The history of Weight Watchers is nothing but the fascinating weight loss quest of a woman that turned into a huge organization in the years to come. Read further to learn more about the history and facts about the Weight Watchers program…
She was a frustrated, overweight housewife who was tired of trying numerous fad diet that promised effective weight loss. In the desperate attempt to lose weight, she joined a local free dieting group that was sponsored by the local Board of Health. With the help of this diet, she lost not more than 20 lbs, but gained motivation and a hope of losing weight anew. With the same motivation, she started a support group with the help of several of her likewise overweight friends. How their weekly classes and weight loss discussions turned into one of the biggest organization in the world, is definitely worth a chronicle!
Most of you must have heard slightly different versions of the same story that I have described above. Now that “overweight woman” was none other than Jean Nidetch and the organization is the Weight Watchers Organization. The aforementioned series of incidences took place in the year 1961, and Jean Nidetch established the Weight Watchers Organization in the year 1963. According to her, the three most crucial things that cause effective weight loss are empathy, rapport and mutual understanding. With the help of these three things and her unique dieting approach, Weight Watchers did grab a lot of positive effects and attention of the millions of weight loss aspirants across the globe.
The History of Weight Watchers Program
Two things that made this weight loss plans unique and innovative were – a totally different nutritional approach and the weekly meetings for guidance and discussions. More importantly, Jean herself lost around 72 lbs of weight with help of the same philosophy, setting her experience as an example for her fellow group members and other weight loss aspirants. Jean Nidetch had a strong support of her husband Marty Nidetch and a couple Felice and Albert Lippert; who were extremely successful at losing weight. Along with these three people, she began her journey of founding one of the biggest weight loss programs.
By the year 1963, the Nidetchs and Lipperts decided to work in partnership and established the Weight Watchers Organization. Without any sort of official publicity by either of the founders, there were more than 400 people who attended the launching meeting of the organization. Interestingly, the seating arrangement that the founders provided was only for 50 people. To get over the dilemma, Jean split the gathered people into groups of 50 and conducted batch-wise guiding sessions for the rest of the day. Since the basic concept of these meetings was to sit down and freely discuss the weight loss frustrations and food obsessions of the weight loss aspirants, it appealed as a realistic venture for most of the people. Considering the fast paced momentum that the organization gained, the founders decided to train and recruit more women around New York area, who can provide training to the groups of weight loss aspirants.
It was in the year 1965, that Weight Watchers started working upon the idea of providing diet food. It was also the time when the Weight Watchers Magazine and Weight Watchers Cookbook were first published. Now, the weight loss aspirants were able to purchase various packaged foods and other dietary tools that were manufactured under the brand name of Weight Watchers. Within just four years from its official foundation, the Weight Watchers became popular in various countries across the globe, including the US, UK, Canada, Israel and Puerto Rico. After a few years (at the beginning of 1970), various specialists like psychologists and behavioral therapists came aboard with the Weight Watchers. However, the year 1978 was the most notable year in their history. It is the year when the partners Nidetchs and Lipperts, sold Weight Watchers to the leading food manufacturing company H.J.Heinz for approximately USD 1 million.
The Quick Start
The concept of quick weight loss was introduced by Weight Watchers at the start of the year 1980. The company launched two highly ambitious weight loss plans, namely, The Quick Start and At Work Program. Both these programs increased popularity of the Weight Watchers program amongst office going crowd and the youngsters. By the time, the company started reaching towards almost all the classes of the society, the weight loss industry started booming with equally competitive and calorie counting weight loss programs that guaranteed quick weight loss. These programs include, Medifast, Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem; along with various professional exercise routines and diet pills for quick and easy weight loss. In response to all these competitive weight loss programs, the company had to come up with an extremely effective and at the same time an easy-to-follow weight loss program, and so it did!
In the year 1997, Weight Watchers launched its 1,2,3 Success Program, which is also called the Weight Watchers Points system. This was the most innovative weight loss system that most of the dieters had ever tried. In this diet plan, the dieters were supposed to consume foods that are worth of certain points that were decided by Weight Watchers. For that, the company created food lists with particular points to each and every edible item. Putting those points in the patented formula, the dieter could get the approximate points’ worth food that they could consume each day. This diet plan became the most popular weight loss programs of Weight Watchers as well. In the meanwhile, H.J.Heinz sold Weight Watchers to Artal Luxembourg, for more than USD 735 million. There were millions of people who became paid members of Weight Watchers and gained desired weight loss effects with help of the points system of Weight Watchers.
Weight Watchers Today
Disclaimer: The team of Weight Watchers keeps updating the program, according to the requirements/feedback of their members. The program has been updated many times, the latest one being the Weight Watchers 360° program, which was unveiled on the 3rd of December, 2012. The program teaches members how to manage their food environment, claiming that we tend to eat what we see. It also guides people on ways to control their temptation, and to avoid pleasure eating. Weight Watchers has not increased their rates for this new approach, and all the meetings, eTools, and apps are included in the total fee.
The content below explains the Weight Watchers PointsPlus program in detail. The details of the current program are exclusively available to the paid members of Weight Watchers.
At the end of the year 2010, Weight Watchers overhauled their points program, with an equally effective weight loss program which is known as Weight Watchers PointsPlus. This program was launched as a modified version of the earlier points program. The creators changed the overall points counting formula and added different and a healthier look to the entire weight loss system of Weight Watchers. In the latest PointsPlus formula, healthy foods have least points and hence they are promoted over the unhealthy foods that contain more calories. Along with attracting new members to join in, the organization took care of the old members and made sure that they get all the needed assistance for this latest transition and continue keeping off the additional weight. Similar to the earlier points program, the dieters need to get paid membership of Weight Watchers so that they could benefit from various manuals, PointsPlus calculator, and cookbooks that are provided to them by the company.
As you can very well see, the history is definitely inspirational even for those who do not believe in the concept of quick weight loss programs. In case you want to join Weight Watchers, then let me inform you that the company demands proper prior medical certificate for the underage people, pregnant women and others with special health conditions.