A Weight Watchers funded study, “Primary care referral to a commercial provider for weight loss treatment versus standard care: a randomised controlled trial” found that people who joined a commercial provider were twice more likely to lose weight than those who joined primary care facilities. The added advantage of commercial programs like Weight Watchers is that
regular weighing, advice about diet and physical activity, motivation, and group support can offer a clinically useful early intervention for weight management in overweight and obese people that can be delivered at large scale.
377 participants were assigned to the commercial programme, of whom 230 (61%) completed the 12-month assessment; and 395 were assigned to standard care, of whom 214 (54%) completed the 12-month assessment. In all analyses, participants in the commercial programme group lost twice as much weight as did those in the standard care group.
Jennifer Hudson is now the face of Weight Watchers and is paying forward her success by opening a weight loss center on the south side of Chicago. I was fortunate enough to go to the Structure House weight loss program in Durham NC, and lost 120 lbs over an 18 month period, and managed to keep it off!