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How does Weight Watchers work?

By January 18, 2009 - 7:16pm
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I've been searching on the Weight Watchers site to see how "they decide" on how many points to allot each participant on a daily/weekly basis.

The points come from a calculation of a foods' calories, fat and fiber counts. So, I understand how many points it takes to eat certain meals.

What I do not understand is: how do they calculate the total number of points that I am "allowed" to eat each day, while trying to lose 2 pounds per week?

If anyone knows the math/science behind this, I would love to know!

Add a Comment3 Comments

Virginia, what an awesome way to find information. You've just given me a brand new cool research tool!!! Thank you!!

January 21, 2009 - 9:38am

This is exactly the information I was looking for. Never would have thought to look at the US Patent Database. Thank you for this information!

January 20, 2009 - 1:16pm

This is such an interesting question and could not help to want to share what I have heard many times over. The Weight Watchers (WW) points system is assumed to be a closely guarded secret. But you can go to the US Patent Database and find it, as it is public record. Search for patent #6,040,531, you will see how the formula is described in intimate detail.

Here is what I learned on how the basic formula calculates the points:

Points = (calories / 50) + (fat / 12) - (fiber / 5)

The actual formula for calculating WW points is patented and, as such, is protected by US copyright laws. That means that the publication of their formula without the permission of WW is prohibited by law. In other words - it’s illegal! Like any business, WW paid a lot of money to create their formula and would most undoubtedly prefer that it not be freely disseminated - their lawyers want to make sure of that understandibly.

This may not be totally what you were looking for but at least it will give you an idea of what limitations to an answer you will be facing if you dig deeper...

Here is a link to learning more about WW and other diets. http://www.weightlossnutrition.org/weight-watchers-food-points/

January 19, 2009 - 10:31pm
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