Weight Watchers recently launched a new program that includes free memberships for young teens.
According to the company’s press release, teens between the ages of 13 and 17 will get a free six-week membership this summer to help “the development of healthy habits at a critical life stage. ” But is this really going to help teens struggling with their weight/self-esteem? The internet doesn’t think so, in fact, many are criticizing the weight loss company for even offering the free membership.
It was a @WeightWatchers diet at age 10 that started my decade + battle with yo yo dieting & body hate.The AAP explicitly says that putting children/teens on diets increases risk for eating disorders so I’m shocked WW is being promoted for teens. #WakeUpWeightWatchers— Shira Rose (@ASequinAffair) February 10, 2018
To anyone wondering why we’re tweeting about #WakeUpWeightWatchers : Scientific research has shown that putting kids on diets and commenting on their weight puts them at risk of #eatingdisorders and a lifetime of behaviors FAR worse for their health than being at a high weight.— Christy Harrison, RD (@chr1styharrison) February 10, 2018
To teens everywhere (and my teenage self who would’ve begged her Mom to signup for this program): you are worthy, smart & strong. Your worth is not found on the scale. There is much more to life than your body, food and weight. Go LIVE. #wakeupweightwatchers— Emily Costa (@emilyanncosta) February 10, 2018
Parents, please protect your children & teens from diet culture. Do not EVER take them to a diet company like @WeightWatchers - diets tells them their body isn't good enough the way it is, & they need to change. Diet culture is the problem, not their body #wakeupweightwatchers— Fiona Sutherland APD, RYT (@FionaBodyPosAus) February 10, 2018
Many Twitter users were using the #WakeUpWeightWatchers to voice their opinion on the matter and Weight Watchers responded saying the program will guide teens to “healthier habits for life.”
Back in 2015, Weight Watchers did say they didn’t want to be known as a company providing diet plans but rather a company pushing healthy lifestyle changes.