You may not know her name, but you certainly know her legacy. Jean Nidetch, the founder of Weight Watchers, has died at the age of 91. After losing 70 pounds in the early ‘60s, Nidetch went on to create one of the most successful weight-loss companies of all time, forever tipping the scales in the direction of “just dropping the damn fork,” as she was wont to say, according to Fox News.
Weight Watchers International was founded in 1963, after Nidetch used one of her own strategies — weekly meetings with similarly struggling overweight friends — to launch a company. By the end of 1963, Nidetch was holding meetings across New York. Over the years, franchises were opened, dozens of cookbooks were published and millions were sold, and Weight Watchers frozen foods dominated the freezer aisle at the grocery store. Today, Weight Watchers International continues to pull in almost $400 million in revenue every year.
After dropping down to her goal weight of 142 pounds, Nidetch vowed to never gain weight again, following simple rules of eating more fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins; sticking to smaller portions; and occasionally indulging in sweets or other food vices. She was never overweight again.