Weight Watchers Diet


Weight Watchers NYSE: WTW, founded in the 1960s by Jean Nidetch, is a company offering various dieting products and services to assist weight loss. It started as a discussion group for how to best lose weight. It now operates in about 30 countries around the world, generally under the name “Weight Watchers” translated into the local language. Its most prominent celebrity endorser is Sarah, Duchess of York.
Varying on location, Weight Watchers generally offers two distinct programs:
The POINTS program
The Core program
The programs are supplemented by optional support groups which meet regularly and provide ground assistance to those trying to meet weight-loss goals.
POINTS program
The POINTS system is, in essence, a simple way to quantify a participant’s caloric intake and energy expenditure. Various servings of food are assigned a specific number of points, and various types of exercise are assigned negative numbers of points; a program participant is allocated a certain number of points per week, with that number based on the individual’s current weight and weight goals.
The effect of this is that the participant is not restricted from eating any specific type of food, but they must stay under their total point value for the week. This stands in marked contrast to diet approaches such as the South Beach diet or the Atkins diet, under which some foods are completely forbidden and others are permitted in theoretically unlimited amounts. The participant’s ability to factor exercise into the plan increases its flexibility: the participant can eat more points as long as they offset them with exercise, or eat fewer points if they prefer not to exercise.
Many Weight Watchers proponents enjoy the POINTS system precisely because no food is out of bounds, as long as it is eaten in moderation, and because exercise can be factored in. (In the UK, Weight Watchers advertises under the slogan “Where no food is a sin”; this is a reference to its chief competitor Slimming World’s system of giving some food “sin” values.) Others, however, dislike the record-keeping that the plan imposes on the participant, who must essentially keep track of the points value of everything and member support. It is through all of the aspects of the program that members are able to not only reach their weight loss goals but to make permanent changes to support lifetime weight management.
Corporate history
From 1978 until 1999, the Weight Watchers company was owned by the H. J. Heinz Company, which continues to produce packaged foods bearing the Weight Watchers brand name (and with points values clearly identified). Weight Watchers was acquired in a leveraged buyout in 1999 and went public in 2001.
Corporate governance
Current members of the board of directors of Weight Watchers are: Philippe Amouyal, John Bard, Raymond Debbane, Marsha Evans, Jonas Fajgenbaum, Linda Huett, Sacha Lainovic, Sam K. Reed, and Christopher Sobecki.