NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It took sharing a fabulous and fatty meal with one of America's "Biggest Losers" for me to learn what it takes to make real changes in one's health.
"I'm a food addict, and I know it," Hannah Curlee told me over a way-marvelous, way-rich, Las Vegas steak frites dinner. "When I look at this plate, I know I can have only two bites of steak. And no fries -- too much salt. But the broccoli? That I can eat all day long."
The producers of NBC's absurdly popular weight-loss reality show -- The Biggest Loser -- recruited Curlee back in 2011. She along with her sister Olivia Ward, dropped a combined 249 pounds.
The team took down first and second place -- and a cool quarter-million first prize for Ward.But it's Curlee's day job that makes her investor-worthy. She's a human resources professional for a health care company she asked me not to name. And she was refreshingly blunt about what works -- and what doesn't -- in keeping off the 129 pounds she lost. "I really believe in the tools that I used," she said. Along with Jillian Michaels yelling at her eight hours a day, she wore an exercise management gizmo called BodyMedia -- a device that captures her body's metabolism and food consumption in minute detail. "But at the end of the day it is the person inside that has to take responsibility for their own health," she said. Her hard-won wisdom, it turns out, is lost on dozens of emerging ehealth-care technology companies, all angling to get paid to help people do what Curlee has done. "We are seeing an explosion of consumer-aimed health care technologies and services," Michael Yang, managing partner at Philadelphia-based Comcast Ventures, told me. Yang should know. He has led a $12 million funding round for BodyMedia -- which, for the record, is a major sponsor of The Biggest Loser though Curlee says she does not get direct sponsorship from the firm. Yang was clear that a dangerous bubble is lurking in the growing ehealth-care market. "It cannot end well for every single one of these companies," he said.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV