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Mini Bars Are 2 for $12 at Weight Watchers Shop
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About Weight Watchers Shop Store
WW International, Inc., formerly Weight Watchers International, Inc., is a global company headquartered in the U.S. that offers various products and services to assist in healthy habits, including weight loss and maintenance, fitness, and mindset. Founded in 1963 by Queens, New York City homemaker Jean Nidetch, as of 2018 it delivers its program in three combined ways: online via its mobile app and website, coaching online or by phone, and optional in-person meetings around the world. The core philosophy behind Weight Watchers programs is to use a science-driven approach to help participants lose weight by forming healthy habits, eating smarter, getting more exercise, and receiving support.
A 2015 systematic medical review concluded that at 12 months Weight Watchers is associated with 2.6% more weight loss than those who were in a control group.
On September 24, 2018, the company announced a rebrand to “WW” taking effect immediately, to reflect its development from focusing on weight loss to overall health and wellness.
Weight Watchers was conceived by Jean Nidetch, a housewife and mother living in Queens, New York City, who had been overweight most of her life and had tried pills, hypnosis, and numerous fad diets, all of which only led to regained weight. When in 1961 at the age of 38 she weighed 214 pounds and an acquaintance mistook her for being pregnant, she entered a free 10-week weight-loss program sponsored by the New York City Board of Health’s obesity clinic. The program was called the “Prudent Diet” and had been developed in the 1950s by Dr. Norman Jolliffe, head of the board’s Bureau of Nutrition. The plan included the dictums “No skipping meals. Fish five times a week. Two pieces of bread and two glasses of skim milk a day. More fruits and vegetables.” and eating liver once a week. It prohibited alcohol, sweets, and fatty foods, included a list of allowed foods and the quantities allowed, and encouraged weighing portions.
Although Nidetch lost 20 pounds on the ten-week program, the way the clinic’s leader imparted information at the weekly meetings was not to her liking, and discussion was discouraged; in addition, Nidetch’s motivation was threatened by her urge to binge on Mallomar cookies. She therefore began a weekly support group in her apartment, initially inviting six overweight friends, which within two months grew to 40 women each week. She introduced the “Prudent Diet”, a single page from the New York City Board of Health, to her fellow weight-loss seekers, and the group provided empathy, rapport, mutual understanding, support, and sharing of stories and ideas. The meetings also included a weekly weigh-in, and Nidetch developed a rewards system including prizes for weight-loss milestones. In October 1962 Nidetch achieved her target weight of 142 pounds, and maintained the weight loss; according to her she never exceeded 150 pounds thereafter.
As interest grew Nidetch coached groups in other neighborhoods. One group was at the home of Al and Felice Lippert, and after the Lipperts successfully lost weight, Al, who was a businessman in the garment industry, talked Nidetch into making a business out of her endeavor.