Weight Watchers Introduces New Members Of Scientific Advisory Board

Ten-member expert board to provide guidance and insights on science of weight management.

NEW YORK - Sept. 23, 2015 // PRNewswire // - Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE: WTW) announced today the formation of its latest Scientific Advisory Board under Gary Foster, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer. This panel of ten renowned experts has been enlisted to inform and advise the company as Weight Watchers continues to develop innovative offerings based on the latest scientific evidence.

The world's leading commercial provider of weight management services, Weight Watchers is a proven approach, informed by nutrition and behavior research and validated by dozens of peer-reviewed publications over the past 15 years. The appointment of this Advisory Board demonstrates the company's continued commitment to working closely with the scientific and public health communities to provide an effective, scalable and accessible solution to weight management.

"I have tremendous respect and admiration for each of these renowned experts, and I am honored to be working alongside them in our shared mission," said Gary Foster, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Weight Watchers, who oversees the company's science-based program, all clinical research initiatives, and continued program innovation. "I am confident the Board's perspectives and guidance will be invaluable as we continuously adapt and update our program, while ensuring that it remains grounded in the latest science."

The following experts have been appointed to the Weight Watchers Scientific Advisory Board:

  • Arne Astrup, M.D., D.M.Sc. – Professor, Head of the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and senior consultant at Clinical Research Unit, Herlev-Gentofte University Hospital. Professor Astrup's principal research is on the physiology and pathophysiology of energy and substrate metabolism and appetite regulation. His research has a special emphasis on the etiology and treatment of obesity by methods that include the role of diet composition and of specific nutrients, lifestyle modification, very-low-calorie diets, exercise and medication. He lead research that showed that GLP-1 is a satiety hormone in humans, and was instrumental in Denmark becoming the first country to ban industrial trans fat in 2014.
  • Susan I. Barr, Ph.D., R.D. – Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Barr's primary research interests focus on interrelationships among nutrition, physical activity and women's health, with a particular emphasis on bone health. She also has broad expertise in the interpretation and uses of Dietary Reference Intakes.
  • William Dietz, M.D., Ph.D. – Director of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. He is also the Director of the STOP Obesity Alliance. Dr. Dietz's research focuses on the epidemiology of childhood obesity and the development of effective policy, systems and environmental approaches for the prevention of obesity. The work he has underway addresses integrated clinical and community systems for the prevention and management of obesity, and the development of tools to help primary care providers treat obesity.
  • Eric Finkelstein Ph.D., M.H.A. – Dr. Finkelstein is Professor of Health Services and Systems Research at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore and the Executive Center Director of the Lien Centre for Palliative Care. He also holds appointments at NUS School of Public Health and Duke University Global Health Institute. His research focuses on the economic causes and consequences of health behaviors, with a primary emphasis on the use of traditional and behavioral economic incentives to influence those behaviors in ways to improve the public's health. Recent research also focuses on studies to better understand the complicated decisions that revolve around end of life care.
  • John M. Jakicic, Ph.D. – Professor and Chair in the Department of Health and Physical Activity at the University of Pittsburgh and Director of the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center. Dr. Jakicic's principal research is on the prevention and treatment of obesity using lifestyle modification, with a primary focus on physical activity. He also has applied this expertise to examine the effects of physical activity and weight loss on health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and factors related to aging including both cognitive and physical function.
  • Robert Kushner, M.D., M.S. – Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Clinical Director of the Northwestern Comprehensive Center on Obesity, and Director for the Center for Lifestyle Medicine in Chicago. Dr. Kushner's principal research is in patient-health provider communication and lifestyle treatment of obesity. He has also investigated pharmacological and surgical interventions for obesity.
  • Marsha D. Marcus, Ph.D. – Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and former Chief of the Eating Disorders Program at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Marcus' research has focused on the characterization and treatment of disordered eating and the behavioral management of adult and pediatric obesity.
  • Sylvia Rowe – President of SR Strategy which addresses the science to communications to policy continuum on a broad range of global health, nutrition, food safety and risk issues. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Previously Rowe served as president and chief executive officer of the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and IFIC Foundation, in Washington, DC. During her 11-year tenure, IFIC established itself as a leader in consumer research and consumer-based communications in nutrition, food safety, and health.
  • Deborah Tate, Ph.D. – Professor of Health Behavior and Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is the Director of the Communication for Health Applications and Interventions Core in the Nutrition Obesity Research Center and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Tate's research focuses on prevention and treatment of obesity and includes innovative approaches involving health communication, technology and digital media.
  • Thomas Wadden, Ph.D. – The Albert J. Stunkard Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders. Dr. Wadden's principal research is on the treatment of obesity by methods that have included lifestyle modification, very-low-calorie diets, exercise, medication, and surgery. He has also investigated the metabolic and psychosocial consequences of obesity and weight loss.

To review Weight Watchers Scientific Compendium, which includes the full body of published data on the program, please visit https://welcome.weightwatchers.com/scientific-compendium

About Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Weight Watchers International, Inc. is the world's leading commercial provider of weight management services, operating globally through a network of Company-owned and franchise operations. Weight Watchers holds more than 36,000 meetings each week where members receive group support and learn about healthy eating patterns, behavior modification and physical activity. Weight Watchers provides innovative, digital weight management products through its websites, mobile sites and apps. Weight Watchers is the leading provider of online subscription weight management products 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.

SOURCE Weight Watchers International, Inc.


Jenny Zimmerman




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Weight Watchers International, Inc. is the world's leading commercial provider of weight management services, operating globally through a network of Company-owned and franchise operations.


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