Weight Watchers has massive shake-up - and are now all about 'wellness'

FILE In this Feb. 7 2018 file image distributed for Weight Watchers Weight Watchers President and Chief Executive Officer Mindy Grossman speaks at a global employee event in New York. Weight Watchers is trimming its name to just two letters WW. The

Forget watching your weight.

Weight Watchers is its dropping its brand name in exchange for something slimmer: "WW".

Weight Watchers has always been known as a surefire way to drop pounds.

"No matter what your goal is - to lose weight, eat healthier, move more, develop a positive mind-set, or all of the above - we will deliver science-based solutions that fit into people's lives", she said.

Over the past few years, the company has ridden a boost from billionaire media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who bought a 10-per-cent stake in the company in 2015 and signed on to its board of directors. The wellness mainstay of "clean eating" and its fixation on healthy foods are just euphemisms for dieting; while you would never see a wellness company use diet as a verb, wellness culture continues to be preoccupied with health while pretending size has nothing to do with that obsession (paywall).

Northwestern Memorial Hospital dietitian Bethany Doerfler said she finds the switch encouraging.

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Since Grossman, formerly of HSN, took over as the company's CEO previous year, WW has done a solid job of making the company's programs more exciting for a broader base of people. "I think it's ultimately educating people that yeah, we have growth, but there is some cyclicality to the business", she said.

The name change comes during a strong run for the 55-year-old company. Instead, she said, customers need help becoming healthier.

Along with the name change, WW announced a WellnessWins rewards program "for small, everyday behaviours" such as tracking meals, activity and weight. WW will now partner with meditation and mindfulness tool Headspace, which will be incorporated into WW's mobile app starting October 4.

"A journey of health, with no beginning, middle or end".

Their app is now configured to look at various parts of a person's overall fitness and wellbeing, rather than just the numbers on the scale.


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