A McLoad of McCrap

*stands on soapbox*

This post is probably NOT going to be popular.

There.  I said it.

I was going to write about whether or not you should eat CAFO liver in response to a question I received in the comments of last week’s Fight Back Friday post (the short answer?  “Yes.”  I’ll give you details soon, Jason, I promise).  However, something came up that made me decide to delay my planned FBF post.

Briefly, it was McDonald’s.

A couple of weeks ago, I was perusing Facebook, as I am wont to do 437 times a day occasionally, when I came across a link to an article proclaiming, “McNuggets Branded ‘Healthy!’  Weight Watchers Makes Deal With McDonald’s!”

“Oh, for crying out loud,” I thought. (Actually, it was something slightly more obscene edgy, but we’ll go with the G-rated version for now.)  I clicked the link and was taken to an article informing us that McDonald’s has made a deal with Weight Watchers to market some of their meals, complete with the Weight Watchers logo and points value on the menu.

This news did not surprise me; from 1978 to 1999, Weight Watchers was owned by the H.J. Heinz Company (yes, the ketchup and pickle people), and while they were purchased in a leveraged buyout and have been a publicly held company since 2001, Heinz still manufactures all the processed “foods” marketed under the Weight Watchers brand.

If you Google “Weight Watchers Makes Deal with McDonalds” you get a slew of articles with headlines like “Shock as Weight Watchers OKs McDonald’s Food” (Fox News), “McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets branded ‘healthy’ by Weight Watchers” (The Telegraph), “Weight Watchers Teams Up With McDonald’s, Angering Nutritionists” (Huffington Post), “Anger over Weight Watchers’ endorsement of McDonald’s” (The Guardian) and “[McDonald’s] sees a fat profit in dieting” (Sydney Morning Herald).

So far Weight Watchers has approved three meals – the Chicken McNugget meal, the Filet-O-Fish meal, and the Sweet Chilli Seared Chicken Wrap meal.

Wait – you’ve never heard of the Sweet Chilli Seared Chicken Wrap meal?  Neither have I – that’s because McDonald’s appears to only sell this particular item in Australia and New Zealand (and Tasmania, perhaps?  I don’t know; I can’t find anything online).  Every article will tell you that this partnership between Weight Watchers and McDonald’s is only in New Zealand, with plans to expand into Australia “within the next few months.”

That doesn’t matter – lots and lots of people here in the States and Canada have just got their knickers in one helluva twist over this.  They’re carrying on about it all over Facebook and Twitter and writing angry, scathing blog posts about it.  I find all of this really amusing, because each and every article I mentioned above was written in early March 2010.

This news is two years old.  And no matter how much I search, I can find nothing – NOTHING – else about it.  I even asked Australian/New Zealand readers of my FB page (and I do have some) to tell me if this is still an issue there, and I’ve been met with a great big load of…silence.  The whole matter seems to have died peacefully in its sleep.

But even if it didn’t, and tomorrow you could walk into any McDonald’s in North America – hell, any McDonald’s in the world – and see the Weight Watchers points for each item on the menu, so what?  You still don’t have to eat it if you don’t want to.  And I’ve got news for you:  you can find out the Weight Watchers points for ANY dish at ANY restaurant.  The Blooming Onion appetizer at Outback Steakhouse?  56 points – without the dip.  The Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken at Cheesecake Factory is 29 points.  The Sweet Potato Casserole at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is 15 points.

Just like with Paula Deen’s diabetes diagnosis, everyone is getting all bent out of shape over nothing.  I don’t think there’s a single person on the planet who truly thinks McDonalds food is healthy, and if some person on Weight Watchers wants to eat there once in awhile and still stay within their “points” – or every meal, every day – who cares?  It’s their choice, just like it’s my choice never to step foot in the place again.

But if you really, really must make an issue out of this, at least make sure you’re getting all riled up over something that’s actually current.  ‘Mkay?

*puts away soapbox*

Have a lovely weekend, y’all.

Posted in participation of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday

Oh, and what the heck – the Spin Cycle again, too.

14 thoughts on “A McLoad of McCrap”

  1. You should link this to Gretchen’s Spin Cycle since you’re taking a stand against hypocrisy. Why do people feel the need to cry out about something, ANYTHING, just to show they have an opinion. I like how you put it into place. Maybe we should drag up some old news about how eggs are bad for you and watch it go viral again. 🙂

  2. way too many people give their money to weight watchers and mcdonalds. learn about nutrition and learn to cook people.

    1. I agree, but it’s still a free country (so far) and if people want to waste their time, money and health on McDonald’s food, then that’s their business. When the green revolution is over, either due to depletion of fossil fuels or that we’ve killed huge areas of our soil so nothing will grow, those who choose McDonald’s and Lean Cuisine over real food are going to be hard-pressed to feed themselves, and you and I will have a definite advantage. But the answer is not to take away the rights of others to eat the food they choose, or join the support groups they choose, but to do our best to educate and set an example.

      We can only lead the horses to water, you know.

  3. See, I would guess that McDonalds would want WW as far away from them as possible, so nobody would be aware of how many WW Points their food is. You’re right. Nobody would ever believe that any of the food at McD is healthful. Just smell the air in the place – it’s thick with oils. Ick.

  4. Except that Tom Naughton (www.fathead-movie.com ) fared well on such a diet. Then again he used his “functioning brain” as a measurement.

  5. Are you kidding me??? McDonalds doing meals for Weight Watchers? Now THAT takes the cake… Oh, did they approve the very healthy FRIED pies too? All I can do is shake my head (and wonder how much McDonalds is forking over for this privilege!)…..

  6. I don’t have a problem with McDonald’s at all. When I eat there once in a blue moon, I get a few double cheeseburgers and water–no biggie. And as Be points out, Mr Naughton lost weight and improved his blood panel on a filtered fast food diet.

    Also, I’ve noticed a lot of experimental foods on the menu here in CZ. I think small markets like this are used to test things before trying them in the bigger countries.

  7. So true. This news does reinforce my belief that WW is all about money. I know that’s nothing new and of course they are a big business so what should I expect. It does make me happy that I have chosen to step away from WW and try to eat more healthy foods on my own. When I was doing WW it always bothered me that they pushed their line of foods, which though low-fat, were far from healthy–so full of chemicals and additives.

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