Weight Watchers’ decision to re-brand as WW has me somewhat confused.
The company are adamant that those initials no longer mean Weight Watchers, but can’t say what the double Dubyas stand for: simply a new “marque”.
Why does such an established organisation feel the need to drop the “weight”? (See what I did there?)
Their official line seems to be that they are moving away from solely weight loss and into improving wellbeing (but are adamant neither of those initials are references to that). All very laudable, but I think they are missing the point somewhat.
Obesity is a health time bomb, and I’m one of those with a lit fuse burning. I know I need to lose a few stones, and protecting me from the language of being overweight isn’t particularly helpful. Fat, chubby, stout, pudgy, rotund, chunky, beer-bellied…….I’ve probably been called all of these at one time.
If we try to erase these words (which may be used as an insult, but sometimes can be a term of endearment depending on who is saying it), there is a risk of normalising an unhealthy lifestyle.
I am not advocating “fat-shaming”, as that’s just not acceptable. What I do think, though, is that by avoiding mentioning anything to do with being overweight we may be restricting the honest conversations that should be taking place.
There are many reasons why so many of us are carrying too much weight. It’s not as cut and tried as a lack of willpower. Weight gain can come from genetics, hormones, metabolism, side effects of medication, and, yes, lifestyle choices.
The best way to help reduce the obesity epidemic is to support people in managing their food intake and improve physical activity, where possible. It means understanding all the circumstances that contribute to an individual’s weight management and develop effective, personalised strategies to deal with them.
It doesn’t matter what you call it: weight loss, weight management, wellbeing. More important to find out What Works (that’s my WW) for you, and then do it.
*note to self: listen to your own advice.