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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Weight Watchers comes to campus

Weight Watchers of Arizona has partnered with UA Life & Work Connections to provide weekly meetings on campus for UA students and employees.

About 25 UA community members attended the first meeting on Monday in the Tubac Room, located on the fourth floor of the Student Union Memorial Center. Valerie Peterson, the meeting leader for Weight Watchers of Arizona, began the meeting by showing her “before” picture — she said she lost 52 pounds on the program when she started three years ago. She is still on the program and watching what she eats, she said.

“I’m in this with you,” Peterson added.

Peterson said that having meetings on the UA campus will help students and faculty enrolled in the program lose weight, because of its convenience and ability to create a support system within the school.

Erin Strange, violence prevention specialist at Campus Health Service, said that attending meetings on campus will help her and UA students hold themselves accountable for what they eat.

“As I’ve gotten older, I feel I need to start taking more pride and responsibility for my physical health,” Strange said. “I know I’ll never get skinny, but I want to feel good.”

Another reason Strange said she joined the program is because she plans to get married this summer, which she said was a “big motivating factor.”

“Trying to lose weight on my own wasn’t working,” Strange added.

There is a $25 fee to join the on-campus Weight Watchers program, though the fee will be waived if attendees sign up for their monthly program, which is $49 per month, according to Peterson. The monthly program provides special online tools to help track food intake, as well as a free smartphone app for users to scan barcodes of food items. The app will then tell them how many Weight Watchers points that food item would be. Otherwise, the pay-as-you-go plan is $13 per week.

For Emily Spirk, a vocal performance junior and a resident assistant in Yuma Residence Hall, having the program on campus is “simpler” because she does not have to find a ride to meetings off-campus.

“I don’t have a car, and coming here fits into my schedule,” she said.

Spirk said she chose Weight Watchers over other weight loss programs because it’s more of a lifestyle change, where other diets felt more temporary and the weight would just come back.

“Weight Watchers is careful about safe weight loss,” she said. “This program is a really healthy way to lose weight.”

Any UA community member can join the program at any time, and there are two meeting locations — one in the Tubac Room of the Student Union Memorial Center from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Mondays and one in the University of Arizona Medical Center from noon to 1 p.m. on Fridays.

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