Rebranding Weight Watchers
In their efforts to provide a well-rounded wellness program, Weight Watchers has changed their name to WW, Wellness that Works. Additionally, weekly meetings are now called “Wellness Workshops” and WW states they are trying to move away from focusing on weight loss alone. They have switched to a more holistic approach to help clients create a healthful lifestyle through eating, physical activity and mindfulness practices. Points calculations are no longer solely based on calories and now assign zero-point values to foods that follow the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, i.e. fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish, and skinless chicken breast. Foods higher in points are those that include more added sugars and saturated fat. WW is encouraging the use of the WellnessWins program which rewards clients for choosing healthy behaviors such as food tracking, physical activity, and attending Wellness Workshops. Registered dietitians in the field are excited to see a larger focus on behavior change as it is the key to long-term success, however, others are concerned that mindfulness and weight loss do not go together. They state that in the end, calorie management must still be considered for weight loss to be successful. The largest challenge for WW, will be getting clients to change their attitude about the program. While they have rebranded themselves, WW does not require clients to set goals and most join the program to lose weight. This new movement follows a push from consumers to focus more on the whole person and less on weight loss alone.