Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why Weight Watchers Succeeds: Meetings Provide A Blend Of Spirituality And Therapy

Date:
August 27, 2009
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Weight Watchers is the world's largest support group, with more than 1.5 million members worldwide. What makes overweight consumers turn to this organization for help? A new study says dieters are attracted to its combination of spirituality and therapy.

Weight Watchers is the world's largest support group, with more than 1.5 million members worldwide. What makes overweight consumers turn to this organization for help? A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research says dieters are attracted to its combination of spirituality and therapy.

Authors Risto Moisio (California State University, Long Beach) and Mariam Beruchashvili (California State University, Northridge) undertook observations of weekly Weight Watchers meetings and conducted interviews with female members and group leaders. They conclude that Weight Watchers provides a powerful service to its clientele.

"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," write the authors.

Interviewing members and observing meetings taught the researchers that Weight Watchers aids dieters' pursuit of well-being in a world that fails to understand them. "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."

Members of Weight Watchers seek to alleviate many psychological traumas they link to their struggles with weight, the authors found. "As consumers evolve into full-fledged Weight Watchers members, the support group becomes their spiritual and therapeutic companion," the authors write.

For many members, weekly meetings are crucial for their well-being. "The presence of fellow Weight Watchers is equally therapeutic as it is spiritual: it transforms the support group into a greater, spiritual power that engenders therapeutic aid to members struggling with their diets," the authors write. "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," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Moisio et al. Questing for Well-Being at Weight Watchers: The Role of the Spiritual-Therapeutic Model in a Support Group. Journal of Consumer Research, 2009; 090723094931020 DOI: 10.1086/605590

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Why Weight Watchers Succeeds: Meetings Provide A Blend Of Spirituality And Therapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090824182537.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2009, August 27). Why Weight Watchers Succeeds: Meetings Provide A Blend Of Spirituality And Therapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090824182537.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Why Weight Watchers Succeeds: Meetings Provide A Blend Of Spirituality And Therapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090824182537.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins