Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 14th 2014 Contents A32
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, April 14, 2014
Obsessing over calories alone has
left dieters with an empty feeling.
The calorie counting that defined
dieting for so long is giving way to
other considerations, like the promise
of more fibre or natural ingredients.
That is chipping away at the popularity
of products like Diet Coke, Lean Cuisine
and Special K, which became weight-
watching staples primarily by stripping
calories from people s favourite foods.
Part of the problem: "Low-calorie"
foods make people feel deprived. Now,
people want to lose weight while still
feeling satisfied. And they want to do
it without foods they consider
Kelly Pill has been dieting since her
son was born in 1990. But the 54-year-
old resident of Covina, Calif, made
changes to her approach in recent years.
She doesn t eat Lean Cuisine microwav-
able meals as often because she doesn t
find them that filling. She also switched
to Greek yogurt last year to get more
"Regular yogurt is really thin," Pill
said. "It was low in calories, but it
wasn t filling."
It s not that people don t care about
calories anymore. Nutrition experts
still say weight loss comes down to
burning more calories than you eat.
But dieters are sick of foods that pro-
vide only fleeting satisfaction and seem
to make them hungrier. The new think-
ing is that eating foods with more pro-
tein or fat keeps will make dieters less
likely to binge later, even if they re high-
er in calories.
"People are recognising that it s not
enough to just go on a diet and lose
weight. Nutrition comes more into
play," said Margo Wootan, director of
nutrition policy at the Center for Sci-
ence in the Public Interest, a health
Many top brands are trying to keep
up with the trend:
Special K cereal s sales are down
seven per cent in the past two years,
according to IRI, a market research firm
based in Chicago. Kellogg last year
rolled out "Special K Nourish" hot cere-
als that tout a blend of grains such as
quinoa and barley. A Kellogg executive
noted at the time that people are look-
ing for nutritional benefits rather than
just reduced calories.
Nestle s Lean Cuisine saw a 27
per cent drop in sales in the past four
years, according to IRI. So the company
introduced an "Honestly Good" line
that boasts of natural ingredients and
offers more generous servings at about
390 calories per box, rather than the
300 calories for regular Lean Cuisine
Both Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi
saw sales volume fall by nearly seven
per cent last year, according to the
industry tracker Beverage Digest. That
was steeper than declines for their full-
Executives at Coca-Cola Co and
PepsiCo Inc blame customers move
away from artificial sweeteners and say
they re working on sodas using natural
low-calorie sweeteners. The drinks are
likely to have more calories than tra-
ditional diet sodas, but the thinking is
that people will accept the tradeoff to
avoid artificial ingredients.
Weight Watchers updated its
famous "Points" system in 2010 to con-
sider the protein content of food; the
new system is called PointsPlus. It also
introduced a "Simply Filling" option
that lets people eat from a list of "power
foods" without counting points.
"We know that while calories are
calories, how satisfied you are with
eating those calories makes a differ-
ence," said Karen Miller-Kovach, chief
scientific officer at Weight Watchers.
Perhaps most emblematic of calorie
counts as a marketing gimmick are the
100-calorie snacks that flooded the
market a decade ago. Some food com-
panies are retreating from the strate-
gy.In the past four years, sales of 100-
calorie snack packs of Oreos have plum-
meted 72 per cent, according to IRI.
Parent company Mondelez International
Inc also has pruned varieties from its
100-calorie lineup and now offers only
Mondelez spokesman Richard Buino
said the company is focusing on healthy
snacks that are about "more than an
arbitrary calorie amount."
Frito-Lay also made its last shipment
of 100-calorie pack Cheetos and Doritos
this past summer. The chip maker s
new "ready-to-go" packs still have
about 100 calories, but the trait is no
longer advertised on the bag s front.
The sales declines for diet brands
are a reminder that what s in vogue
today may also eventually be seen as
In fact, Miller-Kovach of Weight
Watchers points to a pitfall: The belief
that a food is wholesome is sometimes
used to justify eating too much, she
said---in other words, consuming too
"Just because something is simple
doesn t mean it s going to give you your
desired weight loss," she said. (AP)
Special K cereal's sales are down seven per cent in the past two years, according to IRI, a market research
firm based in Chicago.
Dieters move past
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and Advice
"Low-calorie" foods make
people feel deprived. Now,
people want to lose weight
while still feeling satisfied.
And they want to do
it without foods they
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