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> Action against weight watchers
I want to raise a case against Weight Watchers because I believe their business relies on people failing their diet in order to ensure return business. I was wondering if people have similar experieces, or any examples to back up my argument?
February 7, 2006 |
The diet industry marketeers know full well that restriction leads the human subconscious survival instinct to activate, which drives people to overeat. The subconscious survival instinct does not know that food is available, it takes messages from the conscious mind that food is restricted, so it sees danger and it FORCES you to eat as much as you can in order to survive the famine.
The diet marketeers know that restriction of food allows you to take control only for short periods of time before this survival instinct kicks in. They perpetuate the message that the only way to lose weight is to follow their restriction regimes, and they set their customers up for failure and those customers, who see no way out, keep on going back to them and giving them more money, fuelled on by their short term success, which they see as evidence that diets work.
The reality is that they don't work and that they CAUSE overeating in the first place. Diet companies, such as Weight Watchers, CREATE overeaters.
With its ever growing profits and it's 98 per cent long-term failure rate, The diet industry is the most successful failed business in the world.
The universally accepted diet information, be it under the label of 'healthy eating' or 'cutting down', is creating the so-called 'obesity epidemic' that is now the second biggest killer next to smoking in the developed world. (And it's not an 'obesity epidemic' it's an overeating epidemic. Obesity is only one symptom in a line of symptoms caused by overeating. To pick it out and place the blame on it makes as much sense as blaming lung cancer caused by smoking on the accompanying cough!)
Without restriction, we have a genuine choice and are not driven by the subconscious need to survive in the face of a famine. Without restriction we do not overeat - because overeating is unpleasant. The only reason that overeating feels pleasant is because when you do it you are relieving yourself of the pain and suffering of restriction (or dieting). The pleasure is an illusion.
The diet industry has done as much harm to our society as the tobacco industry - if not more. I teach overeaters how to stop overeating. All of these women have spent their entire lives being dictated to by the diet industry and the physical harm, the misery, degradation and misplaced self-disgust that they live with is no different to torture. If they were in a marriage that affected them the way the diet industry does, the relationship would be legally regarded as emotionally and physically abusive and the courts would provide them with the protection of a restraining order.
Yes, Weight Watchers should be taken to task in court. They should be forced to reveal the long-term failure statistics of their products and services and made to publish them alongside the temporary success stories that they use to 'push' their drug.
April 27, 2006 |
I was thinking more about this, after I posted towards the article this thread is based on. I think it's extremely hard in this society not to diet.
I mean, I used to never care about diet. Now, it's the doctors saying BMI this and BMI that, and throwing twisted terms around like "morbidly obese"
It's wrong! I'm really very angry about all of this, I have been since it started. Why won't people just leave us alone. If we have health problems we have health problems, not due to size, but because people cannot live a life of perfect health. It's just impossible.
I'm tired of dieting and then getting depressed, (I do take a anti-depressant, by the way, so don't worry) by being exhausted all the time from the self-starvation. Then I'm depressed because I think I'm a fat (insert negative term here) so it never ends.
Even my psychatrist has suggested diets, ok.. I mean not to the point of stating the BMI as a rule, but you know like well you might feel healthier. I feel healthy for awhile, and then I feel like crap.
Enough, I'm not going to do it anymore. Well ok I say that now, but then I change my mind later. It's like..whoever thought of this obesity crises crap should seriously be hit on the head with a falling anvil. Maybe then we'd all feel a bit better. Or at least be able to have gotten some angst out.
June 28, 2006 |
I would be more than happy to join you in this cause.
I have never met anyone who has lost weight and managed to keep it off with the weight watchers program, and I find their methods cruel and archaic.
If you are still interested, and need some help with research or anything else I could do for you, please email me.
July 28, 2006 |
Thanks for your support and offer of help Sarah - we will keep you updated on the WW case and any research that may need doing...
July 31, 2006 |
Bring on the action against Weight Watchers. They rely not only on fear of fat and that they'll have almost guaranteed return customers, but on projecting an image that they're a chummy women-friendly environment.
If women-friendly means being weighed, measured, cajoled and encouraged to be dissatisfied with my body, then count me out.
I live near a church hall where Weight Watchers meetings are held. When I walk past, as women are walking out of the building, holding shopping bags full of overpriced, over-processed and tasteless Weight Watchers brand "food", I desperately want to stand there handing out books on positive body image and anti-dieting information. But because I am fat, I would be labelled jealous or in denial.
I am seriously considering writing a letter to the vicar of the church asking him to consider not being part of the problem. I realise they probably need the money from the hall hire, but ...
