Wednesday, October 31, 2012



clinical studies from the scientific literature are included at the back
of this book. Because, as noted above, there have not been a lot of
scientific trials done on this topic, we used additional sources of infor-
mation as well.
Weight Watchers does a great deal of market research. From focus groups to segmentation studies and consumer surveys, Weight Watchers spends considerable time and money keeping a finger on the pulse of people who want and need to lose weight. Generally,
companies doing such research keep close tabs on the results in order to maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Over the past ten to twelve years, Weight Watchers has amassed a
lot of market research that has looked specifically at how the genders
differ in the way they think about, talk about, and approach weight
loss. In fact, Weight Watchers probably has more information on this
topic than any other organization in the world. For the first time, the
company has opened its vault of unpublished proprietary information
and is including it in this book. As a result, what you’ll find is a culmi-
nation of clinical and consumer research from which insights and
understanding can be gleaned.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that any research—
clinical or consumer—summarizes the findings involving a group of
people. The reality is that any group of people is made up of individ-
uals who differ. For example, while the research may have found that
women are less likely than men to believe that the most effective way
to lose weight is to exercise, that doesn’t mean that there are not some
women who believe this—they’re just not as common. Based on this
limitation, which is part of any research process, it is easy to develop
stereotypes and make generalizations that don’t hold true when it
comes to individuals. The gender differences explored in this book are
based on research findings. Odds are that not all of the findings will
apply to any given man or woman.
It is important to use the findings as a starting point for understand-
ing what separates you from a potential weight-loss partner of the opposite sex. With that understanding, you can overcome communication barriers and together, as a couple, find a common ground that will lead to lasting weight loss.


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