Can the WW Program Help People with Type 2 Diabetes?

Can the WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) program help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar?

Scientists at Pennington Biomedical Research Center expect the six-month Vital research study to help answer the question.

“Successfully managing type 2 diabetes requires building healthy habits, such as following a healthy diet and working a little physical activity into your daily routine,” said John Apolzan, MD, director of the clinical nutrition and metabolism laboratory and principal investigator.  “Our study will evaluate a new WW program for individuals with type 2 diabetes, which includes a personalized food plan and an app to help people stay on track.”

“Diabetes, if left unchecked, can lead to a number of other health issues, including heart disease and kidney disease,” Pennington Biomedical Executive Director John Kirwan said.  “Finding solutions that help our residents live healthier lives by better managing chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes is one of the research center’s highest priorities.”

Pennington Biomedical plans to recruit at least 50 people between the ages of 18 and 70 who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and who are overweight or have obesity (a BMI of 27-50).    Participants will need to have access to an iPhone with internet access.

If they qualify for the study, volunteers will receive six months of access to the WW program, with weekly virtual workshops led by a WW coach. The workshops last 30 to 60 minutes and cover a new topic each week related to building healthy habits, the skills to support behavior change, check-ins to discuss the previous week, and a group discussion. 

To see if you qualify for the Vital study, email