McDonald’s clearly emerges as the more astute party in the partnership they’ve formed with the long established Weight Watchers. The latter have lost far more credibility than the fast food chain, who are the ones to benefit here. In a single move the partnership has given the weight watchers seal of approval to junk food, whilst the junk food addicts will now be lulled into a false sense of security by believing the new campaign that McDonalds is now a healthy choice. The bottom line is that Weight Watchers have sold out for cash.
If McDonald’s wants to convince its customers they are on a health kick they have every right to do so, as long as they don’t make false claims about their food. Weight Watchers however, did have a reputation which they’ve now happily cashed in on, making them an object of derision as their motives are so transparent. Unless they withdraw from this new venture they could well end up being the leper of the diet industry, and the other diet gurus pour scorn on the partnership.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the diet industry deals with this new development of patently unhealthy fast food being promoted to dieters. They may either try to capture the customers who leave the cosy bosom of the weight watchers family and try and sell them their diets; or they may try and come to a similar deal themselves. Will we see the gut flush plan endorsing Kentucky fried chicken, and the South Beach diet promoting dunkin donuts? Anything is possible when the diet creators see a chance of cashing in.
Perhaps it will be a chance for the gullible diet customers to see through the unfounded diet claims, and start to shun the diet industry as a whole. No one will seriously believe that a McDonald’s meal is part of a healthy diet, and the diet industry promotes good health along with weight loss.
It is rather self defeating to tell people to eat a healthy diet when they are capable of reading a McDonald’s nutritional label which highlights the sugar, fat and sodium contained in the meal which bears the Weight Watchers tick. They may use the argument that it does no harm calorie wise as part of their daily points system, but if someone ate junk all day which equalled the allowable points then they aren’t following a healthy diet and they won’t lose weight.
Dieters will be drawn to McDonald’s products which carry the famous tick, whilst they subliminally absorb the message from the Weight Watcher’s meal mat. Most likely they will be so happy with their health choice that they’ll order a packet of small fries to go along with it, at a modest 412 calories.
It is possible that the partnership will cast doubt on the diet industry as a whole when people realize that their weight loss is the last thing on the mind of those who sell diets. Whether of not that gives rise to yet more obesity, or if common sense will finally dawn and people will start to eat sensibly, is an interesting question to ponder for the future.