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A Move in the Right Direction? Maybe?

December 6, 2012

Trigger warning: Discussion of diet products.

Healthy Choice has this series of commercials out that has me thinking.

Each one features a character who has been on an extreme diet. A juice fast, all-kale-all-the-time, no carbs, you know them all. The character learns about whatever Healthy Choice product is being hawked (pasta, frozen yogurt, etc.) and realizes they can eat “real food” (read: Healthy Choice’s processed, frozen foods) and still be “healthy” (read: slender) and happy.

In the example, above the woman says that she used to hate the sound of children’s laughter, and then she realized she was just hungry.

Now, this is still a series of commercials hawking weight loss and diet food, with total disregard for how badly diets of all kinds (including eating Healthy Choice foods) fail nearly all the time. But, it is interesting to me that this is the first time in a long time that I can remember a main-stream company taking on the idea of extreme diets and advocating the idea of actually being, you know, full.

Maybe this is a sign of a changing tide in the public perception that healthy equals being skinny at any cost? Wouldn’t that be nice? What do you think?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. vesta44 permalink
    December 6, 2012 11:49 am

    It’s good (sorta kinda maybe) that they’re saying these extreme diets aren’t the way to “health”, but they’re still touting diet food as the way to “health”, therefore still advocating that being thin is the way to be healthy. While it is a step in the right direction, it’s a very small step.

  2. Fab@54 permalink
    December 6, 2012 1:05 pm

    Mixed feelings on this one… but generally leaning towards “its a better slant than usual.”

    First, I like Healthy Choice meals. Not because they are “diet meals” (I really don’t think they are considered diet meals, are they?) but because they really don’t taste that bad, for a quick, in-a-pinch boxed meal.
    Second, I always thought they’re called healthy choice because they are supposedly ‘balanced’ meals – meaning a little meat, a little carbs/starch, a little veggies. The basic trinity meal; but enough of one that while you will feel far from “stuffed” when you’re done, you won’t feel like you just ate what a 2 yr old would eat.
    Third, I’ve never seen Healthy Choice touted as ‘low calorie’ meals, nor as part of any commercialized “diet plan” like we know Weight Watchers’ or Jenny Craig’s boxed food is…

    The beginning of the commercial is pretty lame. I get the whole Carb Queen, over-the-top diet-nazi persona shtick… but, I dunno, it’s just not that funny.
    Also thought the children’s laughter = “I was just ….hungry”, pretty weird. Also not funny- nor ironic, or anything.
    I think they should just stick to the basic Healthy Choice meals are filling (enough), good (enough), and come in a decent (enough) variety of meals.

    But it sure is nice not to see some super-thin woman gloating over the scale scarcely surpassing the double digits – after living off [insert frozen diet meal here] for 6 months ….

  3. December 6, 2012 8:46 pm

    Definitely a tiny step in the right direction, if it even is one.

  4. Lauren C. permalink
    December 6, 2012 9:40 pm

    One tiny tiny step for man
    One teeny tiny weeny step for diet kind.

  5. December 7, 2012 5:36 am

    Hmm. On ‘being full’, Marks & Spencer’s food departments over here in the UK have for some time had a ‘Simply Fuller Longer’ range, the idea being that they’re high in protein, so they, well, do what they say on the packet and stop you from needing to snack between meals. They look OK for frozen dinners (if expensive in the way most M&S food is), but they’re still slanted towards weight loss, as their website makes clear. So, yeah, a step on the path, but still some way to go.

  6. January 29, 2013 11:04 am

    Fab@50: I am of a completely opposite opinion than you-I DESPISE Healthy Choice Meals. If I go the frozen route, I usually pick what I have a coupon for, and I find these to be disgusting, yuck, gross, blah, nast, blech. It’s too bad too, because they tend to send out coupons more often than the other companies; however, this may also be a reflection of poor sales and a ploy to entice more customers. As for the commercials, they are better usual, but could use some improvement.

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