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, but not necessarily how to do it," said Miller-Kovach. "What is 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 is highly consistent with the Dietary Guidelines by promoting and teaching our members and subscribers:
"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."
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, labeling, and 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.
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, behavior 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.