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WeightWatchers Family Power: 5 Simple Rules for a Healthy-Weight Home

Book Review

WeightWatchers Family Power: 5 Simple Rules for a Healthy-Weight Home
By Karen Miller-Kovach, RD
Wiley (2005)
Reviewed by Bethany Thayer, MS, RD, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson


This book outlines healthful weight management strategies for the whole family based on the following rules:

  1. Focus on wholesome, nutritious foods.
  2. Include treats.
  3. Aim to keep non-homework screen time at two hours (or less) per day.
  4. Try to be active an hour per day.
  5. The Rules apply to everyone in the home.

Diet Plan

The book does not contain a traditional diet plan; instead it comes up with a list of healthy rules everyone in the family can follow. It identifies the differences in weight management between children and adults and emphasizes children are not "little adults."

Each rule is thoroughly explained and broken down into "easy to implement" steps. The emphasis is on the importance of everyone in the home following the rules. The book defines and thoroughly explains the parental roles, which are:

  • Role model (perhaps the most important)
  • Provider
  • Enforcer
  • Protector
  • Advocate

Throughout the book, frequently asked questions are addressed. In addition, many of the typical "mistakes" parents make are identified via a "situation" and "strategies" box with examples.

Nutritional Pros and Cons

The author admits while the rules are simple, they are not easy. And throughout the book she identifies potential trouble spots and strategies.

Bottom Line

The emphasis is on families working together to make small, consistent changes in lifestyles, starting with the ones the family feels will be easiest to make. Statistics and research are utilized as appropriate and to help emphasize important strategies.

February 2006