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Weight Watchers turns iPhone into dieting tool

Weight Watchers has launched an iPhone application to complement its PC and mobile Web diet-plan offerings.

The application is free to download. However, consumers not enrolled in the Weight Watchers program only get a limited number of tools they can use, while subscribers have access to all of the application?s features.

?Basically, we want to be where people are,? said Peter Phillips, senior vice president of, New York. ?The tracking and ubiquity capabilities of mobile speak to the one incredibly important aspect we address, consumer demand.

?We know people travel and like to go out to eat, and they can?t bring their PC or Mac computer with them,? he said. ?To successfully and fully live the plan, Weight Watchers has to be a full part of their lifestyle.?

Weight Watchers is a worldwide company that offers dieting products and services to assist consumers in weight loss and maintenance. 

The application was designed to help members stay on their Weight Watchers plan while on the go. It features more than 30,000 food options and has a point calculator.

Weight Watchers? iPhone application is included with a member?s subscription to Weight Watchers Online, eTools or a monthly pass.

Members use the same username and password to log into the application as the Web site.

Other tools on the application include point tracking, daily featured recipes, access to Weight Watchers? database of foods, meals, recipes and restaurant options, as well as a search tool for local Weight Watchers meeting times and locations.

To locate meetings, the application uses the iPhone?s GPS capabilities and pulls up a Google map. Users can also search by city, state or ZIP code.

This is the first version of the Weight Watchers application. Mr. Phillips said that the company plans to launch several enhancements, with the next one launching in December with more of a marketing push.

The current application was only announced to subscribers and then placed in the Apple App Store in September. It has 867 reviews.

Weight Watchers is not targeting a specific demographic, but the application is targeted at consumers who are already subscribers to the program and potential subscribers who are interested in becoming familiar with the Weight Watchers brand.

Users of the application who are not subscribers have access to 10 recipes that rotate weekly.  The recipes also come with instructions and ingredients for preparation.

Last year, the company launched a Weight Watchers mobile site, located at The site is exclusively for subscribers.

On it consumers can view a summary of daily point values for the food they have eaten, calculate point values for food or activities and search point values for foods and log activity for food point values. Their Plan Manager will be updated in real time.

?Mobile is a huge part of what we?re doing because of the evolution of where the market is moving,? Mr. Phillips said. ?Our goal is keeping people successful and addressing people?s demands.

?When people are on the go, traveling, they like to go out to eat, and mobile phones are getting more capable to help them be successful and achieve their weight-loss goals,? he said.