September 27, 2006 |
This is a great thread. I did Weight Watchers and successfully lost a good deal of weight, however, I did become discouraged and floundered about for quite a while. I dropped out and have kept the weight I lost off, but I still definitely have moments where I feel like I need to lose more weight. The problem I see is, I really do not think Weight Watchers emphasizes overall HEALTH. Look at the name of the company, for starters. They focus too much on weight as a measure of one's health. Instead of promoting physical fitness and nutritous foods simply because they are healthy, they promote them as a means to lose weight, further cementing their ideal that losing weight equals being healthy. For example, as a test, after reading this post, I consulted my old Weight Watchers manual and measured my day today by Weight Watcher's standards. I ate incredibly nutritious foods all day, but still went over their "points" limit (if going according to their Flex Plan) and some of the foods I ate count against their Core Plan (ex: organic almonds and organic sprouted whole wheat bread... great nutritional value in both, but not allowed in the Core Plan.) This definitely does send a mixed message, as I cannot understand why such nutrient rich foods should be restricted. Shouldn't the goal be to get in all your vitamins, minerals, fats, carbs, and proteins so your body may get the nutrients it requires to sustain? And shouldn't exercise be a way to keep one's body running efficiently instead of a way to shed pounds? I exercise regularly (in fact I jogged 5 miles today), but I still have a flabby belly. Does that mean I am unhealthy? I really don't think so, but Weight Watchers probably does. I would love to see more responses on this thread because currently I am trying to write about issues of weight and the loss of control involved. Feel free to e-mail me if you want to expand on it.
October 13, 2006 |
Have you seen the responses to the Weight Watchers post on our front page (media watch page) - there are plenty to replies there that could help with your research - talk of weight watchers seems to really hit a cord with people.......
All the nest,
January 19, 2007 |
I'm the daughter of an ex-Weight Watchers Lecturer. I was heavily influenced by their ideas from about age 7, sitting in on the majority of my mum's classes. Now in my thirties I'm receiving treatment for an eating disorder, my mother is still in denial and still tries to 'keep her weight off'. Please mail me if you need more info.
February 6, 2007 |
I will be the first person to admit that I am, by medical definition even, morbidly obese. I am more than 100 pounds overweight, and I feel awful, and not just mentally. I have incontinence problems, PCOS, creaking knees, an ankle that gives out on a regular basis, and many more ailments, and I am the first person that needs to be on a "diet."
The word "diet" in and of itself has become the enemy, as it used to simply mean the food which one eats. Now it conjures up images of "forbidden" foods, obsessive amounts of exercising, and a way of life. But my question for many people who are in agreement with taking Weight Watchers to task is this: at what point do any of us accept responsibility for our own actions? Why is Weight Watchers to blame that we are "yo-yo dieters?"
Furthermore, why is it just Weight Watchers you want to take to court? They at least have created a system that lends itself to the real-world, even if it does mean "counting points." Slim-Fast wants you to drink their products for breakfast and lunch, and have a "healthy, sensible dinner." Jenny Craig and Seattle Suttons forces you to purchase their products. Medical Weight Loss centers stipulate 800 calories a day. Why shouldn't these companies also be thrown into the class-action suit?
Maybe what all of us, myself included, need to realize is that the word "diet" is not evil, but simply means just what it is, and that's what you eat. We all have free will, we all have choices. Why are we so quick to blame everyone else for our failures?
February 16, 2007 |
I think that the problem is that we focus so much on starving ourselves to reach the goal of thinness instead of taking a more moderate approach of moving around more to increase health. We need to match output to input instead of the other way around. Exercise is known to make a person happy and, eventually, make them want to exercise more. Starving ourselves only works to make us more hungry--making us crave that 'forbidden food' and the ‘perfect body’ all the more. I think that companies like Weight Watchers could help people who really do eat more than they need to and need an extra push to move—not to exercise in the bizarre way we’ve constructed it, but to walk to the store or the restaurant, to dance for the sheer joy of it, to stop watching TV (and fiddling on the computer)--and go DO SOMETHING instead, but the focus on losing weight needs to be stopped. We need to remember our bodies’ limits (your stomach is only about the size of your closed fist) and it amazing abilities (have you ever seen a yoga master?) in order to combat this obsession with weight and turn it into an interest in health.
Health should be our goal and health for the sake of health alone. If you are twenty (or fifty or pick a number) pounds ‘overweight’ and can climb a mountain or walk for miles without getting tired or swim for an hour and still want to keep going than you should feel proud of your body and not ashamed of the fact that your belly enjoys a good jiggle.
Monique is right. We need to take some of this responsibility ourselves. Of course these companies and magazines want to make us feel like we are lacking—they are trying to make money. But no one yet (to my knowledge, at least) has sued Maytag for making them feel like they haven’t done enough laundry. When you look at that runway model and see how unhealthy she is, love your body for what it CAN do, not for what it looks like in comparison to hers. She has her issues too.
