While breezing through a local grocery store the other day, this WeightWatchers Chocolate Chip cookie box caught my eye. Being the label-reading sleuth that I am, I immediately flipped it over to see what the ingredients were. My heart quickly sank as I read through a list containing many ingredients that I consider to be harmful to human health (ingredient list provided below). It saddens me to think that people are actually putting this food-like substance in their mouth. The worst part is that many of those people don’t even realize the harm they could be causing. I’m amazed that WeightWatchers would even allow their name on a product like this.
My Take on WeightWatchers
The WeightWatchers Points program was created in 1997 and focused heavily on calorie counting. Recently they have realized the problems this type of focus can cause. THANK GOODNESS!!! They have realized that consuming 100 calories of broccoli and consuming 100 calories worth of butter tarts provides completely different health outcomes in the body. Thankfully, they have just revamped their program to the PointsPlus system. This new system attempts to differentiate food based on quality. This means that they want to encourage people to eat healthier food options in addition to managing caloric intake. I give them big props for this change because I think a move towards healthy foods is necessary and extremely important. However, even within the new program, I see flaws. For example, fruit is given a score of 0. Therefore (although it is not encouraged), one could go buck wild and eat any amount of fruit they want. This could be bad news for Mr. Blood Sugar. Additionally, when I see products like this Chocolate Chip cookie in the store, or some of their recommended recipes that include things like refined flour, white sugar, vegetable shortening, bacon, and butter-flavoured cooking spray, it worries me.
Back to the Chocolate Chip Cookie
Now I bet some of you are wondering what is really in this cookie that got me all worked up. Well, here is a list of the ingredients:
Weight Watchers Chocolate Chip Cookie Ingredients: Sugar, wheat flour, chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, dextrose, soy lecithin, vanillin), water, inulin (chicory), ground pea hull fibre, vegetable oil shortening (soybean), unsalted butter, dried egg white, baking powder, natural & artificial flavour, salt, dried egg yolk, molasses.
Holy Tamoli!! This product does not look good naked.
In addition, here are some of the claims made on the front of the package:
“As part of healthy eating this food may assist in achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight because it is portion controlled.”
“For weight maintenance”
As I explained in my article The Quick and Dirty Guide to Reading Food Labels, reading the marketing claims on the front of a package is pointless. While this product may help to lose pounds on the scale, it’s not going to contribute to optimal health and vitality.
One Final Caveat: Although I am against consuming highly processed and refined dessert products with added falvourings, I am not against dessert There are some great recipes and products on the market that are healthy and absolutely fantabulous as a treat. An example of one such chocolate is called GiddyYoyo. My favourite is their mint bar. Enjoy!!