February 13, 2013

Excess Weight Is a Weighty Issue

How long will people keep their resolution of lose the excess weight they are carrying around? This is a problem for many people. The New Year starts out with good intentions, but by the end of the month, the intentions are gone and people are back to old habits. Yes, it is the beginning of February, and in contacting the local Weight Watchers and Curves offices, the numbers in attendance has declined almost as expected.

Curves is slightly up over normal and they are working to keep people coming. What has helped this year? Mainly it is grouping people into similar weight groups so that there is not the cross comparison and put-downs from those not having to lose as much weight. There was some extreme confrontations in the first session to weed out those that had no desire in the first place. In the five new groups, the first session eliminated one group, but the remaining four only lost two of their number.

In further conversations, they have only lost five more, which is less than they normally lose. The grouping has helped as they can more easily tailor the class to fit their needs and keep everyone moving at a similar pace. They are expecting four of them back after they heal from accidents that happened away from Curves – one a severe burn, two falling on ice, and one in an auto accident. Also, they found that by using age as a common factor in the grouping has been somewhat helpful, but that has not been a great concern for many.

Weight Watchers has lost participants at the same rate as in prior years and they are now down to the dedicated few they normally have and work with for at least the coming year. Even adding some incentives has not retained attendees. They had hoped that the fall out rate would have been lower this year.

In asking questions about what diseases may have been involved, I could not get any of this information, so I don't know if anyone has diabetes. I can appreciate the confidential nature of this relating to any individual, but I had hoped to get some numbers at least. I had asked for numbers of memberships and new members, but even this was not information they would give.

Two people that I knew were joining Weight Watchers I did talk to. I did find out why they had stopped. Both said that even though they had requested staying off third party promotion lists, they were inundated with junk mail and email for this special and that special for exercise equipment and other weight loss information. This was upsetting to them and they felt if their request could be ignored, then what other expectation did they have for any privacy.

The short “letter to the editor” in Diabetes in Control is what got me interested in this. I will admit that I was surprised by what I learned from former Weight Watchers members. When I asked about this, the question was ignored and the benefits of advertising was promoted especially stating how deep the bargains were and the benefits of exercise were so beneficial that they could not be ignored.

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