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Weight Watchers founder dies at 91

Published 29/04/2015

Jean Nidetch, founder of Weight Watchers, has died at her home near Fort Lauderdale in Florida (AP)
Jean Nidetch, founder of Weight Watchers, has died at her home near Fort Lauderdale in Florida (AP)

The woman who founded Weight Watchers has died aged 91.

Jean Nidetch died today near Fort Lauderdale. Her death was confirmed by her son David.

Ms Nidetch was a New York housewife when she founded Weight Watchers in 1963 after beating her own weight battles using dieting tips she learned at a city health clinic.

She packaged those into a fun format where dieters met and worked together.

By the following year, classes were held across New York, with dozens of participants going on to lead sessions of their own. A cookbook sold millions.

By Weight Watchers' 10th birthday, it was so popular that 16,000 people attended a gathering at Madison Square Garden.

When she and two partners sold the company in 1978, they received almost 71 million dollars (£46 million).

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