The New Mexican Face of Weight Watchers

Claudia Hallblom, the first Latina to give back to her community by helding meetings in Spanish in the LA area

By Cova Najera
Published on LatinoLA: April 27, 2007

The New Mexican Face of Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers, the world's leading provider of weight management services, and Claudia Hallblom, one of the first leaders in the United States to reach out to her Hispanic community by conducting a Weight Watchers meeting in Spanish, host a Cinco de Mayo celebration with a healthy twist.

After having personal weight-loss success with Weight Watchers, Claudia helped open the first meeting in Spanish four years ago. Today, Spanish and bilingual meetings have multiplied in many locations from Los Angeles to the Bronx.

WHAT: A special Cinco de Mayo celebration developed to encourage Latinos to adopt a healthy lifestyle without giving up the foods they love, like tacos or alb??ndigas. The celebration will offer information, success stories, raffles, goodie bags, food and more.

WHEN: Saturday, May 5th 2007, 2:30 to 4:30 PM

WHERE: Teen Challenge Ministry Institute
9605 State Street
South Gate, CA 90280

WHY: Today, two in three Americans are either overweight or obese, and sadly more than 63 percent of Hispanics are overweight. Weight Watchers recognized the need to make the meeting room experience more culturally relevant to the Hispanic community. By providing the meeting material in Spanish, the Hispanic members were able to choose how to follow the plan - in English or Spanish.

Translating the meeting material was just the beginning, Spanish and bilingual meetings also focus on the culture. For instance, it's not necessary to give up those Cinco de Mayo favorites or other traditional foods. Instead, concentrate on portion sizes, or renovate the recipe. Claudia says the meetings in Spanish provide motivational support and allow members to share both challenges and successes that are associated with the Hispanic community. Research shows those who go to Weight Watchers meetings lose three times more weight than those who go it alone.

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