My eyes are rolling so much I’m about to lose my balance. WeightWatchers takes the friendly route with their new campaign. (Warning: This link will take you to the WeightWatchers web site. Enter at your own risk.) Their web site is mosaic-ed with positive messages for women like, “Diets are mean!”, “Di*tÂ”, “Make the New Year’s resolution to not go on a diet,” and there’s a short video montage of all the messages we are bombarded with every day at the grocery checkout counter, in magazines, on TV.
The only problem? Um, WeightWatchers is a diet. Secret’s out, guys. The definition of “diet” is “a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition). They’re called “WeightWatchers.” They sell a specialized weight-loss program. Their system assigns a points system to all types of foods, based on a Core Plan or a Flex Plan. I’ve seen women dragging their WeightWatchers points booklet around with them at every meal, doing mental math to see which foods are in their points range. Sounds like a diet, huh?
The difference between WeightWatchers and other diets is that it does not restrict which foods may be eaten, only when and how much. However, it does assign food types subjective values, and sets people down a disordered path of thinking — one that makes food morally good or bad.
How about this? Let’s do as they say and not as they do. Let’s stop dieting, start living, and take action when we see WeightWatchers’™ ads. Yeesh.
— A. I.