A new randomized clinical trial published in JAMA Network Open found that those engaged in WeightWatchers, a commercially available weight loss program, lost more than twice the amount of weight than those who tried to lose weight on their own. Those randomly assigned to WeightWatchers were also more likely to achieve clinically significant weight loss of five percent at three and twelve months, which can help lead to health benefits – including improvements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood sugar.1
Participants assigned to WW had access to the app and community support – including Workshops, expert Coaches and tools. These participants also experienced WeightWatchers’ unique and simplified approach to self-monitoring – with a list of over 200 foods that participants didn’t need to weigh, measure or track. As a result, the findings also suggest that programs with lower demands for self-monitoring of nutritious foods can produce clinically significant weight loss.
“Given the global prevalence of obesity, accessible and effective treatment options are needed to manage obesity and its comorbid conditions, but few commercial programs have been rigorously evaluated,” said Deborah Tate, PhD, study co-author and a professor of health behavior and nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We are encouraged by these findings which suggest that health care professionals might discuss the potential merits of commercial programs compared with efforts patients might undertake to lose weight on their own for greater likelihood of clinical benefit.”
The worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly tripled between 1975 and 2016. In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults aged 18 years and older were living with overweight and of these, over 650 million adults were living with obesity.2 To provide practical solutions for obesity in America specifically, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines state that primary care physicians and other clinicians should offer or refer adult patients with obesity for intensive, multi-component behavioral intervention, of which WeightWatchers meets these standards. However, despite this guidance, most people try to lose weight on their own rather than choosing scientifically proven approaches.
“These study findings are particularly meaningful in a world where rigid DIY approaches, free apps and fads on social media and in the news are common approaches for weight loss,” said Gary Foster, PhD, study co-author and Chief Scientific Officer, WW. “This three-country study shows that WeightWatchers is an effective and scalable approach. We’re also encouraged that our new approach – where you don’t have to track everything you eat and drink – leads to clinically significant weight loss.”
The study (Tate DF, Lutes LD, Bryant M, et al. Efficacy of a Commercial Weight Management Program Compared With a Do-It-Yourself Approach: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(8):e2226561. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.26561) was funded by WW International. It was run as an investigator-led trial with all data collection and analysis conducted by the independent research teams, researchers assessed 373 adults with overweight or obesity in the U.S., Canada and U.K.
WW has published 130+ clinical trials, over 35 of which are rigorous, randomized control trials which have examined its efficacy and impact. In addition, WeightWatchers is one of the few programs that fulfills all of the criteria that expert panels deem necessary in order for behavioral lifestyle weight-loss interventions to be effective.3,4 These panels include the United States Preventive Task Force, The Obesity Society, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and the Australian Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council. To learn more about the science behind the WeightWatchers program, visit https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/science-center.
With decades of experience in behavior change, WeightWatchers inspires millions of people around the world to lose weight and adopt healthy habits for real life. For more information, visit www.ww.com.
About WW International, Inc.
We are a human-centric technology company powered by the world’s leading weight management program. For nearly six decades we have inspired millions of people to adopt healthy habits for real life. Through our comprehensive tools, expert Coaches and community, members follow our proven, sustainable, science-based program focused on weight loss. To learn more about the WeightWatchers approach to healthy living, please visit ww.com. For more information about our global business, visit our corporate website at corporate.ww.com.
1 CDC. Losing Weight. www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight.
2 WHO. Obesity and Overweight. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight.
3 Moyer VA, on behalf of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for and management of obesity in adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. Ann Intern Med. 2012;157:373–378
4 Jensen MD, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS guideline for the management of overweight and obesity in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society. Circulation 2014;129: S102– S138.
For more information, contact:
Jenny Zimmerman, WW / WeightWatchers
SOURCE WW International, Inc.