Trending | News

Weight Watchers Is Changing Its Name And The Public Is Divided

Mike Mozart/Flickr

Since 1963, Weight Watchers has served as an organization assisting millions of people to shed the pounds in a safe and healthy way.

However, a new announcement by Weight Watchers has the public scratching their heads after the longstanding health-and-wellness company decided to change it's famous name.

On September 24, it was revealed that Weight Watchers will now go by "WW" in an effort to shift its focus to overall wellness, as opposed to just dieting.

The company's app will now offer weight loss tips, but also provide meditation and dish out rewards for tracking meals and exercise.

In January 2019, WW will no longer have artificial sweeteners or preservatives in their food products for purchase.

“Yes, we’re the undisputed leader in healthy weight loss — but people want so much more today,” president and CEO of WW, Mindy Grossman, told BuzzFeed News.

“They want to define what healthy means to them.”

“We believe that wellness is not just about one thing.”

WW comes with a new tagline, "Wellness that works," which is meant to reassure customers that the company will do everything in its power to help you achieve your goals, whether it be to exercise more, eat healthier, or be more positive.

“We believe that wellness is not just about one thing,” Grossman explained. “Ultimately we’re looking for sustainable options for people to live the healthiest lives they want to live.”

Throughout the decades, WW's methods of weight lost have evolved, but still features its point system (where different points are allocated to different foods) and meetings where clients get together, step on the scale and discuss the trials and tribulations they've faced that week.

With the introduction of "Diet Culture" into society and research arguing that diets aren't actually sustainable when it comes to keeping the weight off, it's arguable that WW's rebranding is essential for the company to stay afloat.

However, opponents of this new label assert it's just a way for WW to disguise its original mission of assisting people to become a skinnier them.

“This rebranding it actually going to sucker some people,” registered dietitian Christy Harrison told BuzzFeed News.

“Ultimately, it’s the same company that gave us decades of unsuccessful dieting and people countless triggers for disordered eating. It’s not like that’s gone away, it’s just gone underground.”

“They’ve contributed in a huge way to the unrealistic standards of body size that we see today.”

“We will always be the best at the science of eating as healthy as you can, period.”

But Grossman rebukes claims the organization is trying to capitalize on the body positivity movement, and said one major portion of "wellness" is in fact being "as healthy as you can."

“We will always be the best at the science of eating as healthy as you can, period,” she said. “If somebody needs and wants to, desires to lose weight, we have the best program in the world,” adding that WW is “the biggest proponent of body positivity of any brand I know.”

Plenty of famous celebrities have vouched for WW in the past, such as Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Hudson, and Tina Fey.

However, one of the most famous spokesperson is none other than Oprah Winfrey, who in 2015 purchased a 10% stake in the company.

View this post on Instagram

Weight Watchers is evolving! #WW

A post shared by Oprah (@oprah) on

Winfrey's presence has substantially increased the public's interest in WW, and said she even got her partner Stedman Graham involved.

“I'm excited that other people are bringing in their friends and family members because it's been my philosophy forever, that life is better together,” Winfrey said

Reactions

Once the company made its announcement, social media users were quick to voice their opinions on the name change, and the majority of people believed the new moniker misses the mark.

With the public's opinion is still divided, Grossman said the company is still reviewing its upcoming campaign.

“We are working right now on exactly what that (campaign) will look like going into 2019,” she said. “It’s all under concept development, globally.”

[H/T: Toronto Star, Buzzfeed News]

Do you think Weight Watchers should have changed its name? Let us know in the comments!

Maya has been working at Shared for a year. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at maya@shared.com