America's #1 Weight-Loss Website Has #1 Bestselling Book

Wall Street Journal, Nielsen BookScan and rankings highlight the quiet phenomenon in American weight-loss

Jan 08, 2010, 15:17 ET from

CINCINNATI, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ --, the most active weight loss and fitness website in America, is pleased to announce several publishing milestones for The Spark, a new book from Hay House written by SparkPeople Founder and CEO Chris Downie. For the week ending January 2, The Spark was the #1 self-help book and the only weight-loss book on The Wall Street Journal Best-Selling Books List in the Hardcover Nonfiction category, in which The Spark was ranked 7th overall. The Spark ranked #1 in sales of all Hardcover Nonfiction weight-loss books tracked by BookScan (the authoritative sales data provider for the publishing industry and the basis for the Wall Street Journal bestseller lists), outselling its nearest competitor by more than two-to-one.

In addition, The Spark has ranked #1 among all books - paperback and hardcover, fiction and non-fiction -- on's daily Top 50 New Releases list since the book was published on December 29. Just prior to publication, The Spark hit #1 on the pre-orders lists of,, and, which is free to join, is America's second-largest consumer health website after WebMD based on comScore's page views engagement metric. SparkPeople averages over four million unique visitors, 12 million visits and 100 million page views a month. With members in more than 100 countries, SparkPeople, an employee-owned company whose only outside investor is AOL Co-Founder Steve Case, is experiencing viral growth. It is attracting 175,000 new members a month with its breakthrough formula that combines goal setting, nutrition, exercise, motivation, and social networking within America's largest weight loss and fitness online community. SparkPeople members have been featured by numerous national media outlets, including The Today Show, Entertainment Tonight, People and Good Housekeeping, which has an excerpt of The Spark in its February issue, on newsstands next week.

"We believe the strong sales of The Spark reflect the passion of the SparkPeople community and the fact that, like SparkPeople, the book is fundamentally different from other approaches to weight loss," said Downie. "Of all the major weight loss books this season, The Spark is virtually the only one that is not just about what to eat. The Spark provides the most effective, medically proven and flexible meal plan for losing weight available anywhere. But we all know that just knowing what to eat means nothing if you can't stay motivated. And it just won't stick if it's too hard to incorporate into our real lives."

Downie continued, "As The Spark explains, by blending the science of nutrition and fitness with the science of motivation with the power of online social networking, SparkPeople is reinventing weight loss in America and sparking countless lives. Millions of people are freeing themselves from the over-promising, all-or-nothing, unsustainable diets that set them up for failure and yo-yo weight swings. They are embracing a weight-loss and healthy lifestyle system that breeds confidence, success and momentum by starting with manageable changes, makes weight loss fun and energizing, and turns it into a springboard for achieving other goals that change lives, not just waistlines.

"I couldn't be more grateful to our members for helping make The Spark a #1 bestseller, and even more importantly, for making such a positive difference in one another's lives every day," Downie concluded. "These milestones belong to them and the amazing 25 employees who have made SparkPeople the quiet phenomenon in American weight loss."

The Spark includes:

  • A 28-day program that distills the most effective, medically accepted nutrition and fitness practices from SparkPeople into an innovative four-stage, four-week program available only in the book
  • The 27 "secrets to success" that thousands of successful SparkPeople members have used to reach their goals
  • SparkPeople member success stories that offer an honest and inspiring look at weight-loss - with all of its ups and downs - from those who have lost anywhere from 2 to 200 pounds
  • A fully illustrated workout program created by SparkPeople's certified fitness trainer, Coach Nicole
  • A stunning 16-page color insert featuring before-and-after photos and the stories of some of SparkPeople's dedicated members
  • A step-by-step, mix-and-match food plan that teaches how to combine foods into delicious recipes that don't prompt feelings of hunger or deprivation
  • The story of Downie's personal struggle with severe social anxiety, which he overcame in his 20s by accidentally discovering what evolved into the cornerstones of the SparkPeople system

To obtain a copy of The Spark or supporting BookScan data, or for all other inquiries, please contact