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WEIGHT LOSS IN THE NEWS: WEIGHT WATCHERS RESPONDS

 NEW YORK, Nov. 24 ~PRNewswire~ -- "Diets don't work but the Weight Watchers Program does," says Barbara Moore, Ph.D., general manager of program development and scientific relations for Weight Watchers International. As the New Year quickly approaches, millions of Americans will seek to pursue a weight loss program to achieve two important results -- to lose pounds and improve one's health. This is not an easy task.
 Contrary to recent news reports asserting that people have limited control over their body weight, Dr. Moore has a different perspective. While acknowledging genetic predispositions toward obesity, Dr. Moore believes most of the challenges associated with obesity come from the "culture of obesity" which is shaped during childhood and continues throughout adult life. This culture teaches inappropriate use of food to soothe emotions or is used to reward or punish behavior.
 According to Dr. Moore, "Individuals in pursuit of a weight loss program need to take a closer look at their own weight loss expectations, the cost of a program and long term benefits."
 "Experts agree that quick fix diets are a health risk," said Dr. Moore. At Weight Watchers, the critical issues for members are modifying eating behavior, activity levels, and continuing the education process so that weight loss is maintained for the long term. Further, Weight Watchers believes strongly in the psychological encouragement one derives from group support.
 Fad dieting, which includes severe caloric restrictions to lose weight, is outdated and has been replaced with the type of lifestyle changes that the Weight Watchers program has promoted for its almost thirty years. "The concept of a diet has been replaced by the idea that it is necessary to make permanent, lifelong changes in eating behaviors and lifestyles," said Dr. Moore. "This way of eating can not feel like deprivation and must be healthful and nutritionally balanced in order to be sustainable for a lifetime."
 Many people have a deep rooted belief that in order to lose weight, one must literally starve. This is not true. It is possible to eat a healthful diet that is lower in fat and in calories yet still offers plenty of food. "Weight Watchers members are often surprised to learn that they can eat so much food, including their favorite foods, and still lose weight," said Dr. Moore.
 At Weight Watchers, members may choose their own personal goal weight. The success of a weight loss program, however, must be measured by standards other than the number of pounds lost. "Success can be found in personal achievements such as feeling better about yourself as you learn to increase activity levels and make better food choices," says Dr. Moore. The benefits of eating and lifestyle changes result in an improved health profile.
 In an effort to help consumers make informed choices about their weight loss program, Weight Watchers International has adopted nationwide the "Truth In Dieting" regulation, first introduced in New York City last spring. This rule calls for the prominent posting of the "Weight-loss Consumer Bill of Rights" and full disclosure of all program costs, contract requirements and the possible health risks linked to rapid weight loss, in advance of registering for a weight loss program. Weight Watchers voluntary efforts nationwide have been applauded by New York City Consumer Affairs Commissioner Mark Green.
 The bottom line is that individuals considering a weight loss program should keep in mind that losing weight and keeping it off is a lifetime commitment.
 -0- 11~24~92
 ~CONTACT: Lisa Travatello, or Jill Cohen, both of Edelman Public Relations, 212-704-8241, or 212-704-8175, for Weight Watchers International~


CO: Weight Watchers International ST: New York IN: HEA SU:

LD-TM -- NY075 -- 1298 11~24~92 17:48 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 24, 1992
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