Tom Ballard, ND's blog


Weight Watchers Endorses McDonalds
December 2, 2010, 1:09 am
Filed under: Commentary, News | Tags: , , , ,

Some nutritionists (although not nearly enough) were shocked when Weight Watchers (WW) endorsed Chicken McNuggets as a “healthy meal.”

I wasn’t.

Weight Watchers has a long history of recommending questionable foods. More importantly, their entire approach to losing weight – cut fat and calories – has a 95% failure rate. It does not work for long-term weight loss for 95% of its clients.

I’ve asked WW to provide some proof for the effectiveness of their program. All they have are a few sketchy studies showing that lifetime members lose weight. Well, yes, lifetime members are the minority that is more likely to be successful. They remain members because it’s working for them (I suspect these are the ones with the worst diets going into the program). But what about all the millions who drop out because they lost a few pounds, then gained more? They aren’t counted.

What I dislike even more about WW than their endorsement of unhealthy food and failed program is that they crush people’s spirits. Millions have signed up for their program because it has been around so long that it’s become part of the fabric of our culture. It is so ubiquitous, so recommended by doctors and nutritionists, that it becomes the first stop for many people trying to lose weight.

When it doesn’t work, when the person finds their body won’t allow them to be on a low-nutrient diet, they blame themselves. The message becomes: If you were a strong person, you could do this – it’s your fault you failed.

Who wins when we feel defeated? The food and beverage industries and the medical industrial complex. They thrive on our misery.

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