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Weight Watchers:

9-Year-Olds Personae

Non Gratin

12/22/2010 3:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

"Big Love" star Ginnifer Goodwin -- once a 9-year-old Weight Watchers member -- would be unwelcome today, because the diet co. tells TMZ, "Under no circumstances whatsoever" can kids under 10 enroll.

Ginnifer Goodwin Weight Watchers
Goodwin claimed yesterday she started WW 23 years ago, back when she was 9 -- but there was a big policy change in 2003 ... The company line now is that it's potentially dangerous for kids under 10 to join the program.

Dr. Suparna Jain -- a pediatric endocrinologist -- tells us WW is wise not to give its stamp of approval to anyone under 10, because the diet does not provide enough calcium and protein for a growing body.  The Weight Watchers program is predicated on calories, fiber and fat, not fundamental nutrients.

WW puts the onus on a child's doctor, saying,  "Between the 10th and 17th birthday, a doctor's permission note is needed and the doctor is responsible for recommending a healthy weight goal."


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35 COMMENTS

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1.

Rhonda    

Actually Weight Watchers is now based on Protein, Fat, Carbohydrates and Fiber. They just changed it

1401 days ago
2.

rainbow    

So does Dr. Jain feel it is better for these obese children to maintain their unhealthy fast food lifestyle rather than go on Weight Watchers? They are not receiving all the nutrients they need on the high sugar and fat diet that they are currently on and which may, ultimately, result in diabetes, high blood pressure etc. I would think that any diet program would be better for a child than this.

1401 days ago
3.

Jen    

In the first place, the PARENTS should be teaching their kids healthy eating habits from Day 1.

How stupid is the McD's Happy Meal Lawsuits over fat 6-year olds? They sure did not get to McD's themselves, order their own meals, or pay for them on their own...

Look at the contents of the average shopping cart of an obese person/family - bags of chips, candy, cases of pop, frozen meals, boxed mac and cheese....

1401 days ago
4.

Solaera    

Lol. I'm pretty sure the term is persona non grata. A gratin is a browned baked dish. You so funny TMZ.

1401 days ago
5.

mandy_Reeves    

Um...Weight Watchers is now Carbs fat fiber and protein.

It works...I am down 105.4 since feb 2009 with 75 to go.

1401 days ago
6.

moe l.    

"Ginnifer" REALLY?!?!?!? Don't people know how to frickin spell anymore?!?!?!?

1401 days ago
7.

Carl    

Sure, anorexia and nutrient imbalances are possible if not monitored closely, but childhood obesity is a MUCH, MUCH bigger problem in America. So on balance it is a good thing WW allows children over 10 to join as long as a doctor gives the ok.

1401 days ago
8.

TMZ@Froggy.biz    

Why not? They don't give them drugs.

1401 days ago
9.

sam    

TOO EVERYONE who thinks it is dangerous....I think it is better than the alternative which is what....Taco Bell? Get real kids are fat.

1401 days ago
10.

Steelers suck    

At that young age they should be using Paren****chers!! It's a parent's responsibility when a child is young to teach them a healthy diet, not Weigh****chers. How did we become a nation that expects everyone else but us to raise our children? How pathetic.

1401 days ago
11.

Snoogs    

I was on Weight Watchers when I was 9, and probably earlier than that. I was also on Jenny Craig when I was 13. No doctor's note, no supervision aside from my mother.

I have to say, my experience was a negative one in hindsight. Instead of teaching a kid how to eat right, it taught a kid how to binge and sneak food. I believe this is because as a child, my body wasn't getting the appropriate nutrients, and I was seeking them elsewhere.. anywhere.. other than the diet plan.

So, yeah. Bad idea all around.

1401 days ago
12.

Bethany    

WW is based on fundamental nutrients- they encourage more than the daily recommended guidelines of dairy, vegetables, and fruits. Way safer than fast food that most kids eat.

1401 days ago
13.

who-Dey    

And with all due respect, Snoogs, weight watchers from when we were kids (almost 20 years ago, like Ginnifer, for me) is A LOT different from today. I had a cousin, who I scoffed at at first, join and has since lost about 100 lbs (starting the program about 7 years ago). I went through her WW cookbooks and was REALLY surprised that it's lean protein and a high focus on whole grains, veggies, and really tasty ways to cook, plus exercise and not cardboard food-like crap (in fact, I subbed out the ways I traditionally made some dishes for their lower fat ways and haven't missed a thing). Where you come into the fire, and I agree with you in part, is if a parent focuses on "you're chubby/chunky/fat" instead of teaching proper foods, portions, and exercise, which is concept largely left behind now. Also, I don't think kids should be sitting in meetings, but meetings aren't as much as a focus now, unless you want them.

I'd rather a kid on weight watchers than eating McDonalds 4 times a week.

1401 days ago
14.

Joe    

Didn't really do her any good.

1401 days ago
15.

mj    

Actually started a mother-daughter WW class when I was 9. It was really pretty great because my mom and I learned together to be healthy.. back before you could use the internet to research better food habits.. And, it was a pretty good support system for us both!

1401 days ago
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