Fresh from the “WTF?!” Files: Taco Bell has a diet menu?
Not to be left behind by other fast food chains plugging more healthy options, Taco Bell has bumped up the marketing of their “Fresco” menu items, dubbing it the “Drive -Thru Diet”. Their spokesperson Christine Dougherty claims to have lost 54 pounds over the course of two years while eating Fresco Menu items.
The discerning person knows that the idea of a Taco Bell diet menu probably has as much validity as their “salads” (900 calories, 11g of saturated fat and 1700mg of sodium?! Seriously?) but the way this campaign seeks to mislead is disquieting. Both in the commercial and on the website, the semantic wrangling begins right away. Christine says that she lost the weight by eating items from the Fresco Menu while making other “sensible choices” and reducing her caloric intake to 1250 per day. “These results aren’t typical, but for me they were fantastic!” she quips. Taco Bell bends over backward to tell you that this diet isn’t a diet – “The Drive-Thru Diet is not a weight loss program”…“Not a low calorie food” – all while treating you a montage of pictures of the newly svelte Christine.
But it’s not Taco Bell’s fault. It’s just that you don’t understand English. At least that’s what Tom Wagner, Taco Bell’s vice president of consumer insight said to Daily Finance: “We mean “Drive-Thru-Diet” to be a noun, not a verb.”
In the words of Bubbles, “You equivocating like a motherfucker.”
The items on the Fresco Menu aren’t terrible as an occasionally digression from a regular diet and exercise plan but a closer look at the nutritional information reveals that they are only slightly lower in calories than the regular menu items, high in sodium and low in dietary fiber. The “other sensible choices” that Christine mentions offhandedly are likely far more responsible for her weight loss than anything on the Fresco Menu. For example, Christine probably was not drinking regular soda. According to Taco Bell’s nutritional information their regular soft drinks on offer range from 200 to 550 calories depending on serving size.
Is it too late to hope that all of this is a joke?
When I first noticed this ad it was followed by the one for those ridiculous Reebok EasyTone sneakers. Coincidence?