Weight Watchers Congratulates USDA on Trading the Pyramid for the Plate | Business Wire

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

healthy weight.”

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.

Dana Metz
Weber Shandwick
[email protected]