Weight Watchers©’ endorsement of McDonald’s© in New Zealand

Last week several items on the fast food giant’s menu – the Filet-O-Fish, Chicken McNuggets and Sweet Chilli Seared Chicken Wrap – were approved for the Weight Watchers diet in McDonald’s 150 New Zealand restaurants. Each meal is worth 6.5 points on the programme, which assigns points to food items and allows dieters to consume 18 to 40 points each day to achieve their target weight.

McDonald’s New Zealand managing director reported that they were able to include some of the most popular items in the Weight Watchers diet because of the many changes they had made over the years. For instance, the switch to a healthier canola blend cooking oil meant items such as the Filet-O-Fish and Chicken McNuggets now contained 60% less saturated fat than six years ago.

The Weight Watchers’ director of business in Australia and New Zealand said the partnership between the companies reflected “part of our philosophy that you can enjoy life … while still achieving your weight loss goals”.

However, around the world many nutrition and obesity experts were not so sure of this collaboration…

What are your views?


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3 Responses to “Weight Watchers©’ endorsement of McDonald’s© in New Zealand”

  1. Therese BM Says:

    I’m very skeptical about this as well…in my opinion its another marketing strategy to promote a fast-food chain which was and is a contributor to: the increase in childhood & adolescent obesity (as confirmed in literature due to marketing mainly aimed at kids and teens); carbon emmissions, waste and thus global warming. This is confirmed in a number of journals and studies – its the reality we are living in 🙂

  2. Miriam O'Donoghue Says:

    Interesting…I wonder are all the foods/meals on sale in Mc Donald’s point rated…or just some?
    If they are all point rated then there could be a positive side to this news item as it might raise consciousness of what people are eating in McDs. Isnt it about consumers making the right choice / good choices?
    In the event that I found myself in McDonalds I think that the Weight Watcher point rating would guide me on what to eat…it certainly wouldn’t however make me rush down the road to eat in my local McDs.

  3. suzannempiscopo Says:

    Three meals were composed from the McDonalds’ menu in New Zealand to suit the Weight Watcher’s programme.

    You can find more details about this here:

    I agree that the more info one has on items on the menu, the better for making informed food choices. McDonalds generally have their nutrition info online or posted near the counters. Sometimes they also have free leaflets you can pick up from their outlets.

    Some might argue that this is a positive service; others might say this is a marketing ploy….

    In the US, the calorie content of food items on the menu is soon going to be obligatory nation-wide by law in restaurants having a chain of 20 or more establishments, as well as on/near vending machines of which there are more than 20 operated by the same company.

    More info here: http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/menulabelingbill.pdf

    This restauarnt labelling has already been in place in NYC since 2008. It seems to have made people more conscious, and restaurants did change some of their menu items to make them healthier, but it’s not clear yet if people actually consumed less calories. Research is still being conducted on the impact of the legislation.

    Read more here:

    And here:

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