goals on the site every day--like those featured in this video. Thanks for your support, and have fun reaching your goals!

Member Comments

  • Thank you Chris for Spark people Website. I have just started using it and find it easy to use to track foods and nutrition and excercise, and I am grateful that it is free, as I am a senior and not able to afford the other sites that cost. - 5/23/2015 5:12:37 PM
  • Thank you Chris!!!! I am out of work with a work injury which resulted in surgery and an 8% loss of use in my left arm. Also lost my job after being out for over 1 year while in rehab. I have packed on 43 pounds from all the medications and would have never been able to afford to pay for an online site to get help.

    Thanks to you I have the help and motivation to get my old life back. I have already lost around 10 pounds of the weight. CUDOS to you and SparkPeople
    - 5/19/2015 10:20:35 AM
  • Thank you Mr. Downy. So far I have lost 28 lbs. I love SparkPeople. - 5/19/2015 8:54:01 AM
  • I have been a member of SP for a number of years. I track my weight on it but have never really done the program. That video was great! motivating! Thanks Chris for starting Sparks People. It is a great program and today I have decided that I am going to start reading the book and doing the different things on SP. Thanks again. Sheila in Colorado - 5/18/2015 3:56:32 PM
  • I enjoy SparkPeople so thank you very much - 5/18/2015 10:55:21 AM
  • Chris - YOU have done a miracle here. I am brand new to this program as of today May 17,2015 Sunday. I was looking for information for type 2 diabetes, which I have just recently, and came upon this site. Many many thanks to you. To help me and others be healthy by experts on a team to work with is perfect for us to do what we need to do, and the only way in order to do it right and not mess up our lives. This is a program to be a part of and I am thrilled at what I have seen. Amen and God Bless you and all of SparkPeople employees. This is an A plus program. and THE BEST Thank You.. - 5/17/2015 8:14:54 PM
  • I am new to the site, and is amazing on how motivation, fitness and diet are combined. Besides is free!, thanks Chris. - 5/16/2015 11:18:37 PM
  • Thank you Chris for doing this. I have heard a lot of good things and now I finally joined. I have a LOTTTTTTT of weight to lose and have tried everything except gastric bypass or lap band. After spending about 4 hours going through so much of this website I feel like, Finally, maybe I have a chance! I look forward to starting and want to thank you again. May God continue to bless you abundantly! - 5/16/2015 8:39:21 PM
  • This was the best idea ever, I use it to help me manage my diabetes though I am very under weight it motivates me in eating the proper foods and exercise and the friends I need very much people with similar mission! - 5/14/2015 11:21:47 AM
  • Thanks Chris! Kudos and abundant blessings to you and yours!👍&#
    128077;🏻👍🏻👍🏻 - 5/14/2015 8:23:57 AM
  • Hello - Thank you for this site. I was a member years ago, but life and computer crashes got in the way. Then I just "gave up", and you know what? Giving up didn't help me lose weight. I now am approximately the weight was when I started, but I've added to the list of comorbidities. I now have diabetes 2, hypertension and high cholesterol. My insurance company has recently set me up with a "care coach" who has been a great advocate and set me up with a team of nurses, doctors, physical therapists at a pool. This has given me the excitement to come back here and track myself. They are putting me on the dash diet, but there is no place better than here to track food input. Anyway, thank you for giving me another piece of the puzzle. I have referred my care coach here so that she can see how great it is. Again, thank you for your input. Kathryn - 5/9/2015 7:08:44 PM
  • Thanks Chris. I decided to try this after a friend of mine has lost 60 pounds doing your program. I've been on a low carb diet for 3 months and down 10 but i really believe that going back to counting calories is the way to go. Thanks again!! - 5/9/2015 8:08:20 AM
  • Thank you for creating this program. I look forward to losing weight, - 5/7/2015 10:56:09 PM
  • I'm just starting on my Sparkpeople journey. But thank you for such a wonderful supportive site that is free. Financially challenged people can't afford personal trainers, diets and exercise programs but you site gives us choices. Something we can't buy. Thank you - 5/5/2015 5:52:49 PM
  • I Know I need to say thank you as well
    - 5/4/2015 2:04:29 PM

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