Weight Watchers Actually Works

Study finds that it's more effective than standard weight loss care
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2011 8:29 AM CDT
Weight Watchers Actually Works
A client walks towards an entrance to a Weight Watchers meeting location May 18, 2004 in Arlington Heights, Illinois.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Science has confirmed it: Weight Watchers is no fad diet. A new study—the first randomized controlled trial to compare a commercial program like Weight Watchers with weight loss care from a doctor—found that overweight patients who go on Weight Watchers lose about twice as much weight as those who receive standard care over the course of a year, Reuters reports.

Not only did Weight Watchers patients lose more weight; they also lost more fat mass, their waist measurements declined more, and more of them stuck to the diet. The Weight Watchers members were also much more likely to lose 10% or more of their initial weight; 61% lost at least 5%, compared to just 32% of those receiving standard care. Of course, it’s worth noting that the study, which was conducted in Australia, Germany, and Britain, was funded by Weight Watchers (but run independently), and that the patients were given a free year of membership in Weight Watchers. (Read more weight loss stories.)

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