Weight Watchers 4 Life

The Lempert Report
March 22, 2023

Weight Watchers, especially since Oprah has become one of their major stockholders, has really gone through the roof, which is wonderful. However, I'm concerned that what they're doing now, there's this great article in The Guardian, Susie Orbach wrote it. And, they've now acquired a company by the name of Sequence, which is a US telehealth service that links patients with doctors who can prescribe medications that suppress appetite. We've talked before about Ozempic, some of the others, that I think personally are really gonna create some serious health problems for us in the Nation. And Weight Watchers, I just don't understand Weight Watchers for years, because of the whole comradery when you went to Weight Watchers, you would weigh in and people would cheer if you lost a quarter of a pound and so on. And now they're gonna prescribe this drug. So people can lose 20, 25 pounds. 

Sally: Yes. Sequence is a company that is there for weight loss through medications. And they claim that they treat biological factors that affect your weight gain or weight management. And the problem is that studies show are showing us that 97% of dieters regain the weight after they've lost it within three years. And that goes for Weight Watchers history too, because this is a calorie restriction based diet, which we have seen oftentimes doesn't work in the long run for people. So, the point that Susie Orbach is making in this great article that she's written is that these companies are signing people up and betting on their failure at these programs because they will continue to subscribe, they will continue to come back and to continue to try it. Now, I've put some thought into it, Phil, based on John Pandol's comment last week, weighing in on our Ozempic story and everything, I don't completely disagree with using a medication to help people. In extreme cases when they need to lose weight, we do that with other types of addictive behaviors that people have a hard time quitting. We use medication, but we have to use other methods of teaching people long-term weight management, how to eat, how to use intuitive eating, how to use mindful eating so that they can keep that weight off and they can be healthy. 

Phil: Yeah. And also, let's not forget that Weight Watchers is banking on the fact that this medication you've gotta take for the rest of your life. So I don't know what a Weight Watcher's session costs anymore. I know it was like five bucks years ago, but it's probably more now. But if you can get somebody hooked on this drug, you're gonna have a customer for life or they're gonna gain weight and can't go to Weight Watchers anymore. So it'll be interesting. Their whole approach to this I think is really in contrast to what the founder, forgot her name, but the founder of Weight Watchers had, which was more collaboration. Jean Nidetch is the one who started Weight Watchers, and I think that she's probably turning over in her grave, as she, hears us talking about this.