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Drive-Thru What?

January 13, 2010

First off, let me apologize for the long hiatus. I have no excuse, other than Christmas cookie-induced lethargy.

I have occasionally railed against fast food restaurants on this blog for developing ever more fattening concoctions in the midst of the obesity epidemic. Remember Domino’s bread bowl pasta? Well, Taco Bell has developed a different, albeit similarly ludicrous approach to the obesity problem.

Last night I happened to catch a commercial featuring Taco Bell’s new Drive-Thru Diet. The spot features Christine, a lithe, attractive, and overly exuberant woman who used to be chubby. “I lost 54 pounds by reducing my daily calories and replacing my usual fast food with Taco Bell’s Drive-Thru Diet,” she says, throwing her hands in the air.  “I didn’t want to cut out my fast food, so I started choosing Fresco items from the Drive-Thru Diet menu.”

Does “drive-thru diet” sound like an oxymoron? It is. Tiny print at the bottom of the screen points out: “Taco Bell Drive-Thru Diet is not a weight loss program.” Even Christine herself cautions, “These results aren’t typical, but, for me, they’re fantastic.”

Taco Bell isn’t the first chain to offer “healthy” options and an engaging spokesperson. Remember Jared, the guy who lost 245 pounds eating Subway sandwiches? But if memory serves me correctly, the Subway campaign seemed more honest. At least Subway made some effort to suggest that eating Subway sandwiches isn’t enough to shed excess pounds. I remember Jared walking around the neighborhood in sweats. And it seems like less of a stretch to link weight loss and sandwiches than to link weight loss and fast food Mexican.

For me, the most horrifying part of the “diet” is the name, which implies that you don’t even have to leave your car to lose weight. All you have to do is make the right choices as you sit on your fat butt at the drive-thru window. Sorry, Christine, but it’s not that easy. I’m sure you know that.

Update: All seven items (four tacos and three burritos) on the “Fresco” menu contain 8 grams of fat or less and no more than 340 calories. The complete nutritional data is online here.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sally permalink
    January 14, 2010 9:21 am

    Gah. Can you imagine how bad she smelled while she was losing those 54 pounds? What I always wonder with these ad things is: Does this woman actually exist? Did she fudge the results? Did she find them or did they find her? What is a Fresco item? How many calories does it have? Was she drinking slim fast for her other meals? Where is she going to be a year from now?

    I had no idea I had so many questions. I wish someone would do some investigative journalism to answer them.

  2. Joe permalink
    January 25, 2010 10:30 pm

    Nothing like montazuma’s revenge for rapid weight loss… I once lost 11 lbs in 3 days after a bad ceviche in peru. I would not exactly market that as a diet though. Very creative, Taco Bell. Very creative…

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