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Weight Watchers®

Related Terms

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Background

  • The Weight Watchers® company was founded in the 1960s by Jean Nidetch in New York City. Today, Weight Watchers® offers weight loss related programs and products consisting of several diets and meeting structures, as well as consultations and weight loss tools. Weight Watchers® offers weekly meetings that participants pay a fee to attend. Weight Watchers® programs currently exist in approximately 30 countries; however, programs may vary by country and region.
  • The Weight Watchers® diet centers on an eating plan that assigns point values to various types of food as a means of achieving weight loss. The points correlate to the total number of daily calories a person should consume for their target weight loss goal.
  • In general, medical studies have only evaluated the efficacy of Weight Watchers® as a tool for study participants to lose weight in comparison to other diets, such as Atkins®. The efficacy of Weight Watchers® in preventing or controlling other medical problems, such as blood pressure, has not been studied. Higher quality large scale or long term studies on Weight Watchers® alone are currently lacking.
  • Unlike other dieting plans, Weight Watchers® remains popular because participants attend regular group meetings where they receive social support while following the diet. In addition, the Weight Watchers® webpage offers a very active online community of message boards and weight loss tools. This community aspect of Weight Watchers® makes it an attractive diet option for some individuals.

Diet

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Theory/Evidence

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Safety

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.