Weight Watchers And The American Cancer Society Launch Initiative To Support Holistic Health For Breast Cancer Survivors
Project L.I.F.T. campaign engages communities to rally behind breast cancer survivors struggling with weight gain, helps survivors enhance well-being post-treatment
NEW YORK, Aug. 15, 2016 – Today, Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE: WTW) launched Project L.I.F.T. – Live Inspired, Fight Together – a new movement, in collaboration with the American Cancer Society, to inspire and guide breast cancer survivors with free resources focused on tackling the unexpected weight gain that can follow breast cancer treatment. While breast cancer patients have information available to them on breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery, little advice is available to survivors grappling with the very real – though often unexpected – weight gain that can come after treatment. Project L.I.F.T. aims to change that.
"There are more than 3.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the U.S. alone with a history of invasive breast cancer.1 Through this program we've developed with the American Cancer Society, we will uniquely support these survivors and guide them on the road to achieving their best holistic health post-treatment," said Stacey Mowbray, President of Americas at Weight Watchers International, Inc. "We believe the Weight Watchers culture of extraordinary encouragement combined with the resources to inspire and guide healthier choices can really make a difference for survivors."
"What struck us when we started talking to people within the breast cancer community was the unexpected post-treatment weight issues they face. In fact, one study found breast cancer survivors are twice as likely to gain more than 11 pounds within five years of treatment compared with women who are cancer-free.2 Additionally, women who gained weight after breast cancer diagnosis had an elevated risk of both recurrence and mortality. This risk elevated with increasing weight gain.3 Between our community and resources, and those of the American Cancer Society, we know we can really make a difference and help mobilize survivors to reclaim their health."
This fall, through Project L.I.F.T., Weight Watchers, in collaboration with the American Cancer Society, will deliver:
Content For Survivors:
- Weight Watchers Project L.I.F.T. Online Content: Available to both Weight Watchers Members and non-members and in collaboration with the American Cancer Society, Weight Watchers will provide free information on its WW Living site designed for breast cancer survivors. This content will help women understand why they might have gained weight, how losing a modest amount of weight can provide many health benefits, and how they can work to lose the weight through information and support within the community.
- Weight Watchers Magazine: To celebrate survivors during National Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, Weight Watchers is featuring three breast cancer survivors who are also Weight Watchers Members in the September/October issue of Weight Watchers magazine, on newsstands August 16.
American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer® Events: Every three-to five-mile Making Strides walk, occurring during the month of October, is a powerful and inspiring opportunity to unite as a community to honor breast cancer survivors, raise awareness about steps to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer or find it early, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society save lives from breast cancer. Weight Watchers Members, staff, family, and friends across the country can join and support the Weight Watchers team at Making Strides events nationwide, joining walks in their local communities under the Weight Watchers banner. To find and sign up for a local Weight Watchers walk, please visit MakingStridesWalk.org/weightwatchers.
- Wear WW Proud: Weight Watchers has designed a special T-shirt, which Weight Watchers team members can wear during the walks. Beginning in mid-September, shirts will be available online for purchase at http://shop.weightwatchers.com/ with profits benefitting the American Cancer Society's efforts to save lives from breast cancer.
- On-The-Ground Activations: Weight Watchers will have an on-the-ground sponsorship presence in 11 local walk events with Weight Watchers photo booths for walk participants to capture and share the moment.
October Limited Edition Products: Beginning in mid-September and throughout the month of October, Weight Watchers will sell a limited edition water bottle and journal in its meeting rooms and in its online shop at http://shop.weightwatchers.com with profits benefiting the American Cancer Society's efforts to help save lives from breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Survivor Talks: Weight Watchers will open its doors to members and non-members throughout October in 11 select markets nationwide, inviting all who are interested to participate in an open discussion to share their stories, encourage each other and learn together.
"This campaign will help spark dialogue and create positive connections that support breast cancer survivors in living healthier lives," said Colleen Doyle, MS, RD, Managing Director of Nutrition and Physical Activity for the American Cancer Society. "Whether a woman is struggling with exercise after surgery or body changes resulting from treatment-triggered early menopause, this partnership will provide tremendous value to breast cancer survivors during a time when support, help and guidance can make a very positive difference in their lives."
To learn more about Weight Watchers Making Strides walks, please visit MakingStridesWalk.org/weightwatchers.
Limited edition products and Making Strides team T-shirts will be available in September at http://shop.weightwatchers.com/.
For more information, visit https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/projectlift.
More Information about Breast Cancer and Weight Gain:
- There are more than 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. alone who have a history of invasive breast cancer. 1
- Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 20 to 59. 4
- Breast cancer survivors are slightly more than twice as likely to gain more than 11 pounds within five years of treatment as women who are cancer-free. 2
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women after skin cancer. 5
- 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. 6
- Among women diagnosed with breast cancer, those who gained weight after breast cancer diagnosis had an elevated risk of both recurrence and mortality, adjusting for weight before diagnosis. This risk increased with increasing weight gain.3
- More than 30 years of research indicate that weight gain is a common and persistent problem among breast cancer survivors. In fact, 50-96% of women experience weight gain during treatment and many, including some women who remain weight stable during treatment, report progressive weight gain in the months and years after diagnosis. While the amount of weight gain varies depending on type and length of treatment, age at diagnosis, type of cancer and many other factors, studies consistently show that the rate of weight gain among breast cancer survivors is significantly higher than that of the general population and of women without the disease.7
About Weight Watchers International, Inc.
Weight Watchers International, Inc. is the world's leading commercial provider of weight management services, operating globally through a network of Company-owned and franchise operations. Weight Watchers holds more than 32,000 meetings each week where members receive group support and learn about healthy eating patterns, behavior modification and physical activity. Weight Watchers provides innovative, digital weight management products through its websites, mobile sites and apps. Weight Watchers is the leading provider of paid digital subscription weight management products 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.
1 Miller KD et al. Cancer treatment and survivorship statistics, 2016. CA Cancer 2016;66:271-289.
2 Gross, A., May, B., Axilbund, J., Armstrong, D., Roden, R., & Visvanathan, K. (2015). Weight Change in Breast Cancer Survivors Compared to Cancer-Free Women: A Prospective Study in Women at Familial Risk of Breast Cancer. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 24(8), 1262-1269. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.epi-15-0212
3 Kroenke, C. (2005). Weight, Weight Gain, and Survival After Breast Cancer Diagnosis. Journal Of Clinical Oncology, 23(7), 1370-1378. doi:10.1200/jco.2005.01.079
4 Siegel RL, Miller KD, Jemal A. Cancer statistics, 2016. CA Cancer J Clin. 66(1):7-30, 2016.
5 Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2015-2016. Atlanta: American Cancer Society, Inc. 2015
6 DevCan: Probability of Developing or Dying of Cancer Software, Version 6.7.3. Statistical Research and Applications Branch, National Cancer Institute, 2015.
7 Vance V, e. (2016). Weight gain in breast cancer survivors: prevalence, pattern and health consequences. - PubMed - NCBI. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/208