The research on weight-loss, exercise and proper diet just keeps expanding every day. There’s no doubt that what we believed 10 years ago (fats bad, non-fat products good!) is drastically different than what we believe now (good fats good, high sugar bad!), and it’s probably safe to say that in another 10 years we’ll have an even better understanding of how lifestyle affects our health. In an effort to stay updated on the weight-loss research, Weight Watchers in the United Kingdom recently unveiled a new POINTS system and, according to CNN, the United States isn’t far behind in doing so, too.
There aren’t a lot of details yet on exactly how the new POINTS system will work, but CNN reports that U.K. Weight Watchers participants get “real living” POINTS to treat themselves to occasional fast food treats or alcohol. And similar to the U.S. system, all fruits and most vegetables in the new system will carry zero POINTS and dieters will be allowed 29 “ProPOINTS,” which is up from the previous 18 POINTS. The new POINTS have been recalculated to consider protein, carbohydrate, fiber and fat content in the food, according to the article. The new British POINTS system will launch in time for the New Year, but there’s no date for when the U.S. POINTS system might get tweaked.
In the United States, Weight Watchers’ POINTS may range from 18-44 per day, depending on age, height, weight and activity level. Like the U.K., there is no set eating plan, and POINTS are based on a proprietary calculation of the fiber, fat and calories in a food. The higher in fiber, lower in calories and lower in fat a food is, the lower POINTS value it receives. The less fiber, higher fat and higher calories a food has, the higher its POINTS value.
Although some criticize the Weight Watchers program for being complicated and changing too much, I applaud an organization for changing their recommendations based on solid science and not just the latest fad!
November 4th, 2010