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Friday, June 14, 2024

Weight Watchers meetings now on UF's campus

Students looking to drop pounds can attend Weight Watchers meetings at UF for the first time.

UF “Living Well” meetings will be held at 12:30 p.m Thursdays in the Florida Gymnasium, Room 215, and will last about 30 minutes.

Rachel Cooksey, who will lead the meetings, wrote in an email that UF students and staff are given a discounted rate of about $40 for the monthly membership.

“I believe students and staff are unaware there is a place for them to learn healthy habits and gain accountability in a friendly group setting,” she said.

Cooksey said she considers Weight Watchers an ideal starting point for anyone looking to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle.

But Roberta Seldman, an eating disorder and body dissatisfaction specialist at the UF Counseling & Wellness Center, cautioned that she has seen benefits from weight loss programs but also negative side effects.

“I have had many students whose well-intended parents sent them to Weight Watchers as young teens,” she wrote in an email. “The results (were) not great because the message ‘you are fat’ was so shaming that they became sneak-eaters and bingers. This is not to say that some have (not) greatly benefitted from these kinds of programs.”

Haley Edelson, a 21-year-old UF marketing senior, said she finds the concept of Weight Watchers attractive but is wary of the cost.

“From the perspective of a college student, referring to health and fitness websites and blogs seem like a much better idea,” she said.

A version of this story ran on page 5 on 1/10/2014 under the headline "Weight Watchers on campus"

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