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AnyBody suing Weight Watchers - article in Daily Mail (UK) -- bit long.....

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Old 12-08-2002, 06:55 AM   #1
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Lightbulb AnyBody suing Weight Watchers - article in Daily Mail (UK) -- bit long.....

Wasn't quite sure where to post this - as I am not saying WW is a fitness scam. I rejoined WW for the 4th time 3 weeks ago and the colleague I joined with showed me this article on Friday 6th December. Just want to see what everyone else thinks.


Daily Mail - Thursday 5th December
Why I believe Fergie’s diet only make you fatter by Susie Orbach (Author of Fat Is A Feminist Issue)


With its beguiling “before” and “after” photos of weight-loss triumph, the commercial diet industry has traded for too long on our modern obsession with our weight.

Over the years, we’ve been urged to eat less fat, then to eat more fat; to eat more carbohydrates, the to eat no carbohydrates at all.

Diet plans come and go, and with them the happiness and emotional well-being of the millions of people who are sucked into the weight-loss dream.

Now it’s time to make a stand. I have convened a lobbying group, AnyBody, to campaign against the body hatred that is now so endemic to our society.

We’re attacking this problem on many different fronts, one of which is a planned legal action against the diet industry giant Weight Watchers.

We intend to represent thousands of women and men who have paid out many hundreds of pounds to Weight Watchers, only to find that they have ended up fatter than before they embarked on its’ laborious programme of counting “points” and weekly weigh-ins.

I know we will face criticism for even contemplating court action. Critics will argue that this is the compensation culture gone crazy and that those who fail to lose weight have only themselves to blame, because they are greedy people, lacking in will power, whose weight gain has more to do with their predilection for junk food than any flaws in the Weight Watchers’ system.

But the reality is very different. There is sound scientific evidence that suggest that the whole concept of dieting is fundamentally flawed.

Our campaign is not to make loads of money but to challenge the ideas of Weight Watchers and other organisation that are as questionable and even potentially harmful.

I want to make it clear that my quarrel has never been with the concept of weight loss.

Obesity is a serious problem. Government figures suggest that more than half of women and two-thirds of men in Britain are over-weight or obese.

Our children are affected, too: one-third of all girls aged 11 are overweight and 20% of all 11 year old boys are overweight.

These figures are disturbing and the problem requires solutions that work.

I first crossed swords with Weight Watchers in a TV debate in the early Eighties. My book, Fat Is A Feminist Issue, had raised the hackles of the diet industry by arguing that diet plans simply don’t work.

They give us an external structure of rules and regulations that make us feel temporarily safe but fail to look at what I regard as the real problem: why people eat when they are not hungry.

After a robust debate, I spoke to Weight Watchers’ then chief executive in Britain, an American. She told me that one of the biggest problems confronting Weight Watchers was recidivism - people who followed the diets and then went back to their “bad” eating habits.

She seemed genuinely concerned and told me that they were working with psychologists to confront these problems.

Since then, Weight Watchers has become a multi-million-pound business, and I don’t believe it is the very “problems” of recidivism that has made Weight Watchers its fortune. For those who feel they are overweight, Weight Watchers offers what seems to be the perfect solution: you can lose weight while still eating your favourite foods, albeit in smaller portions.

Food and drinks are given “points” depending on their saturated fat and calorie content. Members are given a maximum number of points to stick to with the aim of losing between one and two pounds each week.

Some members opt for go-it-alone programmes at home but most attend group meetings run by a Weight Watchers leader.

They pay £9 to register and a weekly fee of £4.50 for the privilege of being weighed in public and attending a discussion on weight loss, although I believe a big money spinner for Weight Watchers is in the sale of pre-packaged diet foods.

It’s certainly true that people do lose weight with Weight Watchers. The problem is that they quickly put it back on again. The reason is simple: our bodies are simply not designed to diet.

Our metabolisms have what scientist call a “set point” - something like a thermostat in a central heating system.

When we gorge ourselves at Christmas, our metabolisms speed up to burn off the excess food. But when we reduce our intake, as when we go on a diet, our bodies go into survival mode, slowing down our metabolisms.

If we continually diet, our body thermostat eventually fails to rest itself once we begin eating normally again. Our metabolisms continue to operate at the slower rate and we start to regain weight.

This leads to the “yo-yo effect” - a vicious cycle of weight-gain and weight loss.

If the plans actually worked, members would have to sign up only once.

Instead, they find themselves returning to its products and promises time and time again.

This leads to huge profits for the diet companies. During the Nineties, American consumers spent more than the annual government budgets for education, health and welfare combined. I believe that the real solution is to re-educate our bodies and minds to eat only when we are hungry. It suits the diet industry far better to convince us that we need their programmes.

There is no doubt that they have a captive market - psychologically prepared for them by the media, fashion and advertising industries who constantly bombard us with photographs of slim and beautiful young women.

They create a vulnerability in all of us that enables organisation such as Weight Watchers to make millions.

For Weight Watchers it’s a win-win situation. The relatively few people who do lose weight permanently can be claimed as a victory and photographed for publicity purposes.

The rest will continue to buy their products - blaming their failure on their own lack of will power and putting their trust back into an organisation that has failed them in the first place.
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Old 12-08-2002, 04:09 PM   #2
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I agree with a lot of what she says. I'm not tagging ww specifically; they probably are one of the better organizations. But, I think that the whole diet industry promotes a lot of ideas that are damaging; and ultimately result in success for only a very few.

I have battled weight issues all my life; and I'm finally trying to just come to peace with myself as I am. I think there is a lot of truth in Geneen Roth's work.

