Thanks to Bite-Back, a UK based shark and marine conservation group we learned that Weight Watchers, the world’s biggest diet company is recommending its members consume shark, swordfish, skate, monk-fish and even orange roughy (a deep water fish that can live to 120+ years old) to lose weight. All of those species are on most of the lists of seafood that is endangered due to over fishing. Some are even listed on the top-ten list of endangered sea life. We contacted Lisa Craig, a PR rep for Weight Watchers and she passed on the company line (see below). As it stands now the Weight Watches has decided that they are not changing their recommendations and are passing the buck down to the members to make these ethical decision.
Weight Watchers is currently pulling some negative comments from their own FaceBook page regarding this issue. They have also posted the aforementioned company PR line.
From Weight Watchers:
Our response to Bite-Back Shark & Marine Conservation
Written by #teamww on 13/11/2013 11:25
Weight Watchers believes that to lose weight safely and sensibly, a person must learn to make healthier food choices, increase physical activity, create and live in a supportive environment conducive to weight control, and manage the challenges involved in changing behaviours. Our whole approach is focused on educating, enabling and motivating people to achieve this. Part of this approach is all about making informed choices; in other words having the information available to make healthier choices that are helpful to their weight loss efforts.
Using a nutrient profiling system we look at every food choice and assess it for the energy density, fat, sugar, salt and fibre content within its food category. Those foods that are lower in energy density, lower in the nutrients associated with ill health and high in those associated with good health, are clearly highlighted in our materials. We call these foods ‘Filling & Healthy’ choices. Swordfish and monkfish are examples of Filling & Healthy foods. Members do not have to consume Filling & Healthy foods to follow our weight loss plan, but we work to enable healthier choices in this way. Weight Watchers does not make recommendations or dictate to any consumer or members about ethical aspects of food sourcing.