The Library of Congress and Weight Watchers(R) Host Discussion on Weight Loss - Past, Present and Future
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The Library of Congress and Weight Watchers(R) Host Discussion on Weight Loss - Past, Present and Future

Experts From The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, The Obesity Society And Academia Examine Weight Loss Practices Through The Ages To Find Lessons In The Fight Against Obesity

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Library of Congress Science, Technology and Business Division and Weight Watchers International today convened an expert panel to discuss dieting practices spanning more than 150 years to find lessons to address the 21st century obesity epidemic.

"By looking at weight loss efforts that stretch back to the 19th century, we can see what has not worked well and what has been effective in helping people shed pounds and keep them off for good," said Karen Miller-Kovach, MBA, MS, RD, Chief Scientific Officer, Weight Watchers International, Inc. "Weight Watchers is proud to join with the Library of Congress to address these issues, as many weight-related chronic diseases, including high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer, increase in the United States and fuel the nation's healthcare costs."

Entitled "Weight Loss Through the Ages: Where We've Been, What We've Learned and Where We're Going," the Library of Congress event featured experts from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Obesity Society and Clemson University.

"We must continue to adopt new and innovative weight loss solutions," said Dr. Patrick O'Neil, Director, Weight Management Center, Medical University of South Carolina; President-Elect, The Obesity Society. "One of The Obesity Society's top priorities is working to reduce the prevalence of obesity and obesity-related conditions through research, strategic partnerships and innovative programs. To make progress in the fight against obesity, we must all work together to share and implement new and innovative ideas."

The panel will feature:

  • Constance Carter – Head, Science Reference Section; Science, Technology and Business Division, Library of Congress
  • Ann Albright, PhD, RD – Director, Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • David Kirchhoff – President and CEO, Weight Watchers International
  • Patrick M. O'Neil, PhD – Director, Weight Management Center, Medical University of South Carolina; President-Elect, The Obesity Society
  • Ellen Granberg, PhD – Associate Professor of Sociology, Clemson University
  • Karen Miller-Kovach, MBA, MS, RD – Chief Scientific Officer, Weight Watchers International

"We are pleased to foster a discussion with such an esteemed panel of experts," said David Kirchhoff, President and CEO of Weight Watchers International, Inc. "Weight Watchers is committed to helping Americans achieve a healthy weight, which is why we continue to study and develop new programs and strategies – such as our revolutionary new PointsPlus™ program – to help transform America's eating habits and improve long-term health."

The PointsPlus program, the biggest innovation from Weight Watchers in more than a decade, uses the latest scientific research to create a program that goes far beyond traditional calorie counting to give people the edge they need to lose weight and keep it off in a fundamentally healthier way. The program is designed to educate and encourage people to make choices that:

  • Favor foods the body works harder to convert into energy, resulting in fewer net calories absorbed;
  • Focus on foods that create a sense of fullness and satisfaction and are more healthful;
  • Nudge toward natural foods rather than foods with excess added sugars and fats; and
  • Still allow flexibility for indulgences, special occasions and eating out.

The PointsPlus program aims to provide people with a way to incorporate healthier, more satisfying habits into their life in small, manageable steps.

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 almost 50,000 meetings each week where members receive group support and learn about healthy eating patterns, behavior modification and physical activity. 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.

SOURCE Weight Watchers International, Inc.



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