November 2nd, 2010
12:06 PM ET

Changes coming to Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers in the United Kingdom has unveiled a new points system and American users can expect changes too.

Under the new U.K. program, the participants reportedly get "real living" points to treat themselves to occasional fast food treats or alcohol.  All fruits and most vegetables will carry zero points and dieters will be allowed 29 ProPoints, compared with the previous 18 points, according to the Grocer, a British news outlet that covers food, drink and the grocery retailing market.  The points have been rethought to consider protein, carbohydrate, fiber and fat content in the food, the industry website reported.

Weight Watchers in the U.K. "said it had decided to make the switch because 'science had moved on' and the previous style of calorie-counting had been proven inaccurate and 'outdated,'" the Grocer reported.  The British rethinking of the traditional point system will be called "ProPoints" launching in time for the new year, according to the Grocer.

Donna Fontana, a Weight Watchers spokeswoman, said  a new launch is planned in the United States, but the company is not ready to discuss it yet.The U.S. version will not be called ProPoints, Fontana said.

“As you can imagine, food is going to be different (for various countries),” she said.  “Our research is based on consumers based in the U.S.”

She declined to elaborate.

Weight Watchers assigns “points” to every food, based on its calories, fat and fiber. The points are on display in a  blue  logo on the packaging of  manufactured foods that partner with Weight Watchers. Dieters lose weight by limiting themselves to a specific number of total points consumed per day.

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