Wake Up Weight Watchers – A Message From EDCare


Weight Watchers

Why you shouldn’t encourage your kids to diet

Would you rather see your kids spend the summer counting calories or out enjoying their time with friends, going on adventures, and developing their authentic sense of self? In February, Weight Watchers announced membership to their program would be free to teenagers, ages 13 to 17, during the summer of 2018. As members of the mental health community, we invite you to learn about the dangers associated with dieting, hear from our staff and help spread awareness.

Adolescence is a time of great change, both physically and mentally. Teaching our nation’s youth they need to eat a certain way to look a certain way, is damaging. It promotes body shame, creates destructive eating habits and prevents kids from learning how to listen to the needs of their bodies. Research shows dieting at an early age increases the risk of developing an eating disorder. This is not the kind of future we want for the next generation. Wake Up Weight Watchers, we need a culture of empowerment and body positivity, not dieting.

Dieting is NOT the answer

Why diets make you gain weight:

  • When you diet (restrict amount and types of food) you do lose some weight – not fat, but water and muscle.  Your body does not know the difference between a diet and a famine. Your metabolism slows down so you burn off less fat.  The body re-educates itself to work on less food. Valuable muscle tissue, not fat is eaten away. If you diet, you are actually training your body to become fatter as a protection against further dieting.

Dieting makes you sick:

  • The stress put on the body by the starvation and sudden eating, and the resultant dramatic changes threaten your immune system and the general workings of your body and its organs.

Dieting makes you depressed:

  • Because dieting doesn’t work, people blame themselves when they had less than a 5% chance of maintaining any weight loss in the first place.
  • Hunger is depressing. Not being able to enjoy food is depressing.

Dieting depletes hormones that also influence mood states:

  • Dieting in the extreme causes symptoms of irritability, anxiety, nervousness, fatigue, listlessness, poor sleep patterns, and poor concentration.

Dieting makes you stupid:

  • Dieting students performed worse on reaction times, rapid information processing and memory.
  • Dieting induce lowered heart rates and starve the brain of glucose.

Why young people must not diet:

  • These are your growth spurt years.  You need the growth, you need the brain power, and you need the energy that food gives you.
  • Dieting in growing adolescents impairs growth and restricts nutrients such as protein, iron, calcium, and zinc, which teenagers need a lot of.
Hilary Garlick and Alicia Goffredi

From the moms to be at EDCare

Hilary Garlick, LSW – Admissions Clinician (left)

Alicia Goffredi, PsyD – Primary Therapist (right)

Jennifer Batson Lisa Brownstone

Jennifer Batson, PSYD – Primary Therapist (left)

Lisa Brownstone, PHD – Post-Doctoral Fellow (right)

“To the newest generation, we are fighting for you, in the hopes that you never have to hear the shameful messages of diet culture and that you only receive messages of self-love and body positivity.” – Mrs. Garlick and Dr. Goffredi

“Wake Up Weight Watchers we should be counting laughs, not points.” – Dr. Batson


“Dieting: a major predictor of eating disorder development. Shame on you, Weight Watchers, for providing free dieting services to young and vulnerable adolescents.” – Dr. Brownstone

If you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, call (866) 771-0861 today or submit a free, confidential inquiry form online. Don’t lose hope, help is just a call/click away.