In its 55th year of operation, the weight loss company Weight Watchers has announced that they are changing their name to "WW" in an attempt to focus more on overall health and wellness. But "slimming down" their name was the only effort they made in this process; in fact, they've made no other substantial progress towards abandoning their weight-obsession. Weight Watchers always has been, and always will be, a company that capitalizes off of self-hatred and the perception that thinness is equivalent to happiness.
Weight Watchers is now WW. We have a mission: to inspire healthy habits for real life—for everyone. We’ll always be… https://t.co/EoXiTTbHvv— ww (@ww)1537796092.0
WW posted this tweet on Monday talking about focusing on wellness outside of weight loss, all while still saying they'll "always be the global leader in weight loss." I'm not buying it.
Historically, the members of Weight Watchers would attend meetings where they would regularly weigh-in in front of their peers and listen to "motivational" lectures about weight loss. Currently, they operate on a point system where food is given point values and members are allowed to eat a certain number of points a day. This is extremely problematic and harmful because of the simple fact that food has no moral value. Assigning this point limitation—which, let's be honest, is no different than counting calories—not only encourages restrictive food habits but perpetuates the idea that people are "bad" or have failed when they go over the limit.
So why is Weight Watchers changing their name? Maybe it's the fact that people are starting to realize that diets don't work. Maybe they're trying to dig themselves out of the hole they dug themselves into when they encouraged teenagers to go on diets by offering them free memberships. Personally, I think that they have noticed the success of the body positive and Health at Every Size movements' use of "health and wellness" and other weight-inclusive language and are now attempting to appear "woke" by disguising their dieting as body positive.
Associating weight loss with "wellness" is hardly inspiring "healthy habits for real life" like the WW CEO claims is the company's goal. Especially when there is no substantial evidence to suggest that weight is indicative of health—there has been no meta-analysis proving this ever. It only serves to alienate and shame the people who it is supposed to "help." Not to mention serves as a breeding ground for eating disorders and other mental health issues.
It's time that we stop obeying Weight Watchers' orders and assigning ourselves guilt and shame, and start pointing the finger towards our real problem: societal fatphobia.