Individuals looking to lose weight may experience better results with Weight Watchers compared to working with a professional counselor.
According to a recent study published in the journal Obesity, people enrolled in the Weight Watchers program for 48 weeks were found more likely to stick with their weight loss goals and experience more weight loss than regularly meeting with doctors.
The study was conducted by a researcher from Baruch College in New York City and involved 141 overweight or obese people, with mostly women participants. Participants were either enrolled in Weight Watchers, a program with professional counselors and a combined program of both Weight Watchers and health care professionals.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the study found that those enrolled in Weight Watchers lost an average of more than 13 pounds compared to those in the combined program with individuals losing an average of 8 pounds. Individuals in the professional counselors program experienced an average weight loss of less than 12 pounds. In addition, subjects using Weight Watchers were more likely to attend meetings, utilize the program's electronic tools more often and more likely to complete the program.
In terms of the amount of weight lost in relation to one's overall body weight, 37 percent of people using Weight Watchers lost 10 percent of their body weight compared to 15 percent of people in the combination program and 11 percent of the professional counselors program.
"Weight Watchers really can produce clinically meaningful weight loss for a lot of people," Angela Marinilli Pinto, a leader of the study, said in the report. "It can be very convenient for people to access, and professional programs don't always have that convenience and accessibility."