WW International, Inc. (NASDAQ: WW) ("WeightWatchers," "WW," or "the Company") announced today, at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) 82nd Scientific Sessions, positive results from its three-center clinical trial testing the effectiveness of its program tailored for those living with diabetes on weight management, as well as overall health and well-being.
It is estimated that 90 percent of people living with diabetes are also living with overweight or obesity, and 30-53 percent of new diabetes cases in the U.S. yearly are linked to obesity.1,2 Current ADA treatment recommendations recognize the importance of weight management in patients with Type 2 diabetes who also have overweight or obesity to improve glycemic control.3
The six-month single-arm clinical trial was conducted across three sites (Pennington Biomedical Research Center, University of Florida, and Virginia Commonwealth University) and examined the effectiveness of the virtual WeightWatchers program on glycemic control and weight loss among 136 participants living with Type 2 diabetes who had an average baseline A1c of 7.9. Results demonstrated that the WeightWatchers diabetes-tailored program had clinically meaningful and statistically significant effects, including:
- Reduction in HbA1c by 0.76. Average decreases in participants' average HbA1c levels at three and six months exceeded standards set by the FDA for approval of pharmacotherapy (treatment with a medication).4
- Average body weight loss of 5.7 percent and decrease in waist circumference by more than two inches. A modest weight loss of at least five percent of a person's body weight can help lead to health benefits - including improvements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar.5
- Decrease in diabetes distress by 9.8 percent. Participants experienced reduction in emotional burden, regimen-related stress, and overall diabetes distress.
Additionally, participants experienced a 13.1 percent decrease in hunger and 13 percent improvement in overall well-being.
"Built on WeightWatchers' science-backed approach, our tailored program helps people living with diabetes build and maintain healthy habits based on their needs and lifestyle," said Gary Foster, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, WW. "We remain committed to supporting people living with diabetes with scalable solutions and are encouraged by the positive clinical trial results presented at ADA."
Participants in the clinical trial followed WeightWatchers' new diabetes-tailored program. The WeightWatchers Points® system has always gone beyond calories to turn complex nutritional information into one single number to make healthy eating simple. With the introduction of PersonalPoints™ last year, the latest algorithm steers members towards foods higher in healthy fats, fiber, and protein, and lower in added sugars and saturated fats.
The PersonalPoints program can also be further personalized to meet the needs of those living with diabetes. Consistent with the ADA and International Diabetes Federation (IDF) guidelines, WeightWatchers' diabetes-tailored program guides members living with diabetes toward foods that are less likely to impact blood sugar levels, such as lean protein, high fiber non-starchy vegetables, and healthy fats.3,6 It also provides content on how to enjoy fruit, whole grains, and dairy in ways that fit their lives.
"Despite recent advancements, there continues to be gaps in diabetes management for the 37.3 million people in the U.S. living with diabetes - most of whom also have overweight or obesity,"7 said John W. Apolzan, PhD, Assistant Professor and Nutrition Scientist, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and lead investigator in the clinical trial. "These trial results show that the WW diabetes-tailored program produces favorable improvements in glycemic control, weight, and diabetes distress which are both statistically significant and clinically meaningful."
With decades of experience in behavior change, WeightWatchers inspires millions of people around the world to adopt healthy habits for real life. For more information, visit www.ww.com.
1 CDC. National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020. Estimates of diabetes and its burden in the United States. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pdfs/data/statistics/national-diabetes-statistics-report.pdf
2Cameron NA, Petito LC, McCabe M, et al. Quantifying the Sex-Race/Ethnicity-Specific Burden of Obesity on Incident Diabetes Mellitus in the United States, 2001 to 2016: MESA and NHANES. J Am Heart Assoc. 2021;0:e018799. DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.120.018799
3 American Diabetes Association. Obesity management for the treatment of type 2 diabetes: standards of medical care in diabetes - 2021. Diabetes Care. 2021;44(1):S53-72.
4 Lenters-Westra E, Schindhelm RK, Bilo HJ, Groenier KH, Slingerland RJ. Differences in interpretation of haemoglobin A1c values among diabetes care professionals. Neth J Med. 2014;72:462-466.
5 CDC. Losing Weight. www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight.
6 International Diabetes Federation. Recommendations For Managing Type 2 Diabetes In Primary Care, 2017. www.idf.org/managing-type2-diabetes.
7 CDC. Statistics Report. www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics-report.
8 CDC. What is Diabetes?. www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/diabetes.html.
9 WHO. Diabetes Fact Sheet. www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes.
10 American Diabetes Association. Economic costs of diabetes in the US in 2017. Diabetes Care. 2018;41:917–928.
SOURCE WW International, Inc.