Muddled message?Weight Watchers
Muddled message?Weight Watchers

Ruth Mortimer’s first-class column on Weight Watchers says it all (MW 18 November).

Counting calories may lead to weight loss but it’s a miserable way to live, and I have worked with more casualties of calorie-counting diets than of any other kind.

Having pushed the calorie system for so long, it seems almost unbelievable that Weight Watchers has the gall to change horses in such a spectacular way and make it seem like it is doing us a favour.

Its dieticians must know that restricted calorie dieting leads to long-term weight problems because the human body responds to what it interprets as famine by down-regulating part of the metabolic process. Long-term dieters will confirm that the cycle of feast and famine – sin and reward if you like – leads to weight gain in time.

Now that Weight Watchers has joined the rest of us, albeit with an unnecessarily complicated plan that Ruth Mortimer feels (correctly in my opinion), has been designed to muddle dieters as much as anything else, will it be making amends by way of compensation to clients who were taken in by its heavy promotion of a way of eating that didn’t really work?

Ian Marber
Nutritionist and co-founder
The Food Doctor