Tuesday, 10 January 2012 01:46
Chicken Weight Watcher McNuggetsWritten by Sharon
Just the other day I was asked my opinion on Weight Watchers. I said that if it works for you, then you should stick with it, but personally, I'm not an advocate.
Weight Watchers isn't helping people learn healthy lifestyles. They are teaching people to think in terms of points, not in terms of nutrients. A WW client walks into a restaurant and looks for the WW symbol. She sees 14 points and starts calculating if they can fit in her daily allotment. She doesn't wonder if it is a nutritious choice. Does it have protein? Is it a complex carbohydrate? Is it high in sugar? Is this how she teaches her kids to eat? To look for a point system?
Case in point: Since 2010, WW has been endorsing McDonald's Chicken McNuggets. Yes, endorsing.
I searched online and while I can't attest that this ingredient list for McNuggets is 100% accurate, let's consider that it is: white boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning (autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil,dextrose, citric acid, rosemary), sodium phosphates, seasoning (canola oil, mono- and diglycerides, extractives of rosemary). Battered and breaded with: water,enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (bakingsoda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, whey, corn starch. Prepared invegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as anantifoaming agent.
Wow. I'm tired and sort of sickened just by reading it. I don't know what many of these ingredients are, I can't pronounce some of them, and I surely don't know what they are going to do my body EXCEPT the fact that only 44%....
of a McNugget is actually chicken. Hmmm....when I cook chicken, I expect that with the exception of a few herbs and seasonings, the rest of my dish is actually CHICKEN.
I again searched online and within seconds found a list of well known chain restaurants' food dishes and their WW points. Ben and Jerry's, Dunkin' Donuts, White Castle, Chili's, and La Salsa were just a few. By assigning points to meals at these restaurants, isn't WW telling their clients that it is absolutely acceptable to frequent them, just like endorsing McNuggets? I wonder what the ingredient lists for these foods contain.
Eating healthy is not purely calorie-based. Do 100 calories of Oreos provide the same nutrition to your body that 100 calories of broccoli does?
Another reason I'm not a fan of WW is their stance on fruit. In 2011, they excitedly announced that they had revised their program to define fruit as a 'free' food and that its consumption is unlimited. Really?
It seems they failed to explain that most fruit generally has lots of sugar and no protein. And that fresh or unsweetened frozen fruit are much better choices than dried fruit or canned fruit, especially those in syrups. Am I saying to never eat fruit? No. Keep in mind the nutritional profile of it as you make it part of your diet.
If this was said to encourage people to put down the twinkie and choose a banana, then between the two, the banana is obviously a better choice. But that's not how the word is spreading.
Another reason I'm not a fan is that they don't give specific exercise advice. Saying 'exercise is important' and even assigning points to it, but not giving more direction could prove to be dangerous. Those new to exercise, or returning to exercise after a prolonged time of inactivity, need to coached on the different types, how much to do of each based on their personal and medical history, how to get started, and what to do so they don't get hurt.
Lastly, the rate of recidivism is high. A potential client called me and when I asked what she was doing to lose weight, she said she had been on Weight Watchers but stopped about 7 months prior. She said that a month ago she received a call from WW, asking if she wanted to come back. What?!! The WW rep explained that most of their former clients re-gain the weight (and more I suspect) in the first 6 months after stopping their membership. This must be true because they called her like clockwork.
I returned to the internet one more time and searched for the exact recidivism number but it must be hidden so the general public can't access it. Hmmm...I wonder why? However, I did find several articles that say it is 97%. Wow. I mean, double Wow.
WW isn't teaching a lifestyle. They are promoting a method of eating that may provide short-term weight loss but that almost always requires their clients to come back and pay more money to have the same results over and over again. Sounds like a lot of wasted time and energy, and it takes quite a toll on your body and emotions.
Is this what you really want in life?
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