Weight Watchers is a popular international brand of the company Weight Watchers International, Inc. which promotes weight loss programmes and relevant packaged foods for dieting. It is based in New York and is functional in atleast 30 countries across the globe. They have a scientific approach to losing weight and is endorsed by many celebrities across the world.
The Weight Watchers company was founded in the year 1963, by Jean Nidetch – a homemaker residing in Brooklyn, New York. She started inviting her friends, over to her house, once in a week, to have healthy discussions, and an interchange of knowhow on weight loss techniques and programmes. Here they discussed not only the ways to lose weight, but also how to maintain the ideal weight, once achieved. Jean and her group of friends would emphasize on a healthy living style which comprised - judicious eating decisions with regard to quality and quantity, increased physical activity as opposed to a passive daily routine, forming healthy and helpful habits – in addition to motivational support and encouragement. This later went on to become the underlying philosophy or the Unique Selling Point (USP) of the Weight Watchers brand of programmes.
Initially what started out of Jean Nidetch’s interest, soon became an inter continental weekly activity. Today, atleast an approximate million people participate in the Weight Watchers’ meeting, held each week across various countries in the world. Simultaneously, we cannot overlook the huge mass of people participating over the internet, becoming members on their online weight loss programmes.
Weight Watchers weight reduction programmes are devised by a Scientific Advisory Board which comprises the best scientists, nutritionists, dieticians and trainers. In addition to this they also consult reputed experts from different walks of life to ensure that their programmes reflect and incorporate the most advanced scientific developments.
Weight Watchers is a consumer friendly organization, as they advocate the highest possible warnings, benefits, risks, and rights available to all their present and prospective members, through their Consumer Bill of Rights and the Health Notice.
Weight Watchers has the following range of products :
- Weight Watchers Plans and Programmes –
- The PointsPlus Programme : This is so named because every food item has been given points according to the science behind the time taken by the body to process the food. It advocates smart eating rather than less eating. It is a programme which can be personalized according to body types, sex, age, disease, lifestyle and any other particular needs.
- Weight Watchers Meetings : These are weekly meetings held at convenient locations across cities of the world. They have plenty of time schedules to suit each one’s needs. The person who conducts these meetings or the Leader is the one who successfully lost weight using the Weight Watchers programme and this in itself becomes a high motivating factor. The new member starts with a 3 step PowerStart programme, with the first goal of 5% weight reduction. All individual informations, primarily the weight is kept confidential. It suits extroverts as well as introverts as not much talking is required and there is an overflow of necessary information, strategies and tips.
- Weight Watchers Online : The online programme also follows the PointsPlus programme, but provides easy accessibility from any computer or hand-held device. It gives a tailor-made plan and then keeps track of the member’s progress.
- Weight Watchers e Tools : This is available especially for members only and helps to keep a watch on their progress with the help of Food Tracker, for example; and also helps in calculations.
- Weight Watchers At Home : This is a programme for those who cannot participate in meetings, and hence information on plans and related resources are mailed to one’s home conveniently.
- Weight Watchers Corporate Solutions – This option is available to organizations who can make use of this facility via their Human Resources Department. This is a 4-way benefit programme as it provides Flexibility, Convenience, Daily Motivation and Potential Savings to all employees of an organization. The busiest of professionals get access to At Work meetings once a week, unlimited weekly local meetings, e Tools; save time and energy as Weight Watchers comes to their workplace; a network with own colleagues to motivate, compare, compete and benefit; subsidized programme costs as may be offered by many employers. This option creates a win-win situation for all participating entities – the employees, the employing organization, Weight Watchers International, Inc. and all present and prospective members.
- Weight Watchers Magazine – This is the only magazine in the United States, in the category of weight reduction and related wellness. It provides the readers – who are usually members of the Weight Watchers one of the many plans and programmes – with valuable tips on fitness, fashion, do’s and don’ts of various programmes, low calorie recipes, motivating real life success stories and current updates.
- Other Products – This has a wide variety again, ranging from Weight Watchers Foods, weighing scales, cookware, recipe books, product locators and endorsed products, to a chain of low calorie food restaurants across US known as Applebee’s.
In addition to all of the above Weight Watchers International, Inc. also provides employment opportunities as Affiliates or direct employment and careers within the organization.
Advertising and Promotion
Currently, the Weight Watchers brand is being promoted by singer and actress Jennifer Hudson. Other celebrities who have been associated with the product in the past, are actresses Lynn Redgrave and Jenny McCarthy; and the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson.
The U.S.News & World Report has awarded the top ranking of 2012 to Weight Watchers in two categories. It has been announced the no. 1 in Best Weight Loss Diet category and also the Easiest Diet To Follow category. According to their report Weight Watchers scored over their competitors, because it offers a flexible programme and no food item is required to be completely eliminated from an individual’s diet. Their PointsPlus programme has brought them many accolades.