photo by Michael Nagle.
Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

Weight Watchers criticized for offering free summer membership to teens

Weight Watchers took a beating on social media after announcing on Tuesday that the company would give free memberships to teens during the summer.

The company hoped to recruit younger members who would remain loyal customers for years by offering teens ranging in age from 13 to 17 a free six week membership during for the summer of 2018, according to CNNMoney.

While representatives for Weight Watchers said the goal is to help young people develop good habits at a critical age, most reactions on social media came from individuals who felt the company did not have the health of young people in mind.

The hashtag #WakeUpWeightWatchers began trending over the weekend as health and body positive advocates shared their concerns.

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) also expressed concerns about Weight Watchers actively targeting teens noting the link between dieting and eating disorders. 

“Our voices are being heard. They have reached out to us. Stay tuned for updates,” read the most recent Twitter post from NEDA.

About the Author

Nedra Rhone
Nedra Rhone
Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.