NHS and Weight Watchers

Recently I read that the NHS has teamed up with Weight Watchers. My initial response was - 'are you for real?!'

If you have read my blog before, you should know that I'm not a fan of 'con diets', in fact I don't know any trainer/nutritionist that is a fan. Weight Watchers to me, is similar to a private equity company - they only care about their bank balance. Their whole system is just not sustainable, and doesn't really work. To start with people do seem to lose weight, but that's the same as any other fad diet out there - lose weight at the start, but doesn't continue like that. I would estimate that I have read about 40-60 'lack of' success stories from people that have used Weight Watchers. That might not seem a lot, but one person reading that many actually is. I have also read many, many, many tweets/articles/Facebook posts from trainers and nutritionists that all have the same opinion of Weight Watchers - not a very nice one...

My brother accidentally purchased a Weight Watchers meal (was short of time and put it in his basket online). When it got delivered, I checked out the nutritional content - It wasn't a very big meal at all, and it had around 14g of sugar in it - that is awful. That is roughly the same amount of sugar that you would find in a chocolate ice cream. Considering it wasn't a big meal, and was a 'ready meal', it made me wonder what else was in it. This is a company that apparently wants to help people to lose weight, and they load 14g of sugar into one of their meals??? that is ridiculous. For a fiver, I could cook a healthy, zero 'bad fat', no sugar, no sweetener, high protein meal. But yet a company the size of theirs cannot create a meal with less than 14g of sugar??

This is the company that is now teamed with the NHS. A company that I found a report showing they had a 16% success rate in the first 5 years, and I have seen numerous trainers/nutritionists/articles stating they now have around a 2% success rate (success rate as in - lose the weight and keep it off, not initial weight loss). Now, I'm sure if Someone from Weight Watchers read this they would deny it, but these people have got these figures from somewhere. I bet if you did a little investigating into Nick Mitchel and UP Fitness, I have a slight hunch that they would have a little more than a 16% success rate.... Yes, that was a little sarcastic, they will have an extremely high success rate, and they use no points, they don't create their own sugary meals, they use hard training and good nutrition.

Obesity is a huge problem in the UK (as well as other countries) but I really do not think teaming up with Weight Watchers is the way to go. I would much rather see free or subsidised gym memberships/nutrition plans/motivational meetings or anything similar. With the common result of Weight Watchers (lose a bit of weight, stop the diet, and the weight comes back on) it is pointless to give that to people for free, they will just end up back at square one. Also, it is not actually attacking the root cause. Everyone has a trigger or a reason as to why they put the weight on, that needs to be dealt with and then they need to be taught the healthy lifestyle, so once they stop receiving help, they will carry on being successful on their own.

I am surprised I have kept my cool writing this post, as this topic really annoyed me when I read it. I hope you liked it, not everyone will share my opinion, and that is perfectly okay. If you are looking to lose weight, please avoid getting 'sucked in' by this. Instead, opt for a healthy nutrition plan, a personal trainer, and someone or people to join the journey with you.

You can pick up a copy of my "Get Slim" healthy eating plan here.

Lee Gregory Fitness 

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