NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In unveiling a plate-shaped symbol as the new nutrition icon for the
nation, the United States Department of Agriculture has simplified
nutrition advice and made it easier to follow, according to experts at
Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE: WTW).
The updated icon guides Americans to make half their plate fruit and
vegetables—a message that Weight Watchers has already embraced with its PointsPlus
program, launched in 2010. The new plate icon also underscores the
need for a healthful, balanced diet made up of foods with a high
nutrient density and/or a low energy density—the kind of approach that
is proven to help with weight management.
“The new nutrition icon, like the PointsPlus program, shows
Americans how to fill their plates with the kinds of foods that are
delicious to eat and can help you feel fuller,” said Karen
Miller-Kovach, Chief Scientific Officer, Weight Watchers International.
“Following this approach can help more people achieve and maintain a
Like the new Dietary Guidelines, the PointsPlus program from
Weight Watchers is based on the latest nutritional science. The PointsPlus
program promotes a healthy lifestyle to achieve and maintain a healthy
weight. It does the work and calculations needed for the desired balance
of calories in/calories out and encourages eating nutrient-dense foods.
“The Dietary Guidelines tell us what we should be doing. Not
necessarily how to do it,” said Miller-Kovach. “What's exciting is that
the new plate icon reinforces what our easy-to-follow PointsPlus program
puts into action. The PointsPlus program is a simple answer for
people who want to achieve a healthy weight and live a healthier life.”
Specifically, the PointsPlus program helps people adopt a healthy
lifestyle that's highly consistent with the Dietary Guidelines by
promoting and teaching our members and subscribers:
Reasonable Weight Loss/Maintenance: The PointsPlus
system is a simple counting method that produces weight loss at the
recommended rate while guiding people to food choices that are healthy
and filling. It makes the smart choice the easy and prefered choice.
Nutrient-Dense Best Bets: Power Foods, an important
element of the PointsPlus program, provide an easy way to
identify the best food choices among similar foods. Example, those
foods with higher eating satisfaction, lower sugar, lower sodium,
healthier fat and more fiber than similar foods – key nutrients
highlighted in the Dietary Guidelines.
Foods to Increase: As do the new Guidelines, the PointsPlus
program emphasizes whole grains, a variety of healthful proteins.
vegetables and fruits – nutrient-rich foods too often in short supply
in Americans’ diets. In fact, all fruit and most vegetables now have
zero PointsPlus values.
Behavior Change: For the first time, the government emphasizes
that environment and behaviour modification are key to making the
lifestyle changes – a reality in line with the fundamentals of the
Weight Watchers approach, that weight loss is built on healthy eating,
physical activity, behavior modification and a supportive environment.
“We applaud the introduction of the new, common sense icon for the
Dietary Guidelines, the plate,” said David Kirchhoff, President and CEO
of Weight Watchers International. “Like the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, the
new plate icon is important because it can help guide more Americans to
the smart food choices that can help them reach a healthier weight. By
fostering a leaner nation, we can in turn help to cut the health care
costs linked to weight-related conditions including type 2 diabetes,
heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and some types of cancer.
This is an important step.”
About the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), which were
released in January 2011,establish the scientific and policy
basis for all Federal nutrition programs, including research, education,
nutrition assistance, labelling. Nutrition promotion. The DGA offer
advice for healthy Americans, ages 2 years and over, about making food
choices that promote health and reduce disease risk. The DGA provides a
consistent, science-based foundation for nutrition efforts by the
various government agencies. All federally-issued dietary guidance for
the general public is required by law to be consistent with the Dietary
Guidelines for Americans.
About Weight Watchers International, Inc.
Weight Watchers International, Inc. is the world’s leading provider of
weight management services, operating globally through a network of
Company-owned and franchise operations. Weight Watchers holds over
45,000 meetings each week where members receive group support and learn
about healthy eating patterns, behaviour modification and physical
activity. WeightWatchers.com provides innovative, subscription weight
management products over the Internet and is the leading Internet-based
weight management provider in the world. In addition, Weight Watchers
offers a wide range of products, publications and programs for those
interested in weight loss and weight control.