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Weight Watchers endorses McDonalds

Can fast food be healthy food?

An article on AOL news today reported that McDonalds and Weight Watchers had struck a bargain. In exchange for having their logo appear on menu boards, Weight Watchers will endorse certain McDonald's products, including Chicken McNuggets and Filet O Fish sandwiches as healthy choices.
What? Seriously? Really? And yes, I checked the article's date and no, it's not a reprint from last April 1st.

To be fair, the Weight Watchers program philosophy has always been “that all food can be part of a healthy, balanced diet taking into account portion control and frequency," Emma Stirling, a Weight Watchers nutrition adviser, said in the statement. McDonald's has also changed to a healthier blend of canola oil for frying which has lowered the saturated fat in some menu items by 60% . Still, fried food is fried food. New menu items such as grilled chicken wraps, the fruit and yogurt parfait and some salads are much healthier choices and with more people eating out more often than even these days, it's important that people know what their best options are when visiting various restaurants. The concern, however, is that people will be rounding out healthy choices with unhealthy sides such as fries, adding high fat and/or calorie salad dressings and dipping sauces, and that many of the healthier items are more expensive. When a family can buy enough cheeseburgers to feed everyone for the price of a single salad, often there is not an healthy option financially.

At this time, the endorsement is only being made in New Zealand with no plans to expand to the US, yet. New Zealand, however, has the second highest obesity rate, 26.4% second only to the US at 34.3% according to figures reported to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

AOL “Weight Watchers and McDonald's Team Up” article

New Zealand's Ministry of Social Developement's Obesity Report 2009




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