Weight Watchers International, Inc, has launched Project LIFT—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 LIFT aims to change that.
What struck us when we started talking to people within the breast cancer community was the unexpected posttreatment weight issues they face.— Stacey Mowbray
“There are more than 3.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States alone with a history of invasive breast cancer. 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 posttreatment,” said Stacey Mowbray, President of Americas at Weight Watchers International, Inc.
“What struck us when we started talking to people within the breast cancer community was the unexpected posttreatment weight issues they face. In fact, one study found breast cancer survivors are twice as likely to gain more than 11 pounds within 5 years of treatment compared with women who are cancer-free.1 Additionally, women who gained weight after a breast cancer diagnosis had an elevated risk of both recurrence and mortality. This risk was elevated with increasing weight gain.2 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.”
Content for Survivors
Weight Watchers Project LIFT Online Content: Available to both Weight Watchers members and nonmembers and in collaboration with the American Cancer Society, Weight Watchers will provide free information on its Weight Watchers 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.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Events
Every 3- to 5-mile Making Strides walk occurring during the month of October is an 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.
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.
Breast Cancer Survivor Talks
Weight Watchers will open its doors to members and nonmembers 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.
Colleen Doyle, MS, RD
“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. ■
1. Gross AL, May BJ, Axilbund JE, et al: Weight change in breast cancer survivors compared to cancer-free women: A prospective study in women at familial risk of breast cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 24:1262-1269, 2015.