Weight Watchers

The health movement is sweeping the United States in full force right now. We watch TV shows, read books, and conduct research on the best way to lose weight and stay healthy. From the time I was a child and first watched television up until now I have noticed the public media changing. The media is one of the largest avenues to promote social change.

Generally a key component the media has used to promote anything is to use a famous actor or actress. In regards to the weight loss movement we see this on weight watchers commercials. Everyday Americans like to watch success stories because they feel like they will be able to accomplish weight loss too. Weight Watchers is a global entity yet it contains smaller branches located in local communities throughout the US. Weight Watchers is a prime example of community based weight loss efforts. Participatory research is placing researchers inside of the community and when they are trying to learn about issues within the community. (Yarwood, l. 13 p.1) Weight Watchers has taken the knowledge that individuals need outside support to lose weight and created a place for that. There are group meetings that bring people together to share their struggles and as a result they end up encouraging each other to keep going. This is key especially when one cheats on their diet and ends up not losing as much weight as they would like.

As a continual effort to ensure their success continues, Weight Watchers conducts ongoing research to monitor the benefits. The benefits range from weight loss, minimal cost, and lowered cardiovascular diseases, just to name a few. (Weight Watchers, 2014) Community-based efforts tend to be the most effective in weight loss programs. The above mentioned benefits were the highest for those in an interactive and community environment like Weight Watchers. While researchers try to mitigate to spike in obesity, I expect to see more community based efforts pop up.
Weight Watchers International, Inc. Scientific Compendium. 2014. Retrieved from http://www.weightwatchers.com/about/prs/wwi_template.aspx?GCMSID=1003061
Yarwood, MIchelle. (2014) Lesson 13: Social Change Participatory Research. Retrieved from https://courses.worldcampus.psu.edu/sp14/psych424/001/toc.html

1 comment

  1. Jennifer Theresa Cass

    I think you point out a great example of social change regarding weight watchers. Weight watchers allows individuals to come together, share their experiences and troubles with one another. It is an ongoing process where researchers use their research to change and make improvements where needed to make the program beneficial.

    It makes sense that community based programs tend to be most effective in weight loss problems. It acts as a group therapy session, allowing individuals to come together and share their experiences. It gives people the chance to realize they have similar experiences and insecurities that others do, which can help them not feel alone. This process can help instill hope to individuals because they are able to learn that people have gone through similar problems, but were able to get through it (Trull & Prinstein, 2013). They are able to see those people who have struggled but were able to lose weight. This helps others feel better about achieving their own goals. It is a great process to help motivate individuals which is why community based programs may be so effective during weight loss programs.

    Trull, T., & Prinstein, J. M. (2012). Clinical Psychology (8th ed.).Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

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