The City of Newark and Its Let's Move! Newark Campaign to Fight Obesity Team with Weight Watchers to Foster Healthy Lifestyles, Help Address Rising Obesity Rates in Newark

Thu Feb 7, 2013 10:15am EST

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New Initiative Offers Discounted Weight Watchers Memberships to City Employees
NEWARK, N.J.,  Feb. 7, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- As the latest addition to the  City
of Newark's  Let's Move!  Newark  campaign to combat obesity,  Newark  and
Weight Watchers North America, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weight
Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE: WTW), today announced a new initiative that
will offer discounted Weight Watchers memberships to  City of Newark  employees.
 

The announcement, made at  Newark  City Hall by Mayor  Cory A. Booker  along
with  David Kirchhoff, Chief Executive Officer, Weight Watchers International,
Inc., underscores  Newark's commitment to offering innovative opportunities for
City employees to improve their health and well-being. The effort is an example
of Weight Watchers' resolve to form unique relationships with like-minded cities
that want to promote healthy lifestyles and work to tackle obesity with
community-based solutions. Mayor Booker and Kirchhoff were joined by the Newark
Municipal Council, Newark Food Policy Director and Co-Chair of  Let's Move! 
NewarkElizabeth Reynoso, the  Let's Move!  NewarkCouncil, and Weight Watchers
Leader and  Newark  resident  Ruby Anderson.  

The clinically-proven Weight Watchers approach helps members build a healthy
lifestyle to lose weight successfully and learn to keep it off.  Through the
Weight Watchers offering, beginning immediately, more than 3,100 employees in 
Newark  city agencies will have the opportunity to attend Weight Watchers
meetings at work and in their communities with Monthly Pass at a discounted rate
for up to one year. Monthly Pass offers members unlimited meetings each month as
well as free access to eTools, the Weight Watchers Internet weight loss
companion.  

"Large cities like  Newark  and their leaders have an important role to play in
turning back the rising tide of obesity in this country," said  Newark  Mayor 
Cory Booker. "We have an example to set - an example of a thriving community
that promotes healthy lifestyles. As Mayor of  New Jersey's largest city, I am
very conscious of the need to control rising healthcare costs and to have a
healthy, productive workforce. Working with Weight Watchers offers  City of
Newark  employees the support to make their personal health goals a reality.
Through participation in this initiative, we believe that our employees' health
will benefit and so will our city."

Newark  is not only the largest city in the state of  New Jersey; it also has a
higher obesity rate, at 26 percent, than the state as a whole. 1  State-wide
nearly 24 percent of adults are classified as obese. 2  Rates of weight-related
conditions, including type 2 diabetes, are increasing dramatically among city
residents. 3  To turn the tide against these health issues, city officials are
working to implement innovative initiatives that encourage healthy lifestyles in
workplaces and the community.

"More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese4  and obesity-related illnesses -
such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease - are not only chronic and serious5,
but also come with steep healthcare costs6," said Weight Watchers CEO  David
Kirchhoff. "It's time to reverse the obesity epidemic and create a healthier
workforce. Weight Watchers is helping to do both through its scalable,
accessible, and clinically-proven weight loss approach. Weight Watchers already
works with several thriving  Newark-area employers, and we're delighted to have
the opportunity to offer our evidence-based weight loss approach to  City of
Newark  employees. Along with everything Mayor Booker and his team are doing
with  Let's Move!  Newark, we can make a real difference by supporting  Newark 
city employees as they strive to be healthier and more active."

As part of Weight Watchers' ongoing commitment to combating obesity with
community-based solutions, in January, the  New York-headquartered company
announced an initiative with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to foster healthy
lifestyles in communities, especially low-income areas that tend to have higher
obesity rates and increased risks for obesity7. Unveiled at the U.S. Conference
of Mayors 81st  Winter Meeting in  Washington, D.C., the  Healthy Communities
Grant Program  is a pilot initiative designed to help three cities, with
existing healthy lifestyle programs, build upon their successful strategies for
healthy eating, physical activity, and weight loss and management. To learn more
about this initiative visit:  http://usmayors.org/weightwatchers/.

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.

About the  City of Newark, New Jersey
Newark, commonly referred to as Brick City, is the third oldest city in  the
United States  and the largest in  New Jersey, with a population of more than
280,000 people. Newark sits on one of the nation's largest transportation
super-structures including an international airport, major rail connections,
major highway intersections and the busiest seaport on the east coast.

For the past six years under the Booker Administration,  Newark  continues to
see signs of a strong revival.  In population, it is one of the fastest growing
cities in the northeast. Its six major colleges and universities are further
expanding their presence. The production of affordable housing has doubled, and
businesses are returning. There is still much work to be done but  Newark  is on
its way to achieving its mission:  to set a national standard for urban
transformation. For more information on the  City of Newark, please visit 
Newark's website at  www.ci.newark.nj.us  or follow the city on Twitter: 
www.twitter.com/cityofnewarknj.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor
Surveillance System Survey Data.  Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor
Surveillance System Survey Data.  Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011.

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor
Surveillance System Survey Data.  Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004-2009.

4  Ogden CL,  Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity in  the
United States, 2009-2010. NCHS data brief, no 82.Hyattsville, MD: National
Center for Health Statistics. 2012.  

5  NIH, NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative. Clinical Guidelines on the
Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults.
Available online:  http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/ob_gdlns.pdf  
[PDF-1.25Mb]

6Finkelstein, EA, Trogdon, JG, Cohen, JW, and Dietz, W. Annual medical spending
attributable to obesity: Payer- and service-specific estimates.  Health Affairs 
2009; 28(5): w822-w831.

7 Kim, D. & Leigh, J. P. (2010). Estimating the effects of wages on obesity. 
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 52(5), 495-500.




SOURCE  Weight Watchers International, Inc.


Susan Craig, Weight Watchers, +1-212-589-2774, cell +1-347-439-1840,
susan.craig@weightwatchers.com, or  Elvis Bernal, City of Newark,
+1-973-733-8004, pressoffice@ci.newark.nj.us

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