Don’t Be A Chicken “Nugget”

Hey guys…Keith has been insanely swamped this week and so Work It Out Wednesday is going to have to take a week break! He will be back next Wednesday with more kettlebell tips and demonstrations, but in the meantime…guess you are stuck with me on this fabulous afternoon. I hope it is pretty where you are…for me it is 71 degrees, no humidity and a slight breeze! Love me some springtime in Austin! Check, check, check it out:

The view from my backyard!

So has anyone seen this article: McNuggets—on the Weight Watcher’s plan? Basically, “As part of a broader effort to shed their unhealthy food reputation, in Australia and New Zealand McDonald’s is teaming up with Weight Watchers to market some menu items as healthy options that fit into the diet program’s points system. The collaboration means that McDonald menus will bear the Weight Watchers logo on certain meals—currently chicken nuggets, the Filet-O-Fish and a chicken wrap are included—and in turn, the weight loss program will promote those meals as options for its dieters.

How do you feel about this?

I am not sure how I feel exactly, just yet. One one hand I think it is unrealistic to think that just because someone is on Weight Watchers that means they won’t eat fast food. So at least this way they are able to make choices that falls into their point range.  But what I think I have a problem with is this sentence, “…and in turn, the weight loss program will promote those meals as options for its dieters.” I don’t necessarily think I agree with Weight Watchers promoting McDonald’s as a “healthy option.” Fast food should be eaten in MODERATION for EVERYONE and I feel like this could potentially lead people to eat there more often because it is “Weight Watcher endorsed.” So it is now easier to justify. “Of course, I can eat McDonald’s everyday for lunch…it’s on the Weight Watcher Plan.” Thoughts?


44 Responses

  1. I just think it is all related to our society and how unwilling people are to be accountable for nutrition and healthy foods.

  2. I think it’s just like the Taco Bell diet. You’re right- people will generalize it as being able to eat whatever they want instead of the maybe 2 or 3 things offered on the weight watcher’s diet. They won’t bother reading the fine print… which is why the Taco Bell thing drives me NUTS!

    I have my random drive thru meal, and am not against going every once in awhile, but by no means do I ever thing I’m consuming the most healthy option…

  3. LOL that’s funny that’s my post for tonight… I know itis CRAZY

  4. People have to realize that Weight Watchers is a business like any other, out to make money. If teaming up with McDonalds means more money then they will do it. They also make a lot of artificial cakes/sweets that I wouldn’t say are good for you either! I think everything in moderation is DEFINITELY the key!

  5. Hey! Just caught up on your last post and so thrilled you are declaring yourself what you are – A RUNNER!! 🙂

    Ok, so loooooong time ago. I weighed more than I do now. Yeah. I was even heavier than I am now. Not sure why that’s so embarrassing for me to say still to this day, but ok, on to my point… I lost weight using weight watchers. I was the opposite of how I am now. I loved fast food, junk food, blech. And I don’t think I would have done a “diet” and lost weight if I’d thought mcdonalds and all of my favorites were off limits. I still ate mcdonalds but quickly figured out that if this was going to stick, I couldn’t eat stuff like that everyday, so it quickly became natural for me to only eat it occasionally. And now look at me. I never eat that kind of stuff, never eat junk food. I’ve learned to PREFER healthy food and actually barely remember that I was ever any other way. I guess my point is, if the majority of americans eat fast food, perhaps knowing that they can still eat it while losing weight will help push them along as they eat less of it and eventually, hopefully will stop eating it altogether.

    • Oh Em…that should NOT be embarrassing! You should be proud of yourself for taking the necessary steps to change your life! It makes me proud of you!!

      I also totally see your point and I agree that it is helpful…I just don’t want WW to promote it as a healthy option.

      • So true Kelly, McNuggets should not be considered one of the “healthy” options. The salads, fruit and yogurt parfaits, reduced fat cones… healthy options, but mcnuggets? Not so much!! Sorry, I think I missed that part of the point you were trying to make earlier. And thank you so much for your kind words about my weight loss. Even though it was 5 years ago when I got down to the weight I am now, it’s still hard for me to talk about or even remember back to. Haven’t even gotten up the courage to talk about it on my blog… not sure if I ever will… 😉 Anyway, thanks for bringing this topic up! I love discussing topics such as this!! 🙂

  6. McDonalds is my weakness. No matter how healthy and fit I am, I do regularly eat healthy. In fact, the BF and I have to go to McDonalds for Valentines Day. It’s our tradition. Primarily because when we did long distance for a year, I flew up my very first V-Day with him and had to be on a plane that evening. We ate McD’s for supper.

