WW

The other night while I was cooking dinner and Scott was watching Monday night football, a commercial came on for Crestor, a statin drug. In print across the screen read “Endorsed by Weight Watchers magazine.” Of course it is. It’s important to know that statins lower cholesterol in the blood. We know that cholesterol does not cause heart disease, but rather oxidation and resulting inflammation. While I don’t support pharmaceutical drugs at all, Crestor is particularly dangerous. From this Drug Recall website,

The dangers of Crestor include the potentially fatal disease rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis can start as just minor seeming muscle aches but can eventually result in death. The disease can cause severe and total muscle degeneration, which floods the blood’s minerals with other substances that can cause kidney failure. Crestor danger can occur from the resulting side effects of the drug, which can injure or even kill people. Other dangerous side effects of Crestor include cardiac arrest, which can happen due to dangerous levels of potassium being released by decaying muscles into the blood. Dr. Sidney Wolfe of the group ‘Public Citizen’ says that Crestor causes primary renal failure and it is the only statin drug to do so.

Uhh, aren’t we trying to avoid cardiac arrest with this?

From Dr. Mercola’s website,

Liver injury, liver toxicity, and death are also concerns with statins. Like other statin side effects, these reactions are dose-related: the greater the dose, the greater the risk. Dr. W.C. Roberts, the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology, warns:

“With each doubling of the [statin] dose, the frequency of liver enzyme elevations [indicating liver irritation or injury] also doubles.9”

Weight Watchers endorses Crestor because they get paid to. This is how Big Pharma operates. And this is how diets like Weight Watchers keep people sick, and keep them as consumers of unnecessary pharmaceutical drugs.

Weight Watchers is easily one of the most detrimental ways to lose weight. The first problem I have with WW is that there is absolutely no emphasis on real, whole foods. None. At. All. There is, however, a strong emphasis on typical diet foods, low-fat, over processed, devoid of a single nutrient junk. While that may be effective for short-term weight loss, it sure isn’t for long-term, and it’s not at all healthy. WW endorses the low-fat, high grain paradigm. While soy, canola oil, sugar and processed grains are completely acceptable on WW, a diet high in what humans have been eating since we began is eschewed: natural fats and animals. WW has no scientific or biological basis from which it operates. Their basis is profit, not health. Which is why it is sponsored by and therefore also endorses Smuckers, who uses high fructose corn syrup, Daisy Brand, who uses dairy from CAFO cows that are injected with bovine growth hormone, and Flatout Wraps. The ingredints in their original wrap is as follows:

ENRICHED UNBLEACHED AND UNBROMATED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), WATER, VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN, LIQUID BROWN SUGAR, OAT FIBER, SOY FLOUR, contains less than 2 % of each of the following: SOYBEAN OIL, PRUNE JUICE CONCENTRATE, SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, BAKING SODA, WHEAT PROTEIN ISOLATE, YEAST, POTASSIUM SORBATE & SODIUM PROPIONATE (PRESERVATIVES), CELLULOSE GUM, FUMARIC ACID, SALT, GUAR GUM, CALCIUM SULFATE, CARRAGEENAN, XANTHAN GUM, ANNATTO COLOR, ENZYMES, L-CYSTEINE. CONTAINS: WHEAT AND SOY. MANUFACTURED IN A FACILITY THAT PROCESSES PRODUCTS CONTAINING MILK AND CHEESE.
Apparently eating processed foods, preservatives and genetically modified soy is completely acceptable, as long as you’re not eating naturally occurring saturated fats from healthy animals. If that’s not bad enough, take a look at the ingredients in Weight Watchers Frozen Meatloaf and Potatoes:
Mashed Red Potatoes (Diced Red Potatoes, Water, Fat Free Sour Cream [Cultured Skim Milk and Cream, Food Starch-Modified {Corn}, Dextrose, Mono and Diglycerides, Artificial Color, Gelatin, Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Sorbate to Preserve Freshness, Agar, Xanthan Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate], Butter [Cream, Salt], Light Cream, Granulated Garlic, Salt, Modified Food Starch), Meatloaf (Beef, Water, Onions, Peeled Chopped Tomatoes [Vine-Ripened Fresh Peeled Tomatoes, Light Tomato Puree, Salt, Calcium Chloride and Citric Acid], Oatmeal, Chicory Extract, Organic Cornstarch, Sea Salt, Natural Flavoring), Beef Gravy (Water, Modified Food Starch, Beef Base [Cooked Beef with Natural Juices, Salt, Hydrolyzed Corn Soy Wheat Gluten Protein, Hydrolyzed Corn Soy Protein, Sugar, Beef Flavoring {Hydrolyzed Corn Soy Wheat Gluten Protein, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Dextrose, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed and Soybean Oils}, Maltodextrin, Onion Powder, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein with Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Caramel Color, Natural Flavorings] Flour, Caramel Color, Salt).
Weight Watchers is not a lifestyle, it is a short-term diet. No one can spend the rest of their life counting and adding up the foods they eat, it’s ridiculous. While I don’t argue that Weight Watchers can be an effective weight loss regimen, I do argue that it’s unhealthy, and far from the best way to lose weight. Of course a person is going to lose weight once they start paying attention to what they are eating and trying to change it. But eating low-fat, high-grain, refined products is not a healthy way to go about it. Eating in a manner that closely resembles the way we have evolved to eat is a lifestyle. I don’t count calories, fat, or carbohydrates. I don’t have to because I eat whole, nutrient dense food. It’s not because I’m naturally skinny or rely on genetics. I put effort into what I eat because I care about my health. I strongly encourage people to reconsider Weight Watchers, and to just eat real food (JERF, ya’ll!).

