Researchers observed what happens at Weight Watchers meetings and why it is so successful. The conclusion is that Weight Watchers works so well because it combines spirituality and therapy. Meetings are an important part of the Weight Watchers program because they help members find relief from psychological trauma linked to weight loss.
Study authors Risto Moisio (California State University, Long Beach) and Mariam Beruchashvili (California State University, Northridge) say, “Even if Weight Watchers’ advertisements make it sound as if it were only about weight loss, the social function of weekly meetings extends far beyond the tricks of the weight loss trade.”
The researchers conducted interviews with women at Weight Watchers meetings, and observed. The study authors concluded that Weight Watchers provides a valuable service in terms of psychological support. Pursuing weight loss is an immensely daunting project fraught with many troubles, whether psychological, social, or physical. To overcome these challenges, consumers turn to Weight Watchers.”
Being around fellow Weight Watchers is both spiritual and therapeutic. “The support group gives meaning to members’ at times trauma-ridden overweight condition, grants forgiveness for members’ weight loss failures, offers valued oversight and overarching guidance needed to make it through the trials and tribulations of the week, as well as casting the occasional weight-loss successes in a veneer of much-needed glamour”, conclude the researchers.
The study showed that Weight Watchers is much more than just a weight loss program. The support garnered from attending weekly meetings provides member with the spiritual support needed to make weight loss a success.