Leave a note if you're running in the NYC Half this Sunday or, any race for that matter!
Did you hear yesterday about the new partnership Weight Watchers has struck with McDonald's in New Zealand to endorse three of their menu items that, along with a side salad and water or soft drink, come in at 6.5 points (WW counts points per day rather than calories). The menu items included at the onset of the promotion are Chicken McNuggets, the Filet-O-Fish, and the Sweet Chilli Seared Chicken Wrap.
My first reaction was: "What in the world are they thinking!?!" But then, I took a breath and realized that this is very similar to associations WW already has with restaurant chains (Applebee's) here in the US and Great Britain.
Personally, I owe a lot to WW and their approach to weight loss. Someone extremely close to me lost a great deal of weight by going to meetings and changing her life on the program. She has kept the weight off, is no longer tethered to blood pressure medication, and is able to walk around the city with me when she comes to visit (something she never would have been able to do otherwise). She has also taught me a lot of great tips that I have incorporated into my eating habits.
The thing that worries me about WW is how far they have strayed from their core business the past few years. I don't blame them for wanting to earn more profits but I do think that if their real concern is the health and wellbeing of their clients, they need to think about what types of food they are actually promoting. Chicken McNuggets are not healthy. Yes, they may fit within the 6.5 points for the meal, but take a look at this below - straight from McDonald's website, the ingredients for McNuggets:
White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning (autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid, rosemary), sodium phosphates, seasoning (canola oil, mono- and diglycerides, extractives of rosemary). Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, whey, corn starch. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.
CONTAINS: WHEAT AND MILK.
How can this possibly be part of a healthy diet? But then head to your local grocery store and you're likely to run into a whole product line from WW including yogurt, bread, ice cream, snacks and candies and frozen meals. Most of these products are highly processed with unpronouncable ingredients. I understand that many people starting a new weight loss plan need to take it one step at a time and these products may help them do that, but my concern is that some people, especially those who are not necessarily WW members, will see their logo and assume that the associated food item is healthy to eat. Why not put their logo on one of the healthier salad options? Or, why promote food items that can even spark a debate of whether or not it is actually food? I do think that WW helps a lot of people and that the basic plan is one that people can really follow for a lifetime, but I think they need to take a second look at their new business ventures and make sure they really help to create overall health and not just a lower number on a scale.
What do you think about this?
Need a snack? Eat a banana!