New Drive-Thru Diet? Marketing Brilliance Preys on Those Desperate for Weight Loss

Jared Fogle, Subway Spokesperson

Jared Fogle, Subway Spokesperson

Let me ask you a question. Do you know how much Americans spend on weight loss? Some research shows, well over 40 billion, that’s BILLION dollars annually.

Next question, is obesity in our country going up or down? Studies show that adult obesity was up in 23 states last year.

Last question, what individual took the popularity of Subway to a whole new level? That would be Jared Fogle. Yep, he’s the young man who catapulted himself in to commercial stardom by losing weight eating nothing but Subway Sandwiches. Plus, this fast-food chain figured if American’s were spending that much money on weight loss, why couldn’t some of that cash go in their pocket?  Something tells me Subway had a very, very good year when Jared gave props to the fast-food chain. Unfortunately, since that rise to fame,  Jared was spotted at the airport  a few weeks ago carrying around a few extra pounds. My hunch is Subway got boring and life goes on.

This past week, a different fast food chain threw its hat in the ring vying for some of that weight loss money,  Taco Bell. Someone in the marketing department took some serious notes from Subway. Welcome to the latest diet, “Taco Bell Drive Thru Diet” in which spokesperson Christine Dougherty  claims to have lost 54 pounds eating off the Fresco menu. What a brilliant move by Taco Bell. Although, they make it very clear on their website that it is NOT a weight loss program? Huh? What? I’m confused then. Their whole push is losing weight while living on tacos and burritos. Imagine, being able to have your taco and eat it too! But you know and I know, this “diet” is yet another way for a company to make a lot of money while those that really need to get healthy, do not.

I think we can all agree that weight gain is the result of eating too much  and moving too little, right? So sure, if all you do is live off fast food while keeping your calorie count in check you can lose weight, duh. It’s all about a deficit.

The problem I have with this whole thing is that number one, you know and I know fast food isn’t healthy. Although Fresco sounds so healthy, doesn’t it?  Again, brilliant marketing.  None the less, no matter how you slice it, fast food is typically higher in sodium and the quality of the meat and ingredients is one that I continue to question. Further, at what point does one take personal responsibility by making an effort to LEARN how to eat well sans a gimmick? A gimmick is a novelty and like all novelties, they eventually lose their appeal and all is forgotten.

So, Ms. Dougherty is all over the internet sharing her 54 pound weight loss thanks to  the Taco Bell Fresco menu. But, I need to know more. Is that ALL she’s eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner (apparently Jared did that with Subway). Is she exercising? Does she drink soda since she’s at a fast food restaurant? Does she get in healthy fare any where else? And that my friends is the bottom line, WHERE IS THE HEALTH component? I know, I know, she’s lost 54 pounds and at the end of the day, that’s all most people care about. I would surmise thatTaco Bell is very, very happy thanks to someone who did their homework in the marketing department.

I lost 50 pounds, do you know how? Are you ready? I did it by giving up fast food and learning how to eat foods that I actually prepare at home. And you know what else? I’ve kept the weight off for close to 30 years. I have yet to see any of these crazy diets prove longevity.

I really hope that his new diet is short lived. Although sure, it’s great that this woman has lost weight touting fast food as the “secret” to weight loss does not sit well with me. By the way, you can see her on the website in her bikini. What? I wonder if all that driving to and from Taco Bell is what created those amazing abs? I can only hope that this painfully clear publicity ploy will not sit well with others. In fact, rather than trying the Drive-thru diet, my hope is that people will instead drive right on by.

2 Responses

  1. Susan says:

    I have never been a huge fan of fast food (with the exception of the Portillo’s beef-n-cheddar croissant.) but there are times where a quick meal is needed.
    What I have done is gone through the few places I like (QDoba, Chipotle, Noodles, Starbucks, Panda Express, and yes Taco Bell) and created a spread sheet from the nutrition information on their websites. I included calories, fat information, sodium, cholesterol, fiber and protein for each entry. I also included a few restaurants where I might meet friends for lunch (Chilis, TGI Fridays, etc.)
    I carry the spread sheet in my purse so I always have information on what my healthy choices are. Noodles does a nice job on their site in that you can actually choose your health concern (in my case low sodium) and they give suggestions and tell you how to adapt the dish for your needs.
    I have found this list to be a helpful and it helps me stay motivated to continue eating healthy.

    And I have to say that the fresco crunchy taco is much better than the regular taco at Taco Bell. It does actually taste a bit fresher and lighter. With a bottle of water, and a piece of fruit, it can be a satisfying lunch when you need something quick. But the other items are too high in sodium for me at lunchtime.

    I love spicy foods, and find that spices make it so I don’t miss the sodium.

  2. Todd29 says:

    Yes, a vast percentage of Americans are for too overweight! No, eating fast foods will not help you to achieve a healthier body shape, unless it is done in moderation. Anything that helps people to feel better about themselves, and to take their first step to become healthier, is a step in the right direction. Good luck to everyone who would like to lose a few pounds. Being healthy is a lifestyle, not a diet. There are many good tips on how to achieve permanent weight loss; none of them includes gimmicks, diets, or diet pills. To assist with weight control; keep a daily food journal and every time the urge to snack is felt, first drink a large glass of clear water. The major reason so many people in America are overweight is because we eat too much for comfort! It does not hurt to treat ourselves with something special once in a while, what is necessary is that we limit our portions and do not overeat! It is also necessary to keep our body properly hydrated, so drink a full glass of water with each meal or snack. Being overweight ******, but after reading a book, I lost 85 pounds! Words can not express how good I feel!

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