“Act thin, stay thin”: Commercialization, behavior modification, and group weight control

A new article in press at Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences will interest AHP readers.

““Act thin, stay thin”: Commercialization, behavior modification, and group weight control,” by Jessica Parr. Abstract:

In 1968, Weight Watchers International introduced behavior modification practices to their established commercial program. At the time, the addition of behavioral psychology gave Weight Watchers a distinct advantage over the many competing weight control groups in postwar America. The process of combining group therapy with a controlled diet plan, behavior techniques and later, exercise, has significantly influenced American popular culture. This article considers how the commercialization of group weight control impacted the development and dissemination of a new multidimensional approach for weight management and how this has shaped popular ideas associated with dieting and wider understandings of healthy living.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.

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