Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Communication Studies

Department or School/College

Department of Communication Studies

Committee Chair

Steve Schwarze


body, health, metaphor, weight, Weight Watchers


University of Montana


Founded in 1961, with 1.5 million people from around the world attending meetings every week today, Weight Watchers has become a socially and economically significant weight loss organization with the potential to affect the lives of many people. With that in mind, this study describes and analyzes the rhetorical strategies of Weight Watchers. More specifically, this study depicts the metaphors used by Weight Watchers to describe its 2009 program, the Momentum Program. Which metaphors are used, how those metaphors function to create a reality for dieters, how those metaphors produce and filter meaning, and the actions those metaphors encourage and discourage are discussed. Additionally, the ways in which metaphors are embedded with Western culture’s assumptions about obesity and weight loss is discussed. The implications of Weight Watcher’s use of metaphors to describe the Momentum program are discussed as a rhetorical device that reinforces notions of the docile body, mind/body duality, normalization of the ideal body, and the care of the self. Finally, the implications of the use of mixed or multiple metaphors are discussed as being neither contradictory nor complimentary.



© Copyright 2010 Ashlynn Laura Reynolds-Dyk