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It is hard to believe that the multi-million dollar industry that is WeightWatchers was started in 1961 by an overweight housewife called Jean Nidetch. Jean had apparently tried and tested many fad diets over the years, and had become disheartened by their failure to help her lose weight on a long-term basis. Giving up on the faddy diets, she then attended a free weight loss clinic run by the New York City Board of Health, and with this she did lose nearly two stone. However, she began to find the diet difficult to stick to.
She then decided to find support in the form of a group of her friends, whom she invited to her house where they all confessed their various obsessions and downfalls with food. From this first meeting, the friends began to get together at Jeanís house on a weekly basis, supporting one another, giving each other encouragement and sharing advice and ideas.
Realizing that this weekly support was a key factor in providing motivation and encouragement for successful and long-term weight loss, Jean began to hold meetings at other peopleís homes as well. This proved to be so successful that in 1963 WeightWatchers was incorporated, and hosted its first proper meeting in Queens, New York. Hundreds of people turned out for this first meeting, and as people realized that the concept did actually work, they began learn more about the theory behind Weight Watchers and then hold their own classes across the globe.
WeightWatchers diet plan continued to grow both in size and popularity, developing nutritious and convenient eating plans, promoting exercise, and providing continued support. So successful was this venture that in 1978 Weight Watchers was bought by the Heinz company. Since then it has continued to grow, evolve and thrive, maintaining its loyal following and proving time after time that it can and does work.
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