This day and age there is much talk about being healthy. Thanks to diet companies like Weight Watchers, people no longer consume food; they consume points. And so being healthy has become a simple equation: the less points, the healthier the meal. This system may seem wonderful at first glance, but we have to wonder what long term effects this revolutionary point system will have on society.

For centuries points have been a way of keeping score. Keeping score has been a way of selecting a winner. Winning has been a way of deciding who is better. This age-old formula lead to the creation of the “The More Points, The Better” theorem. Commonly written: PN=NB (Points x Number = Number x Better). This system has been the common denominator among all competitions for thousands of years.

Essentially, the Weight Watchers system creates a new formula that can be read PN=NW (Points x Number = Number x Worse), or “The More Points The Worse.” It does not take a mathematician to see the threat that the Weight Watchers point system poses to the age-old competition formula. The Weight Watchers formula is tampering with people’s understanding of better and worse. Adults may be able to handle such confusing messages, but what about the children?

Just imagine what would happen if kids got mixed up between the two point systems. Lets say Timmy is on a diet and he’s logging his food intake for the week. He brings his chart in at the end of the week and he’s so happy. He thinks he’s a winner. He thought he got a bonus for eating a cheeseburger every day. He has enough points to live off the interest of his points for the rest of his life!

In reality, Timmy consumed enough saturated fat to increase is body fat percentage by 234%, and repaint the walls of his arteries from dark red to a cream-white cholesterol. All thanks to the misleading Weight Watchers formula.

The other tragic scenario would be that the Weight Watchers formula conditions children to think that it’s not about how many points you score in a game, but whether or not you had fun. They would learn that they don’t need points to feel good about themselves, or even worse, they don’t’ want them. And that would be a social travesty.

These extremely scientific examples prove that children need a clear-cut, consistent way to understand point-evaluating systems. We must create systems where points are good. Such as the compliment system. This is a system I have come up with in which every time you get a compliment, you get a point. The formula is CN=PN (you get the idea). This will help teach our children that the more you are complimented, the better you are. Thus we stick to the traditional point formula, “The More Points The Better” and society can can continue to exist in harmony.

Very interesting post, but completely off-base. What about golf? The player who scores the lowest, of course, wins. I doubt that this concept is driving away young children from this increasingly popular sport or causing negative long-term psychological effects. I am curious whether the author of this post has either research readily available to support his outlandish contentions or, at the very least, personal experience dealing with the ill-effects of the point counting system?

In addition, and perhaps more to the point, any child required to follow a regimented diet, such as Weight Watchers, most likely does not have the self-control nor motivation to independently count Weight Watchers points; therefore, the onus of responsibility would decidedly be placed in the hands of the parents to design and maintain appropriate nutritional habits for their child.

Finally, a critique on your answers to your “extremely scientific examples”. The point system which you devised, awarding a point for every compliment, is absolutely ludicrous and will instill all of the worse values onto children. Through this method children will inevitably come to learn that self-worth is absolutely determined by external forces. Intrinsic self-worth fostered by a balanced self-esteem and self-regard will be completely absent, and, depending on the disposition of the child, they will either develop into raging narcissists or depressed personalities.

Exactly! that’s why golf is not a sport! you are a wise wise man.

you suck

It is unusual when a readers’ comment is more thoughtful, better written and obviously from someone of much greater intelligence than the author.