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  • Weight Watchers caused greater weight loss than self-help program after one year, 9.5 lbs vs 2.9 lbs

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Tuesday, October 06, 2009 7:23 am Email this article
    Weight Watchers caused greater weight loss than a self-help program after one year (9.5 lbs vs 2.9 lbs) and after two years (6.4 lbs vs 0.4 lbs) according to a 2003 study. Subjects

    Subjects: 65 men, 358 women, overweight or obese, 18-65 years-old

    The study involved “overweight and obese men (n = 65) and women (n = 358) (body mass index, 27-40) aged 18 to 65 years”.

    They were randomly assigned to “either a self-help program (n = 212) consisting of two 20-minute counseling sessions with a nutritionist and provision of self-help resources or to a commercial weight loss program [Weight Watchers] (n = 211) consisting of a food plan, an activity plan, and a cognitive restructuring behavior modification plan, delivered at weekly meetings.”

    The study was a “A 2-year, multicenter randomized clinical trial with clinic visits at 12, 26, 52, 78, and 104 weeks conducted at 6 academic research centers in the United States between January 1998 and January 2001.”



    Completers after 2 years: 71% in Weight Watchers group, 75% in self-help group

    “At 2 years, 150 participants (71%) in the commercial group and 159 (75%) in the self-help group completed the study,” the paper noted.


    Heshka S, Anderson J, Atkinson R, Greenway F, Hill J, Phinney S, Kolotkin R, Miller-Kovach K, Pi-Sunyer FX. Weight loss with self-help compared with a structured commercial program: A randomized trial. JAMA. 2003 Apr 9, 289(14):1792-98.


    S. Heshka
    New York Obesity Research Center
    St Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital and Columbia University
    New York, NY, USA
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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