Fast-5 Corporation: The Past, Present and Future
Updated: 9 May 2010
Fast-5 LLC was founded in July 2005 by Drs. Judi and Bert Herring because of the compelling public need for a practical and effective weight loss tool. Fast-5 LLC published the paperback book “The Fast-5 Lifestyle and the Fast-5 Diet” in the fall of 2005. Publicity for the book was based on a website, a Yahoo support group and about $100/month for a few months in Google advertisements.
Investigation into the marketing use of nutritional research suggested that the funding, publication and publicity of a great deal of research is either squelched or amplified depending on its potential benefit for the funding organization, frequently a multinational food vendor. Due to the importance of food vendors' large advertising budgets to media channels' revenue streams (e.g., cereal commercials on network television), the food vendors can influence news content.
Other efforts for publicity (press releases, requests for book reviews and media attention) yielded no traction. In the fall of 2006, the Herrings sponsored a publicity-oriented trip in which Judi walked 1,500 miles from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City with Gary Long (afatmansjourney.com). The three-month walk gathered some local media attention. Judi’s and Gary’s blogs of the walk prompted some people to try the Fast-5 lifestyle.
Through 2007 and early 2008, the Herrings were unsuccessful in getting mainstream media interest in the lifestyle. The lifestyle, which became known as “Fast-fiving,” spread throughout the world via trusted relationships such as friends and family with the continued support of the website and the Yahoo group.
Fast-5 LLC transferred its assets to the newly-formed non-profit 501(c)(3) Fast-5 Corporation in December 2008. A board of six directors with Fast-5 lifestyle experience was recruited to replace the founders. Bert Herring was appointed as executive director. In November 2009, the IRS certified Fast-5 Corporation as a 501(c)(3) organization, which makes donations to Fast-5 Corporation by citizens of the US tax-deductible.
Support for the Fast-5 Lifestyle continues with the website, email responses to questions from the public and the Yahoo group which now has over 1,200 members. The website is being redesigned and redeployed to better support social media (blog and forum) and multiple languages (presently English, French, and German; the book is also available in Thai but the Thai version is not on the website.)
Website maintenance: $250/yr
Shipping and miscellaneous office expenses: $650/yr.
Revenue: from book sales: $700/yr; donations: $200/yr.
Volunteers: 2 (+ 6 board members.)
Volunteer hours: 1500/yr.
Fast-5 Corporation now has the pool of public experience and satisfaction with the lifestyle as a weight loss / weight maintenance approach to advance further into the mainstream. Questions like those listed below are raised by the Fast-5 approach and should be answered with thorough, unbiased research with all results and data released for public review.
Fast-5 Expansion Plan:
The Fast-5 communication strategy will continue to rely heavily on social media and word of mouth marketing carried through trusted relationships, the heart and soul of Fast-5’s success.
Fast-5 Corporation will build an operational fund to support a core staff to include an 1 FTE executive director, 1 FTE research Director, 1 FTE administrative assistant, < 1 FTE accountant.
Fast-5 Corporation will build a research endowment to fund grants with the following criteria:
The Future of the Nation/World in the Wake of Fast-5 Impact:
Billions of dollars are spent to influence the future of the healthcare system at the policy level. Millions are spent to impact the obesity epidemic through programs that have proven unsuccessful. Fast-5 Corporation will continue to improve health worldwide by applying high-value solutions to health problems at the personal level.