Live Well, Do Good

Nestlé Fitness 14 Day Weight Loss Program – What’s Wrong Here?

February 21, 2013 - David McConkey

“Having trouble fitting into your favourite dress?”

The Nestlé company asks this question in an ad for its Fitness brand of cereal.

In the ad is a smiling slender model, all zipped up in her pretty dress.

So, what can you do if you are having trouble fitting into your favourite dress?

“Start the 14 Day Program,” the company says, “by simply replacing two meals a day with a bowl of Nestlé Fitness wholegrain cereal . . .”
     
Wow!  So it is that easy!
 
You can lose weight by simply eating more sugar-sweetened cereal instead of regular food!

(According to the Nestlé Fitness 14 Day Program, for each day's menu, two meals are to be a bowl of Nestlé Fitness cereal. The third is to be a “balanced meal.” Program details are on this Nestlé website.)

You can also use the Nestlé Fitness 14 Day Program if "you don't fit into your swim suit." Just think: "14 days to look great on the beach" where you can then "show off your shape."  
Take a few moments to watch this 30-second TV commercial.


 
The Nestlé Fitness 14 Day Program is publicized around the world.  (Fitness brand cereal is available in many countries, although not in Canada or the U.S. In some places, such as Asia, the spelling is Fitnesse.)

Fitness CerealsNestlé would like us to think that Fitness is: "the breakfast cereal that partners with women to help them look good for themselves."  
 
Nestlé describes itself as “the world's leading nutrition, health, and wellness company.” The corporation spends more than $2 billion a year advertising its products.

So the Nestlé Fitness 14 Day Program is a huge global marketing effort. The campaign is designed to sell more cereal. But it also promotes a powerful message about food, health, and the way we see ourselves.

The message of the Nestlé Fitness 14 Day Program is that:

  • How women look and dress is very important.
  • Losing weight is important to looking and dressing well.
  • Losing weight is fun and easy.
  • Packaged (even sugar-sweetened) foods provide the best way not only to get nutrition, but also to lose weight.
What is a better alternative for us?

Well, we can develop a more holistic view of food, eating, and health.

We can understand that:
  • Healthy living does not need to be about the way we look, or about what we weigh, or about our never-ending efforts to lose weight.
  • Programs that aim to lose weight – especially short-term, “quick fixes” – almost always fail.
  • Real foods (the ones without any nutritional labels) are better than packaged fare.
We don’t need to obsess about our weight. We don’t need to restrict our eating. We don’t need to replace real foods with sugar-sweetened, packaged ones. 

We can look away from advertising that reduces our lives to what corporations only want to tell us. And to only what they want to sellus.

We can ignore seductive commercial slogans and their promises of easy answers and instant results.

Like the Nestlé Fitness 14 Day Program. And its promise that you can “get in shape and zip up your favourite dress.” By simply eating more of the company’s cereal.

* * * 

See also:

Diets Don’t Work . . . But What We Can Do Instead 

Healthy Eating – 15 Tips 

Authors Offer Food for Thought

Community Shared Agriculture:  A Growing Notion

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