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 Telegraph reported last week. 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.
The three options, which range from 380 to 484 calories, will each be worth 6.5 points—on plans that allow dieters to consume foods totaling between 18 to 40 points each day—according to the Telegraph. Unsurprisingly perhaps, nutritionists, anti-obesity advocates and many Weight Watchers members have expressed their discontent and even disillusionment with the partnership between the fast food and weight loss giants—criticizing the plan as a transparent effort to boost sales while potentially undermining the weight loss program’s mission.
Yet while there have been adamant detractors, a few supporters have weighed in as well. According to the Agence France Presse, as one commenter on a Weight Watchers discussion board put it, “… just because there’s a [Weight Watchers] option on the menu doesn’t mean I’ll have to buy from [McDonald's].” The commenter added, “For those of us that are on the plan and understand the points thing it’s not such a bad idea.”
What do you think? As anti-obesity advocates suggest, does the partnership between McDonald’s and Weight Watchers undercut the weight loss plan’s broader mission? Or, as some plan members indicate, does it simply increase dieters’ options?