October 23, 2007

New Data Demonstrate Group Meetings Plus Internet Tools Offer Increased Weight-Loss Success

The results of a new study released today at the North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) annual meeting demonstrate significant weight-loss outcomes for people who supplement their attendance at Weight Watchers meetings with online tools based on the company's comprehensive plan. Specifically, attending the weekly meetings, plus using the Internet-based weight-loss tools, enhanced weight loss over six months by more than 50% as compared to simply attending meetings.

"For years, the data have clearly shown that in-person meetings are the most effective weight loss tool for the majority of people. This study suggests that supplementing those meetings with additional tools reinforces the benefits of meetings," said James Rippe, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Founder and Director, Rippe Lifestyle Institute, senior author of both studies "It's reassuring to see that easy-to-use Internet resources can have such significant outcomes for people who might have previously considered going it on their own or trying more serious medical measures first."

The data from the study, which involved 89 participants demonstrate a more than 30% improvement in weight loss at 12 weeks for participants who both participated in weekly group meetings (n=24) and used the Internet tools compared to participants who were assigned to attend group meetings (n=65). This number grew to a more than 50% greater weight loss and significant improvements in BMI for the meetings plus Internet tools group at 24 weeks. (-10.09 ± 10.32 lbs vs -15.23 ± 10.56, p

"Weight Watchers is unique in the commercial weight-loss industry in that it has the ability to take its proven meeting methodology and complement it with internet-based tools that offer members even greater weight-loss success," explained Karen Miller-Kovach, MS, RD, Chief Scientific Officer, Weight Watchers International. "The study didn't evaluate specifically which internet tools each study participant used; we gave people the option to choose what worked best for them. What was revealed was that the more days the participants accessed the Internet resources, the more successful they were."

Study participants were given access to Weight Watchers eTools, a suite of Internet tools available exclusively for Weight Watchers meetings members. Weight Watchers eTools gives members a connection to an array of weight-loss information and helpful tools between meetings. A sampling of the online tools that were provided include:

Detailed food plan information

Weight tracker and progress charts

Food lists

Recipe database, recipe builder and community recipe swap

POINTS calculator

Restaurant guide

"Computer use has long been blamed as one of the causes of our country's obesity problem, so we are proud to have been a part of the development of valuable tools that allow computers to become part of the solution," stated Miller-Kovach.

How Weight Watchers Meetings Work

Members attend Meetings once a week for less than an hour. Each week, there is a confidential weigh-in to help track progress. Members learn how to make wise choices, eat healthy and enjoy food and exercise. Every week, new tips and materials are provided to help follow the Program.

Members enjoy support from meeting Leaders who also lost weight with Weight Watchers, and are trained experts in the Program who are committed to the success of each member. Members also benefit from the exchange of tips, recipes and others' practical experiences. Meeting members can sign up for our Internet weight-loss companion for Meetings, Weight Watchers eTools. Anyone who wants to learn more about what Weight Watchers has to offer can visit a participating meeting at any time of the year with no obligation to join.

About Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Weight Watchers International, Inc. is the world's leading provider of weight management services, operating globally through a network of Company-owned and franchise operations. Weight Watchers holds over 50,000 weekly meetings where members receive group support and education about healthy eating patterns, behavior modification and physical activity. WeightWatchers.com provides innovative, subscription weight management products over the Internet and is the leading Internet-based weight management provider in the world. In addition, Weight Watchers offers a wide range of products, publications and programs for those interested in weight loss and weight control.

For more information, visit the Science Center at www.weightwatchers.com/science