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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

  • What a blessing the founder his. Big ups to you brother all the way from NZ. - 9/1/2014 6:11:51 PM
  • I'm looking forward to the help I can get on this website. I've been trying to lose my last 10 lbs for about 2 or 3 months now and have had no success. I will appreciate any help anyone can give me. Thank You. - 9/1/2014 3:18:32 PM
  • Absolutly amazing in tears as I sit here full of hope for the first time in a long time! - 8/31/2014 9:25:55 PM
  • Well, it certainly doesn't sound like some gimmick. I'm also pleasantly surprised that you don't have to buy anything or "diet brand" packaged foods. Just have to review some recipes and go shopping. - 8/31/2014 7:07:00 PM
  • I am going to begin tomorrow on Sept. 1, 2014. Wishing all the best to those of us who are struggling and looking for a solution. My solution will be leaning on people who have the same goals, the same excitement, and the same problems which we can overcome together. Let's work as a team. I know I'll need help. - 8/31/2014 7:03:34 PM
  • I am planning to start Sept. 2, 2014. Hope to hear from anyone else who will be starting around the same time. Really looking forward to the whole adventure and the healthy me. - 8/31/2014 4:40:11 PM
  • hi name is Betty and I just found this amazing site....I would like to hear from anyone who is planning to start the program the same day as me which is September 2, 2014.....I would like to hear from others as I believe that is what helps each one of us achieve our goals.......have a great day!! - 8/31/2014 4:08:26 PM
  • wow...what a wonderful video showing the brainstorm of a selfless hero who wanted to do something important to change the world........much gratitude is owed to this man.....lets all do him proud....... - 8/31/2014 4:05:46 PM
  • Just finished day 31 and have lost 8 lbs. One GREAT feature ... if you are planning to go to a chain restaurant, LOOK UP the menu items on SparkPeople's and decide what to eat BEFORE you arrive at the restaurant. I actually enter my meal before I leave the house (and can count the calories), and then I stick to the items I ordered. It REALLY works!! - 8/31/2014 3:45:51 PM
  • This video is a message of HOPE for many people. THANK YOUs to founder, staff and members who make a difference for someone who needs it every day!

    I'm grateful for the opportunity to have SparkPeople support to reach my goal weight that I would not otherwise have. Multiple - 8/31/2014 2:33:04 PM
  • I urgently need to make that 150 day change to soar with the eagles. I need to focus on the outcome and to start effectively... M - 8/30/2014 5:50:23 PM
  • I am very interested in losing weight and looking forward to starting Sparks on 8/30/2014 - 8/29/2014 8:35:52 PM
  • I am willing to use SparkPeople to help me reach my goals of losing weight, becoming fitter, and rediscovering my joy of life! - 8/29/2014 5:09:22 PM
  • I'm hoping to learn how to gain control of my diabetes. I know that if I don't I'm not going to be around very long! So starting September 1, 2014 I'm going to give this my all for as long as I can. - 8/29/2014 3:09:44 AM
  • My 2nd day with Sparkpeople! I just stopped my WW Online subscription and remembered seeing something about Spark last year so looked it up and decided to try it.
    So far the trackers are easy enough to manage daily tracking, although I did download the phone apps I haven't used them as of yet.
    Wishing everyone healthy living!
    Kim - 8/28/2014 12:12:13 PM

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