Weight Watchers Teams With The United States Conference of Mayors To Foster
New Grant Program to Help Address Rising National Obesity Rates; Support
Healthy Lifestyles in Low-Income Communities
WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2013
WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Weight Watchers International, Inc.
and the United States Conference of Mayors announced a new initiative to help
curb the national obesity epidemic and foster healthy lifestyles in
communities, especially low-income areas that have higher obesity rates and
increased risks for obesity^1, at the U.S. Conference of Mayors 81^st Winter
Meeting. The Healthy Communities Grant Program is a pilot initiative designed
to recognize and assist three cities that have existing healthy lifestyle
programming to help them build upon successful strategies for healthy eating,
physical activity, and weight loss and management. The effort leverages the
notion that mayors learn best from each other and that sharing best practices
can promote innovative solutions for healthier living. The grant program
capitalizes on a collaborative approach to creating healthier environments by
establishing health-focused relationships between community members,
governments, and businesses.
"If we do nothing, by 2030, estimates predict roughly half of all U.S. men and
women will be obese^2. We need to act now with solutions that are proven to be
effective," said David Kirchhoff, Weight Watchers CEO. "Collaborating with the
U.S. Conference of Mayors on this initiative is part of our commitment to form
unique relationships with mayors to tackle obesity with community-based
solutions. Through this effort, we can provide Weight Watchers' proven
approach to weight loss to individuals who otherwise would not be able to
afford our program."
The Healthy Communities Grant Program will enable three selected cities to
build upon their existing healthy lifestyle-related programming by receiving
steeply discounted Weight Watchers memberships for local residents who qualify
based on health status and financial need. The total retail value of all
memberships offered is up to $1 million. Each city also will receive a $25,000
grant to administer their program and build capacity to help ensure its
"The U.S. Conference of Mayors has long been committed to mayoral-driven
health promotion in communities nationwide," said U.S. Conference of Mayors
President Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter. "We are proud to work with
Weight Watchers on this important initiative to help city residents achieve a
To launch the new initiative, a panel of mayors joined Weight Watchers CEO
Kirchhoff to share their innovative health promotion approaches at a plenary
lunch at the USCM winter meeting. Panelists described policies and programs
that are working to reduce the incidence of weight-related chronic diseases,
including heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and are helping to control
healthcare costs, increase worker productivity and improve overall quality of
life for residents.
Moderated by Maggie Fox, Senior Health Writer for NBCNews.com and TODAY.com,
the panel, which included Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, vice chair of the
USCM Standing Committee on Children, Health and Human Services; Baltimore
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, vice chair of the USCM Food Policy Task Force;
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer; and Asheville, N.C. Mayor Terry Bellamy,
underscored how city governments today must juggle many roles from healthcare
provider for municipal employees to purveyor of public health for citizens.
Application guidelines, eligibility requirements, and information on
availability for the new initiative will be available at
usmayors.org/weightwatchers. Applications will be due in early spring.
About The United States Conference of Mayors
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of
cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,295 such cities in the
country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief
elected official, the mayor. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/usmayors, or
follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/usmayors.
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 over 45,000 meetings each week
where members receive group support and learn about healthy eating patterns,
behavior modification and physical activity. WeightWatchers.com 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.
*Award of grant and steeply discounted Weight Watchers memberships will be
subject to eligibility and compliance with local, state and federal laws and
regulations, including without limitation any applicable local gift ordinance.
Void where prohibited.
^1Kim, D. & Leigh, J. P. (2010). Estimating the effects of wages on obesity.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 52(5), 495-500.
^2Wang YC, McPherson K, Marsh T, Gortmaker SL, Brown M. Health and economic
burden of the projected obesity trends in the USA and the UK. Lancet.
SOURCE Weight Watchers International, Inc.
Contact: Susan Craig, Weight Watchers, +1-212-589-2774, +1-347-439-1840, cell,
firstname.lastname@example.org; or Lina Garcia, USCM, +1-202-861-6708,
+1-202-341-6113, cell, email@example.com
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