February 22, 2007 |
Diets don't work and weight watchers certainly doesn't otherwise I would have been slim since the age of 16 when I first joined a weight watchers club. Although I have long since stopped joining weight watchers or any other slimming club, the damage is done and I can never quite rid myself of the dieting mentality. Every day I remind myself to eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. Most days, the rebellion kicks in with a vengeance and I binge at least once a day. Whilst WW is not the only organisation that needs to be made accountable, by virtue of their size and profits on the backs of people like me, challenging them publicly and on a grandscale will send a strong message out to the dieting industry as a whole. It will also validate the feelings of being cheated that so many 'failed' dieters like myself have had to live with for so long. Until now, no one has dared to say out loud that the failure is with the diets and the organisations that profit from our misery. I support the action against WW fully.
February 23, 2007 |
I have been on and off Weight Watchers since 14 years old and I am now 34. Guess what? I am overwieght. I completely agree that WW program leads to overeating and yo-yo dieting. Keep me posted on the subject.
March 13, 2007 |
I think it is about time that someone take a stand against society. I am 18 and sick of seeing and hearing about how big is ugly and fat is evil. I am big and I have fat. So What! I tried Weight Watchers because my mom wanted me to help her lose some weight. I went in and saw so many women crying at the scale because they had eaten like a normal person and it showed. I told my mom that it was unrealistic but I helped her out by trying it. I got so confused with the stupid points and counting and realized that if I wanted to eat something, I had to figure out a portion size, figure out the grams of fat, and how many points it was. By the time I figured it out, I didn't want whatever I was going to eat anymore and I would go out for a burger. I gained 10 pounds just trying it. Weight Watchers is unrealistic and annoying because the weight you put on takes forever to come off.
April 10, 2007 |
If we could actually get women to stop believing WW is the answer, that would be a huge victory. There is always someone out there peddling false hope - and there are always people out there who are emotionally exhausted enough to want to buy it. For me, the gift of finally learning that dieting is not the solution, however great the problem, is enough. Free copies of Susie Orbach's work, as well as Geneen Roth's, might do more than a court case. Although if we could get WW to pay for the free copies, that would be even better! ;)
July 2, 2007 |
I don't know where to start, but I guess any start is better than none...
I've seen my mother go on a tremendous amounts of diets in a desperate attempt to lose weight. Most of her adult life has been spent in Weight Watchers meetings, while testing out other various "miracle diets" to help her lose the unwanted pounds when she felt that Weight Watchers wasn't working. I swear that she's spent her entire adult life dieting, and nothing but. Quite frankly, I don't think she has anything else to talk about but DIETING, because it's been such a big part of her life. Even though she's lost an immense amount of weight (over 170 lbs.), she still thinks that she looks horrible. I don't know how many times I've heard her say that she's ugly and that she's still "fat."
Quite frankly I"m afraid that my mother is turning anorexic from the b.s. that's been drilled in her brain over the years, and it frightens me. When I hug her, I'm frightened, because I can feel her spine and EVERY SINGLE RIB in her body. I can't help but feel like I'm going to break her if I hug too hard...
Stuff like Weight Watchers frightens me, and I think that programs like Weight Watchers and other fad diets should be taken down.
July 25, 2007 |
I think the main problem with Weight Watchers is that the meetings I have attended did not focus on eating healthfully, the only thing that seems to truly work in the long run. I stopped going to Weight Watchers and will never return because I got tired of spending an hour a week listening to recipes for 1-point cake made with diet soda and cake mix--the whole philosophy of each leader seemed to be more junk food bang for your buck (the points). And all they want to do is sell you more of their highly-processed pseudo-food.
October 9, 2007 |
I stopped going to Rosemary Conley Diet Club when I realised that the weekly fee of £5.25 would buy me four yoghurts, a bag of apples, a bunch of grapes and a nice crusty loaf of brown bread! Healthy, real food which is much tastier than the sweetened, coloured, processed crap they push you to buy at those meetings.
November 8, 2007 |
I first joined Weight Watchers when I was 26. For the first few months I did exactly what I was told, spending every day of my life feeling hungry and obsessing about food. I lost 3 stone, but it was becoming impossible to continue.
Then I got the answer! On Wednesday nights I weighed and got the magic minus figure on my card, plus all the praise about what a Good Person I was. I left the church hall, bought a Mars Bar, went home, ate a huge meal which I had prepared earlier, and then binged for the next 3 days. On Sundays I cut my intake drastically, to maybe 1 salad meal. Monday and Tuesday I lived on crispbreads and lettuce. Wednesday during the day I didn't even drink a sip of water. I starved and took a laxative. Hey presto, Wednesday night I weighed and had lost 2 lbs.
I did this for the next few months, then lost the plot, and immediately put on the 3 stone I had lost. I repeated this twice more with Weight Watchers over the next 15 years.
Bring it on - as Susie Orbach says, with a 95% recidivism rate, why aren't these diet and slimming companies being prosecuted under Trades Descriptions? I am certainly a diet recidivist and now weigh 3 stone more than I did when I first attended Weight Watchers. How sad is that?
February 28, 2009 |
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