6 responses on “Weight Watchers is Whack

  1. Jodi

    I agree with you that WW is a scam, a very unhealthy way to try and get healthy… What I cannot understand is how is this not a no brainer? Do people really need to be told to eat Brussels sprouts rather than a low calorie tv dinner?

  2. Georgie

    I was recently reading how Crossfit has been known to cause many cases of Rhabdomyolysis as well.. I just thought that was random – but understandable

  3. Heather

    I have lost 50+ pounds on WW over the last year. I did so while drinking whole raw milk, no gluten (since March), and no processed food. We are organic farmers and eat real whole foods all the time, just LOTS of nutrient dense healthy food. WW helped me learn to frame my food decisions, and learn that I could change this about me. (I am now at the weight I was 20 years ago when I was 16 – for the first time since I was 16!) I think the article is written by someone who does not really know WW.

    They say – "The first problem I have with WW is that there is absolutely no emphasis on real, whole foods. None. At. All. " This is not true WW has made ALL fruits and veggies free (minus corn, peas, potatoes, and avocados), as long as they are unprocessed. If you do not think this encourages people to reach for a banana instead of snack bar (which may be 3 points of your 30 allowance), then you have never tracked points! They also have a list of “Power Foods” These are over and over pushed as the “good choice” these are almost all real, whole foods. Fruits, veggies, and lean meats.

    Then she says “WW endorses the low-fat, high grain paradigm.” This is a little less true then it was in the past. In the current program (2010-now) point calculations include protein, fat, and carbs. Fat is the highest point, but protein is the lowest with carbs sitting in the middle (fiber is also in there). I have found it easier for me on WW now to eat they way I believe is healthy then it used to be, and I hear lots of people say they are eating so much more protein and fewer carbs, because they are SO expensive.

    Then “While soy, canola oil, sugar and processed grains are completely acceptable on WW, a diet high in what humans have been eating since we began is eschewed: natural fats and animals.” I would say this is not true with the current point calculator. I also find I can eat grassfed beef & pastured poultry, drink whole raw milk & only occasional grains (and then ancient varieties) and still stay within points, as I am not spending points on Skinny Cow Ice Creams and WW smoothies.

    Also “WW has no scientific or biological basis from which it operates.” They operate from the same basis as most of the medical establishment in this country. I believe they do try, and their program evolves. In 2007 carbs were VERY cheap and protein not even counted! I think as what we believe to be true about what constitutes a “healthy diet” evolves so will WW. It already is.

    Whether or not we like it, a majority of people in this country eat out of boxes and processed foods which contain all the things the author points out as unhealthy (GMO, soy, etc.) . WW puts its name on lots of these foods, it is their business model, no where does WW say you have to eat them. WW has done a lot for a lot of people. I have at least 10 CSA members who joined after I spoke at our WW meeting about it. Most people who follow the plan end up eating less processed junk, at least in my experience. I think most people have a similar experience to our family with food choices, we started small (HFCS for us) and now eat a mostly GMO free, grain free, living food, and nutrient dense diet. I know the awareness of food WW brings starts a lot of people on that journey.

    1. Emily

      I agree, I am concernced about WW promoting “Weight loss” as opposed to “Good Health”. Alot of people are skinny but extremly unhealthy and there are some who weigh more than they should but are extremely healthy. I would rather be the latter. What goes into my body is VERY important to me more than what “people” see on the outside or what “I” see on the scale! i have read the labels on the “processed” food they sell, all of them have hidden sugars but most folks pay more attention to the “points” as oppposed to the label. Lets eat REAL food people. I am grateful to have learned about real food and my life is not and will not be the same again.

      1. Dani Stout

        I completely agree. We need to change the perspective from “getting skinny” to “getting healthy.” This way, people will naturally lose weight while supplying their bodies with the best nutrition possible.

  4. Eileen

    I have always believed weight watchers’ “for me” is a big joke. It’s big buisness to tout—“We can assist you in loosing weight”. It takes a complete lifestyle change to do the job. Complete. Thank you for this information.

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