NEW YORK, Aug. 31 Weight Watchers (NYSE: WTW) announced today the start of the second annual Lose For Good campaign, created to raise awareness about two global epidemics - obesity and hunger. Between August 30th and October 17th, as Weight Watchers Members and Online subscribers lose weight, the company will donate up to $1 million to two hunger fighting organizations - Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger. Last year, the campaign impacted more than 250,000 children and families domestically and actually represented the difference between life and death for more than 6,000 malnourished children abroad.
This year, Jenny McCarthy, a passionate activist and actress, has joined the campaign to generate awareness about this important cause. As a campaign ambassador, McCarthy will participate in media appearances and star in a public service announcement encouraging Americans to get healthier while also helping to end hunger. In addition, McCarthy helped Weight Watchers kick off Lose For Good by participating in a ceremony where the company donated a "Good Food Garden" to the Arroyo Head Start center in Altadena, CA, run by the Center for Community and Family Services, Inc. The Arroyo Head Start center serves underprivileged children in the community and until now did not have funding to build a sustainable garden for the kids to use for educational and nutritional purposes.
"I grew up in a home where $5 could make a difference between having a family dinner or not. This is a real issue that needs attention and I'm proud to help spread the word about the Lose For Good campaign, which encourages people to get healthy while, at the same time giving back," says McCarthy, who lost weight with Weight Watchers after the birth of her son.
According to the National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey, 66% of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese. In juxtaposition to the obesity epidemic, 36.2 million people in the United States - and more than a billion people worldwide - do not have nutritionally adequate and safe foods available to them (Source: USDA 2007 report, UNFAO 2009 press release). Everyday, Weight Watchers helps people lose weight in a sustainable way by helping them adopt a healthier lifestyle and a healthier relationship with food and activity.
"There is no reason that we should live in a world where children go to bed hungry and a child dies every six seconds from causes related to malnutrition (Source: United Nations)," says David Kirchhoff, President and CEO, Weight Watchers International, Inc. "I am proud that our company and our members have embraced Lose For Good and have been inspired and motivated to take control of their personal health goals, while at the same time, contributing to the well-being of those in their community and around the world."
This year, to keep up motivation, there will be Lose For Good campaign-related activities and challenges happening throughout the Weight Watchers Web site and in Meeting rooms all over the country. Those interested in increasing the good can support Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger by donating directly to the organizations via a link located at www.loseforgood.com. On a local level, Members are encouraged to bring canned and packaged food to meetings which will then be donated to a local food bank in their area. During last year's inaugural Lose For Good campaign, 1.5 million pounds of food was collected and donated to food banks serving people in need.
"With 12.4 million children in the United States at risk of hunger, and a record 34.4 million people on SNAP (formerly food stamps), the funds raised through the Lose For Good campaign have never been more critical to our mission. Share Our Strength has made a commitment to end childhood hunger in the United States by 2015 while improving nutrition and child health, and Weight Watchers has become one of our most important partners in the fight to achieve that goal," says Bill Shore, Founder and Executive Director.
"Thanks to Weight Watchers, Action Against Hunger will be able to reach more children suffering from life-threatening malnutrition around the world - a condition that results in some five million childhood deaths every year," said Nan Dale, Executive Director of Action Against Hunger. "Our organization is proud to partner with Weight Watchers on the Lose For Good Campaign to raise greater awareness about solutions to global hunger while simultaneously promoting healthier lifestyles at home."
To participate in the Lose For Good campaign, visit www.loseforgood.com.
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 50,000 weekly meetings where members receive group support and education 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 Share Our Strength(R)
Share Our Strength(R) is the leading national organization working to make sure no kid in America grows up hungry. The organization weaves together a net of community groups, activists and food programs to catch children at risk of hunger and ensure they have nutritious food where they live, learn and play. Share Our Strength works with the culinary industry to create engaging, pioneering programs like Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation(R), Share Our Strength's Great American Bake Sale(R), Share Our Strength's A Tasteful Pursuit(R), Share Our Strength's Great American Dine Out(TM), and Share Our Strength's Operation Frontline(R). For more information, please visit strength.org.
About Action Against Hunger
Action Against Hunger is an international humanitarian organization that saves the lives of malnourished children while providing families with access to safe water and long-term solutions to hunger. In emergency situations of conflict, natural disaster, and chronic food insecurity, Action Against Hunger's programs reach 5 million people a year, restoring dignity, self-sufficiency, and independence to vulnerable populations in some 40 countries around the world. Since its founding in 1979, Action Against Hunger has tirelessly pursued its vision of a world without hunger. To learn more, visit www.actionagainsthunger.org.
Contact: Lolita Verny, Weight Watchers Kim Newman, Krupp Kommunications Phone: 212-589-2731 212-886-6712 Email: [email protected] [email protected]
SOURCE Weight Watchers International, Inc.