Science Center

What is the SmartPoints system?

Consistent with the World Health Organization1 and the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans2, the SmartPoints® system emphasizes overall diet quality, not particular foods. Members are encouraged to shift towards a healthier eating pattern that includes more fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, as well as less sugar and saturated fats. With WW FreestyleTM, no food or beverage is off limits and every item is assigned a SmartPoints value. Members receive a personalized SmartPoints Budget to guide their food intake.

The SmartPoints system focuses on health, not just calories:

  • Calories establish the baseline of an item's SmartPoints value.
  • Sugar increases the SmartPoints value.
  • Independent of weight loss, reducing intake of sugar reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and dental caries.3
  • Saturated fat increases the SmartPoints value.
    • Independent of weight loss, reducing intake of saturated fat reduces total cholesterol and LDL and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.3
  • Protein lowers the SmartPoints value.
    • Independent of weight loss, increasing intake of protein helps individuals feel more satisfied (compared to fats and carbohydrates).3

There are over 200 foods that have a SmartPoints value of zero. These foods form the foundation of a healthy eating pattern and have a low risk of overeating. They do not have to be weighed, tracked or measured.  

 

How do members use SmartPoints?


The SmartPoints system assigns each member a personalized SmartPoints Budget based on whether they want to lose or maintain their weight, age, sex, height, and weight. The foundation of the calculation for each member’s SmartPoints Budget is determined by the Mifflin-St Jeor energy requirements equation

Each member is given a Daily SmartPoints Budget ( a minimum of 23 SmartPoints)  that they can spend on any food or drink they like.

To increase livability, members are also given a Weekly SmartPoints Budget (ranging from 14 to 42 SmartPoints) to use as wanted.  Up to four unused Daily SmartPoints roll over into this Weekly Budget providing even more flexibility.

 

What are ZeroPoint™ foods?


There are over 200 ZeroPoint foods, including vegetables, fruits, skinless chicken and turkey breast, nonfat plain yogurt, eggs, seafood,  tofu, as well as beans, peas, lentils and corn.

These ZeroPoint foods form the foundation of a healthy eating pattern and are less likely to be overeaten, so members don’t have to weigh, measure, or track them.  This gives members freedom when building meals and snacks along with the flexibility to have satisfying meals no matter how the day or week went.

While not a direct input into the SmartPoints formula, the healthfulness of fiber is reflected in our ZeroPoint fruits and vegetables, which are typically a good source of fiber.4 We expect that members will get adequate fiber from fruits and vegetables, as well as from plant-based protein sources like beans, peas, and lentils4, which tend to be zero SmartPoints.

 

How was WW Freestyle tested?

WW Freestyle was tested in a six-month pre-post clinical trial. Participants achieved clinically significant weight loss and experienced additional benefits, including:5

  • Significant reductions in
  • food cravings
  • hunger
  • Significant increases in
  • overall sleep quality
  • happiness
  • overall weight-related quality of life, with specific improvements in:
  • physical function
  • self-esteem
  • sexual life
  • work

 

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http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet

2 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Available at: http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/

3 Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Advisory report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Agriculture. First Print, February 2015.

4 Rebello C, Greenway FL, Dhurandhar NV. Functional foods to promote weight loss and satiety. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2014;17(6):596-604.

5 *Six-month pre-post study of 152 participants, conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Weight Research Lab. Study funded by WW International.