Thanks for posting this.
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Old 12-08-2002, 06:05 PM   #3
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Cool I think WW is a poor choice to go after

I think there are some points made in the article, but from what I have seen of WW they insist on a lifestyle change and not just do this for a week, starve yourself, and now your instantly thin. I know alot of people WW has worked for. I tried it, but the forum was not a good match for my lifestyle. I thought the meetings were pretty low key. When I buy their frozen dinners in the store its cause I like the taste(especially the veggie pizza), something different from Lean Cuisine.

I wish someone would really sock it to the supplement industry(my whole $4 from buying excersise in a bottle didn't make me feel vindicated). And these pop up, here today, gone tommorow companies with the fad diets. Or the places that really do push the supplements and the food (I barely escaped Jenny Craig and LA Weightloss Center with my checkbook intact)

Just one opinion.
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Old 12-08-2002, 07:54 PM   #4
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I'm a WW member at the moment and I am finding it is working for me, but I am approaching this as a lifestyle change rather than a diet. I know I am going to have to eat well and exercise for the rest of my life. But I see many people in my meetings who think that once they get to their goal weight they can go back to their old lifestyle. And that's where the yo-yo effect comes from. It's hard to wrap your brain around the idea that this has to be a permanent change.
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Old 12-16-2002, 11:00 AM   #5
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Default Of all the plans to attack...

COME OFF IT! Weight Watchers is probably the best plan out there, and I'm using it to maintain a 50 pound loss (I lost 10 MORE with weight watchers). A plan that stresses lifestyle change, portion control, and high fiber is just what out fat nations need. The great thing is that you can adapt the food to fit your personal needs: I'm a body builder so I go for higher protein and lower carb. My husband tends to get gout, so he's lower protein higher carb (we're like Jack Sprat and his wife).

Did you notice the little pink colored quote at the bottom of that first post? Phat is NOT where it's at. This is obviously one of those people who have failed at weightloss and is urging everyone else to join her and give up, and just "accept our fat bodies and love them and lah dee dah"

Well I'm sorry, but my formerly fat body was killing me. Enough so that my doctor put me on a modified fast. That was torture, but being normal weight has solved ALL my health problems. The thing is, starvation diets do not teach you a lifestyle change, and weight watchers does. WWs has been my salvation. I do NOT think it's a rip-off, and for GOds' sake it's FREE once you reach your goal weight. Then you have a job opportunity too.

Why didn't this person choose to attack the real evils out there: diet pills and exercise gimmicks???
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Old 12-16-2002, 11:05 AM   #6
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OH by the way, is this a misquote? If not, it's pretty stupid for Orbach to have this in her argument!!!

"For Weight Watchers it’s a win-win situation. The relatively few people who do not lose weight permanently can be claimed as a victory and photographed for publicity purposes."

If there are few people who do NOT lose weight permanently, sign me up NOW!!!
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Old 12-16-2002, 11:30 AM   #7
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Looks like a typo to me...she probably said "...the relatively few people who DO lose weight permanently can be...

Personally, I've read her book "Fat is a Feminist Issue" and really don't agree with it - fat is NOT a feminist issue IMO!
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Old 12-18-2002, 01:45 AM   #8
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Default Re: Of all the plans to attack...

Quote:
Originally posted by Yaseta
Did you notice the little pink colored quote at the bottom of that first post? Phat is NOT where it's at. This is obviously one of those people who have failed at weightloss and is urging everyone else to join her and give up, and just "accept our fat bodies and love them and lah dee dah"

No need for personal attacks - look up the meaning of the word "Phat" before you jump to conclusion! You just don't get it! If you read my intro, I clearly state I am not attacking WW - was just interested in other people's opinions.


Mrs Jim - edited the typo - it was a long article - scanner not working!
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Old 12-18-2002, 02:41 AM   #9
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I've been to WW oodles of times, but that's mainly because I keep choosing to eat unhealthy foods instead of things that are better for my body. When I eat properly, I lose weight, and I can get it to stay off. However, my lazy days and my motivated days about balance eachother out, so I'm pretty much maintaining right now.
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Old 12-18-2002, 07:46 AM   #10
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Hey BigPhatBooty - I'm an old lady would you mind for the sake of clarity giving us a definition of the word "phat" for those of us whose CD players are still tuned to Led Zeppelin?

I have an idea of what it means but I can't keep up with all you young whippersnappers' slang these days!!!

Thanks chick!
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Old 12-18-2002, 10:28 AM   #11
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Lightbulb Not BPB, but PHAT

means "Pretty Hot And Tempting".
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Old 12-18-2002, 12:59 PM   #12
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Aha!

That makes sense...didn't see it in the Merriam-Webster dictonary website (which is at www.m-w.com - great resource!).
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Old 12-18-2002, 01:28 PM   #13
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taken from dictionary.com

2 entries found for phat.
phat ( P ) Pronunciation Key (ft)
adj. Slang phat·ter, phat·test
Excellent; first-rate: phat fashion; a phat rapper.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Earlier, sexy (said of a woman), of unknown origin.]


or acronym finder -

Physically Attractive
Plenty o' Hips And Thighs
Pretty Hot and Tasty
Pretty Hot And Tempting



Take your pick! They all apply to me - I do love my body lah dee dah!

As Trixiepup stated (paraphrased by me) we all know what choices to make - it's whether we take the right choice.
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Old 12-18-2002, 01:34 PM   #14
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I guess I better not use the M-W site anymore

I am SO far behind on that newfangled slang. We still use words like "Superbad" and "Foxy" in our house ("That 70's Show" is the same era when I was in high school, so ya gotta cut me some slack!).

Thanks chick
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Old 12-18-2002, 03:55 PM   #15
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Ain't nothing wrong with "Foxy"
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