Study results from three clinical trial sites show that WW International, Inc. (“WeightWatchers” or “WW”) specially designed for people with diabetes helped participants lose weight, lower blood sugar levels, and improve their overall health.
Despite recent developments, diabetes management gaps remain for the more than 37 million people in the United States who live with diabetes—most of whom are also overweight or obese. The results of these trials show that a WW program designed for diabetes produces positive improvements in glycemic control, weight, and diabetes mellitus that are statistically significant and clinically meaningful.”
John W. Abulzan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Nutrition Scientist, Pennington Center for Biomedical Research, and Principal Investigator of the Clinical Trial
The study results were announced today at the 82nd Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
It is estimated that 90 percent of people with diabetes are also overweight or obese, and 30 to 53 percent of new cases of diabetes in the United States annually are related to obesity. Current ADA treatment recommendations recognize the importance of weight management in patients with type 2 diabetes who are also overweight or obese to improve glycemic control.
The six-month, single-arm clinical trial was conducted across three sites (Pennington Biomedical, University of Florida and Virginia Commonwealth University) and examined the efficacy of the hypothetical WeightWatchers program for glycemic control and weight loss among 136 participants living with type 2 diabetes whose average line-up was Baseline A1c 7.9. The results showed that the WeightWatchers program designed for diabetes had clinically meaningful and statistically significant effects, including:
- Low in HbA1 c by 0.76. Average drop in HbA participants1 c Levels at three and six months exceeded standards set by the Food and Drug Administration for approval of drug therapy (treatment with drugs).
- Average body weight loss of 5.7 percent and a reduction in waist circumference of more than two inches. A modest weight loss of at least five percent of your body weight can help achieve health benefits — including improving blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood sugar.
- Reduction in diabetic distress by 9.8 percent. Participants experienced a reduction in emotional burden, regimen-related stress, and general diabetic distress.
“Based on the science-backed WeightWatchers approach, our customized program helps people with diabetes build and maintain healthy habits based on their needs and lifestyle,” said Gary Foster, PhD, WW’s chief scientific officer. “We remain committed to supporting people with diabetes with scalable solutions and are encouraged by the positive clinical trial results presented at the ADA.”
“Pennington Biomedical’s mission includes ending the epidemics of obesity and diabetes, which can lead to a number of serious health problems, including heart and kidney disease. Finding solutions that help our residents live healthier lives through better management of chronic conditions such as diabetes Type 2 is one of the research center’s top priorities,” said Pennington Biomedical Executive Director John Kirwan, PhD.
Participants in the clinical trial followed the new WeightWatchers program designed for diabetes.
The study was supported by a grant from WW International, Inc. The information provided does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Pennington Biomedical.
Bennington Center for Biomedical Research
Abolzan, JW, et al. (2022) A weight management program for adults with type 2 diabetes: Effects on glycemic control. diabetic. doi.org/10.2337/db22-567-P.