    Tradition + a few more times a year = yummy in my belllyyyyy. Oh I love their fries. Oh I love their milkshakes and junior chickens.


    • I gotta be honest…best french fries on the planet are Arby’s curly fries!!! Greasy goodness! 🙂

      I like the traditioin story. Keith and I did long distance for a year too and we have a Mexican place we always think about because it was close to the airport and we ate there a lot! 🙂 Can totally relate!

  7. Interesting….I don’t know anymore…I think people should really go with intuition. As long as they’re not there 2x/day everyday right?? But I think education is the big key – there are so many other choices – homemade, storebought…variety is key.

  8. i totally agree with you about the mc D’s thing! sad, total marketing ploy. everyone deserves a break, even keith 😉

  9. First off, I’m jealous of your beautiful day!! It’s icky and rainy here. Also, since when is McD’s healthy diet food? Ever. What bad (for the general welfare of the U.S.) marketing!

  10. My thoughts mimic yours exactly. I realize that it’s good to have the points out there for those on Weight Watchers, but I don’t think that WW should go out saying “yeah! Go to McDonald’s!” Hopefully, those following WW will see this as just an option and not a reason to go to McDonald’s excessively.

  11. A friend of mine lost 80 something pounds on weight watchers. I’ve asked her a lot about it and have come to some conclusions:

    WW is good for teaching “healthier” choices. And I suppose clarifying what fast food items are BETTER isn’t a bad thing. The problem I think is in the fact that WW doesn’t seem to take ingredients into account. (Have you ever checked out their processed food? You’ll be hard pressed to find something without HFCS). It seems like they suggest some choices being better for having certain things (lower fat, more fiber)…but I don’t know how far “deep” these differences go, if that my wording makes sense.

    That said: these choices remind me of the “healthier” WW choices at Applebees: they might be slightly better than another choice…but that sure as hell doesn’t make it healthy. I think WW should make that clear to its followers because if they don’t? It does a disservice to those using the program to lose weight.

    • I totally agree. I DO think WW is valulable in helping people change their eating habits and recognizing what a portion size should look like. It is AWESOME for that!! But one of my biggest problems with weight watchers is that the point system rewards processed carbohydrates over proteins. Mainly because you get more bang for your point buck when eating processed carb foods. I totally agree…looks at the ingredients!!

  12. I agree with you, I think the weight watchers endorsement on the McDonald’s menu is not perhaps the best idea. While I also acknowledge that everyone eats fast food once in awhile, myself included, putting the ww stamp on it might encourage dieters to go too often. While the Nuggets might be a healthier choice on a McDonald’s menu they are by no means actually healthy.

  13. Ugh– it bothers me so much when people equate “health” with “calorie content.” Sure, you can eat McDonald’s on weight watchers…and if you count your points accurately, you can probably even lose weight still by doing so! BUT, it doesn’t mean that you’re eating in a healthy way. Calorie content is a part of making healthy choices, but so are things like nutrients, fats, sodium, etc.

  14. SUCH a slippery slope they’re on. My mom lost over 80lbs on WW and has kept it off for 6 years. She couldn’t have done it without the program, but I do not like the fact that they are going to actively promote McDonald’s healthy options. I know they have other associations with restaurants and licenses for food products (most of which are highly processed baked goods or snacks) which I don’t agree with either, but this is really taking it too far I think.

  15. Hmmm … I do feel like it’s WW “selling out” to McDonalds. While I was on WW, I did go to McDonalds, and could figure out the points on my own, so I don’t know if this is just taking out that middle step? Maybe it’s so that if a person on WW ended up at McDonalds, they could be shown a “better” option (not healthy, but better than others). But I don’t like the way that it says that McDonalds is using to make it sound like they are healthy. Which they ARE NOT!

  16. This falls into the 100-calorie snack pack category, in my opinion. I agree it isn’t realistic to expect people to eat 100% perfectly all the time, but this certainly doesn’t espouse the portion control mantra that I thought Weight Watchers was all about. As you said, it is all about moderation. I’ve known people on Weight Watchers who still eat garbage all day long. Sure you can lose weight, but you are not eating healthy, and you are probably missing out on some important vitamins. That is my biggest problem with weight watchers. It is just as much what you are eating as how much of it.

  17. This is such a great discussion! I have mixed feelings. I understand that it’s nice for people looking to lose weight to still be able to eat their McDonalds, but just because something is calculated in weight watchers points does not mean that it’s healthy! It may fit into your daily calorie limit if you skimp on some other foods during the day but basically thats the same with any food. Weight watchers does seem to promote eating the whole foods over processed ones but the main goal for their followers is to stay within point range. I think that teaming up with McDonalds is a step in the wrong direction for them. They should instead be teaming up with companies that are more concerned with the country’s health!

