Weightwatchers food is less slimming than standard food..
With news that Weightwatchers can now be prescribed on the NHS to help obese people lose some extra poundage, publication of new research data showing that ‘low fat’ products in general, and specifically Weightwatchers bread and cheese contain more calories than standard own brand alternatives couldn’t have been more timely.
Researchers at the Rotherham Institute for Obesity found that one in ten so-called 'low fat' foods contained the same or more calories than their standard equivalents, including Weightwatchers products even though these product claim to “aid slimming”. The study also found that 40% of low fat foods contained more sugar than the standard products, as it is often used as a replacement for fat in diet products to ensure they taste vaguely palatable without all that delicious fat.
The findings were presented at the European Congress on Obesity, and were based on 62 products from four major supermarkets. Lead author, Dr Matthew Capehorn, slated Weightwatchers, saying:
"Weightwatchers was the biggest disappointment of this study.
"People who are trying to lose weight are drawn to Weightwatchers' products, and will be even more so now that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended their programme.
"People don't realise that their products may contain more calories than standard products.
"It is very naughty of Weightwatchers, they advertise as helping with weight loss, you would expect them to have fewer calories.
"We looked at Weightwatchers bread and cheese but suspect other products may be higher in calories too."
"The take home message for people is to read the labels and don't assume that low fat or diet foods are lower in calories," he spat, vitriolically.
The researchers looked at the nutritional content of 62 products in November from Sainsbury's, Asda, Waitrose and Tesco. The results showed that 56 low fat products had, on average, 31% fewer calories than the standard alternative. However,
- Asda natural low fat yoghurt had more calories than Asda natural yoghurt
- Birdseye light and crunchy breaded chicken had more calories that Birdseye crispy chicken
- Sainsbury's low fat custard had the same calories as Sainsbury's custard
- Weightwatchers wholemeal thick slice bread had more calories than any own label wholemeal thick slice bread
- Weightwatchers sliced cheese had more calories than any own brand sliced cheese
- Asda own brand low fat Italian dressing had more fat than the Asda own brand Italian dressing
A Weightwatchers spokesman said: "We strive to provide customers with high quality foods and we are constantly evolving our products to ensure this. As such, we are redeveloping the Weight Watchers Thick Sliced Wholemeal Bread to ensure it is the best choice for our consumers.” They added that the nutritional values for the cheese were “incorrect”, and maintain that their cheese contains fewer calories and less fat than all other standard cheddar cheese slices. But then they would say that.