Wednesday, Nov 22, 2023 | 12:00 AM ET

S4 E6: The Evolution of Weight Loss Programs: The Obesity Specialists' Perspective—with Dr. Gary Foster and Dr. Spencer Nadolsky

In the dynamic world of weight loss, Weight Watchers, now rebranded as WW, has long been a prominent figure, dedicated to science-backed methods that promote sustainable weight management. 

However, the weight management landscape is experiencing notable shifts, that are reshaping the way individuals perceive their health and weight.

In this discussion hosts Dr. Gautam Gulati and Dr. Jessica Shepherd are joined by two distinguished experts in the field of weight loss.

Dr. Gary Foster, the Chief Scientific Officer at WW, brings a wealth of knowledge in obesity research and a deep commitment to scaling science-validated approaches for sustained weight management. 

Dr. Spencer Nadolsky serves as the Medical Director at WW and is a fervent advocate of telemedicine. He played a pivotal role in developing "Sequence," an online weight management program that Weight Watchers acquired in April 2023.

The discussion walks listeners through the behavior changes, patient empowerment, and obesity-related stigma that need to be addressed for a more comprehensive and compassionate approach to treatment.

Listen in as Dr. Foster and Dr. Nadolsky discuss the multifaceted aspects of obesity treatment and explore the evolving landscape of individualized and science-proven methods for sustainable weight management and improved health.

About Dr. Gary Foster

Gary Foster, PhD is a clinical psychologist, obesity researcher and behavior change expert. He also serves as the Chief Scientific Officer at WeightWatchers and is an Adjunct Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, he was the Founder and Director of the Center of Obesity Research and Education and Laura Carnell Professor of Medicine, Public Health and Psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, where Gary is based.

Gary has authored more than 250 scientific publications and four books on the causes, prevention and treatment of obesity. He has received numerous honors including President of The Obesity Society, the Atkinson-Stern Award for Distinguished Public Service from The Obesity Society, and the George Bray Outstanding Scientific Achievements Award in Obesity Research from the American Society for Nutrition. His most recent book, The Shift: 7 Powerful Mindset Shifts for Lasting Weight Loss, is a national bestseller.

At WeightWatchers, Gary leads the Science Team and is a member of the Leadership Team.   

About Dr. Spencer Nadolsky

Spencer Nadolsky, DO, is an obesity and lipid specialist physician with a passion for improving patient outcomes through innovative solutions. As the Medical Director for WeightWatchers, Dr. Nadolsky supports the WW clinical program research and development, bringing his knowledge and expertise from the field alongside his experience scaling Sequence, the online comprehensive chronic weight management program and telehealth platform which was acquired by WeightWatchers in April 2023. Dr. Nadolsky is committed to research and development, informing science-backed program creation to transform the way weight management is delivered to individuals in support of their overall health. With a background in telemedicine and fitness coaching, Dr. Nadolsky brings a unique perspective to the digital healthcare space.

Topics Covered

  • The shift away from unsustainable fad diets to more holistic and sustainable weight management approaches
  • How scientists are leveraging positive psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mindset changes to improve the weight loss journey
  • How WW is addressing the stigma associated with obesity by challenging societal biases and advocating for a compassionate and informed approach
  • The significance of maintaining an "adiposity-based" approach to addressing the root cause of obesity 
  • Advancements in obesity treatment with the introduction of GLP-1 medications that offer substantial weight loss and minimal side effects
  • The efforts to raise awareness about the biological factors influencing weight gain
  • The WW program's key components, including a points-based food system, activity, mindset, and sleep, provide science-based guidance for healthy habits

Connect with Dr. Gary Foster

Dr. Foster on LinkedIn 

Dr. Foster on X 

Connect with Dr. Spencer Nadolsky 

Dr. Spencer Nadolsky 

Dr. Nadolsky on X 

Connect with Dr. Gautam Gulati & Dr. Jessica Shepherd 


Dr. Gulati on X 

Dr. Gulati on LinkedIn

Dr. Jessica Shepherd MD 

Dr. Shepherd on X 


Weight Watchers (WW) 

The Shift by Gary Foster, PhD  


Dr. Spencer NadolskyMedical Director, WeightWatchers, WeightWatchers

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