  18. I think I agree with you on this- it’s not necessarily bad for McDonald’s to post weight watchers POINTS, because like you said people should know, but promoting it as a “healthy option” is a less sketchy to me. More healthy than what exactly? cuz it’s definitely not the healthIEST option haha

  19. We’ve had the same blue skies today. I love tee-shirt weather!

  20. this is an interesting post. i am kinda conflicted on the logic behind it too. i like the title you gave this post.

  21. i guess it is good to know what the healthier fastfood options are, but most everything that comes out of mcdonalds is processed and fakey. everyone needs to start somewhere tho right?

    i didn’t know you were in austin. i really wanna be there right now listening to great music!!!!!! check out lookbook if you get a chance!

  22. I am wavering about this also, because on one hand it’s good for people to know how many “points” it is to eat the chicken nuggets, but for that to be considered a good choices is just not okay.

    I love me spring too…so nice to see the sun!

  23. I am glad you brought this up. I am a former Weight Watchers person myself and, truthfully, I think the plan is great, but only if it’s used by folks that have the right mindset. I agree with you that fast food can be eaten on any plan in moderation. Because Weight Watchers is so flexible with eating, however, I think some folks take it to the extreme and would eat unhealthy foods every day just because they are within their “points” values. I fell into this trap too. I think it takes a certain type of person to use the program correctly (use your points on fruits, veggies, lean protein, etc) and make sure you use your points on the right thing. I’m just rambling now, but I know first-hand from meetings that folks often seek out the “healthiest junk” they can and this seems to be reiterating this. And for the record, I’m confused about the Filet O Fish…that’s fried fish. How is that good?!?

  24. I see where they’re going with the idea of “nothing is off-limits,” but as other people have said, not everyone has the right mindset to eat chicken nuggets in moderation. It would be tough for me to eat something as yummy as a chicken nugget just every once in a while if it had a Weight Watchers stamp on it. And whoa, if they put tater tots on their menu—I’ll be in trouble!

  25. I think that posting the nutritional facts so that people can make their own decisions about what they eat is good, but labeling something as healthy when it’s not is just not right.

  26. I see both sides and agree and disagree with points of each side. Sucks that it all boils down to MONEY! WW scratches McD’s back and vice versa. Grrr!

  27. On the one hand, I can see that WW is being realistic that people are going to keep eating at fast food restaurants, so let’s at least give them healthy options.

    On the other – I think it’s crap. As I’ve said before, we vote for the food we will accept every single day with our dollars. This is why healthy food is so much more expensive than crap is in this country.

  28. I agree with everything everyone has already said and I Feel too lazy to type it out. I think its good that at least its teaching people to choose healthier things IF they choose to go to Mickey D’s.

    I just wish there was a Disclaimer added to it, like about moderation and not eating it all the time because it fit into your points.

  29. Im kind of torn here. I mean, I worked at McDonalds, and so Im not so in love with their food anymore – actually it give me the hiccups.
    I understand that this might be more realistic if you’re on weight watchers. At least youre not banned from eating anything. But on the other hand, are chicken nuggets really food? Is this how you want to teach people to eat? I mean, if I thought I could eat chicken nuggets and have nothing bad happen, I would probably eat them all the time. Im no expert, but I dont think thats the goal of weight watchers.

  30. I 100% agree with you. If people are going to eat fastfood, which they are, it’s better for them to know what they better options are and if they know the points assigned to those items they can factor that in to the rest of their day. i also agree that any healthy-living or “diet” plan should not promote fastfood. Weight Watchers is known, though, to be the diet or lifestyle for the real world. I guess they are just trying ot be realistic.

  31. One more thought, I agree with Katie’s comments above that just because you lose weight doesn’t mean you are necessarily healthy. It almost gives a false sense of health.

    There is the whole “skinny fat” issue that has been coming up lately where people appear thin and have a healthy BMI, but still have a high proportion of body fat that can lead to health issues.

  32. high raw plant based dietary path = totally outta the loop on both WW or McD and i kinda like it that way 🙂

  33. Seems like sone kind of evil plot… But I hope it works well for those who try it

  34. Great discussion. I’m in the camp of “just b/c it’s in your points doesn’t make it healthy” and to note that ‘Fast Food’ has always been allowed on WW, it’s in their fast food companion books.

    I don’t agree with WW choice to partner with Mc D’s. I lost 28 lbs with WW. It taught me about choices, and I actually learned to eat healthily with their Core program. But to partner with a fast food chain??? It’s all about the money…

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