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NZ: McDonald’s deal with Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers has done a deal with fast food chain McDonald’s to endorse some items on its menu.

FOE’s Dr Robyn Toomath says that:

“It would be great to see McDonald’s sales data from 3 or 6 months down the track. If they show a drop (in absolute terms) of fries, burgers and soft drinks we will know that people are opting for healthier food over the unhealthy items. What we anticipate however is that McDonald’s may well expand its customer base resulting in a further deterioration in the nutritional status of New Zealanders as they consume more of the unhealthy items.”

She told the NZ Herald that the move would be okay if it convinced existing McDonald’s customers to pick a less-fatty food option.  But it was more likely the promotion would simply attract new customers – and thus normalise the regular eating of McDonald’s.

Professor Boyd Swinburn, from the Australian Society for the Study of Obesity at Deakin University in Melbourne, told the Sydney Morning Herald that the move was a marketing ploy.

“Make no mistake, this is about selling more burgers and fries,” he said.

Australian nutritionist Rosemary Stanton agreed, telling the paper that sales of burgers and chips soared when McDonald’s Australia ushered in its Deli Choices rolls in 2004.

“It got new people through the doors, but once they were in they bought the burgers.”

Digital Journal has a round up of comments from health and food groups

Read more: NZ Herald, 3 Mar 2010

Read more: Sydney Morning Herald, 3 Mar 2010

Read more:  Stuff, 3 Mar 2010

Read more: TV3 news, 3 Mar 2010

Published on March 3, 2010 in New Zealand news