Study: Weight Watchers Works Better than Clinical Weight Loss Programs

Another study endorses the effectiveness of the ubiquitous, points-based weight loss program

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Good news for people who do Weight Watchers: a study pitting the commercial weight-loss program against professionally directed weight loss treatments found that dieters stuck with Weight Watchers longer and were more likely to lose weight.

Researchers led by Angela Marinilli Pinto, an assistant professor of psychology at Baruch College in New York City, randomly assigned 141 overweight or obese men and women to one of three groups: a behavioral weight-loss treatment led by a health professional; Weight Watchers, whose weight-loss groups are led by peer counselors; or a hybrid program that started with 12 weeks of behavioral weight loss treatment, followed by 36 weeks of Weight Watchers. All programs lasted a total of 48 weeks.

(Q&A: Weight Watchers CEO on the Journey to ‘Weight Loss Boss’)

People in all three groups experienced significant weight loss: it didn’t matter whether a health professional was running the treatment or not. On average, Weight Watchers users lost just over 13 lbs., compared with just under 12 lbs. for those who lasted all 48 weeks in the professionally led group, and nearly 8 lbs. for people in the combination treatment.

But the Weight Watchers group fared best overall. Nearly 37% of those doing Weight Watchers lost at least 10% of their starting weight, compared with 11% of those in the professionally led group and 15% of those in the hybrid group. The researchers said they were surprised, since they assumed the hybrid treatment would lead to the most success.

Further, the authors found, Weight Watchers members attended more meetings and were more likely to stick with the study to the end than people in the other two groups.

(MORE: Weight Watchers’ New Points: Zero for Fruits and Veggies)

The fact that a program like Weight Watchers can deliver clinically effective results is good news for overweight or obese Americans who may not have access to behavioral weight loss programs led by health care professionals, the authors noted. “With almost 70% of American adults classified as overweight or obese, there is a need to provide practical treatment solutions that are effective, accessible, and affordable,” said Pinto in a statement.

Many behavioral weight loss programs are run in academic medical facilities and can cost as much as $35 a week. Weight Watchers, on the other hand, costs only about $10 a week and the program is ubiquitous. It’s the largest commercial weight loss program in the U.S., with approximately 1.3 million members who spend more than $5 billion on Weight Watchers products and services yearly and attend more than 45,000 meetings each week. In other words, it’s easy for dieters to find.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the journal Obesity.

MORE: ‘Plus-Size Friendly’ Gym Bans Skinny People


If you're serving yourself, err on small side with regards to portion size. It's also possible to use tricks like downsizing your food or changing up the color of your plates to generate your portions seem larger. And for anyone who is at a eating place, don't be embarrassed to ask for a to-go box from the outset of your dinner; putting some of your respective food to the side before you start out eating it you will save from going over the top.


It’s no surprise people are losing more weight while on weight watchers. For one, it’s in the name. Watching your diet, looking at the calories you have consumed, is one priority of losing weight in a diet according to Dr. Oz. Another thing is adding the exercise which makes another difference because you’re burning the calories, and making more room for new ones. Instead of trying to cut the calories with no exercise, you can add exercise and still eat. Depending on how many calories you burn of course.

It also makes it easier for people to believe they can do it with the advertising on TV of celebrities like Jessica Simpson who just had a baby and came back looking like she used to. Almost as if she never had a baby. People will look at her on a show and at the ad and think “I want to do that. I can do that”. It gives them hope. The ones on a ‘special diet’ is probably the ones cutting out the yummy food like sweets and snacks. Putting them on low calories and exercise routine.

As for the meetings, those are a big help too. You go to a meeting, meet someone who has a goal like yours; you become friends, and work on it with each other. Not alone. It’s easier to do it when someone else is there with you, going through the steps by your side. So, it’s still no wonder that weight watchers is actually easier for people to lose weight than being stuck on a doctors diet.


WEIGHT WATCHERS HAS A 50% FAILURE RATE:  Scientist in Europe showed the secret to all weight loss is a specialized diabetes diet. The Spirit Happy Diet created for diabetics by Science researchers is now used by Science to create fast and healthy weight loss. The Specialized diabetes diet beat Weight Watchers and the Dash diet in a head to head test in Europe. Weight watchers will not solve your weight problems. The Researchers showed all weight gain is from Blood sugar even in those without diabetes. 


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Krista Summers

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