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“How to lose your belly?”

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Who makes these silly diet ads and considers them effective?  


"Look, I WAS four months pregnant, and THEN I was a fitness model in a porno after I took your pill!"

It disgusts me.  I am very lucky that these ads rarely show up on my blog.  Thank you Google.  In fact, I've only had to block a handful of bizarre-o ads like this.

Old Spice Woman Pleasin’ Scents?

This ad is currently hanging out in my leaderboard spot. (Thank you Google, you know what I like. And, hush, it's just an ad.)  You have to know something about me. I HEART man-soaps. LOVE. I snort the scent of AXE's orange scrub — it smells of fir trees and I love love love it. I fully admit to making the baby a man-smell bath. She comes out smelling like Christmas.  I may or may not admit to using them myself because the scent lasts longer than my wimpy chick soaps.  You didn't hear that.

20073282659_dangling carrot

A New Weight-Loss Plan: Getting Paid to Shed Pounds

 20073282659_dangling carrot
Welcome again to that time of year — the resolutions have been made and likely already broken, and those contests at work (Whoever loses the most weight wins the money!) are going full swing.  

What do you think about this?

A New Weight-Loss Plan: Getting Paid to Shed Pounds.

A new site will pay overweight members $100 if they slim down and up to $1,000 if they put some of their own money on the line.

I know I blogged about this topic before, "getting paid to lose weight," but to find it?  Yeah.

Thing is, it works.  A little.  For a while.

Financial Incentive–Based Approaches for Weight Loss

Kevin G. Volpp, MD, PhDLeslie K. John, MSAndrea B. Troxel, ScDLaurie Norton, MAJennifer Fassbender, MSGeorge Loewenstein, PhD

JAMA. 2008;300(22):2631-2637.

Context  Identifying effective obesity treatment is both a clinical challenge and a public health priority due to the health consequences of obesity.

Objective  To determine whether common decision errors identified by behavioral economists such as prospect theory, loss aversion, and regret could be used to design an effective weight loss intervention.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Fifty-seven healthy participants aged 30-70 years with a body mass index of 30-40 were randomized to 3 weight loss plans: monthly weigh-ins, a lottery incentive program, or a deposit contract that allowed for participant matching, with a weight loss goal of 1 lb (0.45 kg) a week for 16 weeks. Participants were recruited May-August 2007 at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center in Pennsylvania and were followed up through June 2008.

Main Outcome Measures  Weight loss after 16 weeks.

Results  The incentive groups lost significantly more weight than the control group (mean, 3.9 lb). Compared with the control group, the lottery group lost a mean of 13.1 lb (95% confidence interval [CI] of the difference in means, 1.95-16.40; P=.02) and the deposit contract group lost a mean of 14.0 lb (95% CI of the difference in means, 3.69-16.43; P =.006). About half of those in both incentive groups met the 16-lb target weight loss: 47.4% (95% CI, 24.5%-71.1%) in the deposit contract group and 52.6% (95% CI, 28.9%-75.6%) in the lottery group, whereas 10.5% (95% CI, 1.3%- 33.1%; P = .01) in the control group met the 16-lb target. Although the net weight loss between enrollment in the study and at the end of 7 months was larger in the incentive groups (9.2 lb; t = 1.21; 95% CI, –3.20 to 12.66; P = .23, in the lottery groupand 6.2 lb; t = 0.52; 95% CI, –5.17 to 8.75; P = .61 in the deposit contract group) than in the control group (4.4 lb), these differences were not statistically significant. However, incentive participants weighed significantly less at 7 months than at the study start (P = .01 for the lottery group; P = .03 for the deposit contract group) whereas controls did not.

Conclusions  The use of economic incentives produced significant weight loss during the 16 weeks of intervention that was not fully sustained. The longer-term use of incentives should be evaluated.

A little motivation in the form of cash is like a dangling carrot, I feel it would be motivating enough for a while… but eventually wear off.  What about you?  Is money motivating enough to get YOU going?  How much would it take for you to GET TOTALLY SERIOUS ABOUT IT AND FOLLOW THROUGH?

I already know my answer.  No.  The money isn't going to do it, unless it comes with a personal trainer, an we all know that isn't always the answer either, enter in Oprah and TBL Fails  I have already been in this position several times, friendly competition with family or friends and through this blog.  Fail. Even with a substantial dangling carrot, MM doesn't diet well for payment.  

MM cannot be The Taco Bell Fresco Diet Girl, she'd run in and ask for Sour Cream on her naked taco.

Wait.  Nevermind.


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The Biggest Loser – A “long-lasting 5-calorie snack to help reveal the new you.”

Apparently I am a big doofus, and these not-a-commercial-but-obviously-a-commercials in the middle of the show bidness is typical of The Biggest Loser.  I guess Trainer Bob send a video to a contestant “Make sure you chew your Extra Gum!”

I mentioned this phenomenon yesterday, and got responses like, “I guess you missed the Gum and Ziploc Baggies?”  Uh.  Yeah.  I haven’t watched the series much, and I am a commercial whore.  (It’s sick, when I watch the news, I count the luxury car commercials, wondering if the only people who watch the local Boston news are middle aged white men with some cash.)

So, Extra Flavor, Extra Fun in Extra Sugarfree Guuuuum?  I guess so:

Wrigley –

Contestants on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” are chewing Extra gum to
control calorie intake, avoid mindless munching and get an edge over
their competition. In fact, the show encourages teams to “be smart
about snacking,” and suggests that “Extra gum is a good trick to keep
in your pocket since it’s only five calories and a good alternative to
a high-calorie snack.”

LA Times

The product: Contestants on the current season of NBC’s “The
Biggest Loser” have been taking a slightly offbeat approach to shedding
pounds. In addition to sweating on treadmills and sticking to
near-starvation diets, they’ve been chewing gobs of gum — Wrigley’s
Extra sugar-free gum, to be exact.

Product placement on reality TV is nothing new; even the castaways on
“Survivor” have enjoyed regular doses of Doritos. But on “The Biggest
Loser,” the gum has become a prominent part of the show. Trainers and
nutritionists assure the “losers” — and the viewing audience — that
gum can curb appetite, prevent snacking and provide an edge in the
weight-loss game.

Gum-chewers have long known that a stick of spearmint or Juicy Fruit
can be a pleasant diversion, but this is the first time that a major
company has promoted gum as a weight-loss aid, says Kelly McGrail,
senior director of Wrigley corporate relations.

The claims: A television ad that runs during “The Biggest Loser”
sums up the new promise with a memorable tag line “Go from ‘nice gut’
‘to ‘nice butt.’ ” The ad also calls Extra gum the “long-lasting
5-calorie snack to help reveal the new you.”


Ok.  Fine.  But?

Total is 100% Nutrition!

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Kill me.  I am simply watching one old episode, and I’m at two or three not a commercials in the first quarter of the show.  How do they do this without laughing?

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The Biggest Loser Brought To You By Designer Whey And A Six Inch Subway Sandwich!

I went to bed last night watching The Biggest Loser.  I have to tell you that honestly, I have never followed the series.  I think it was because I am frankly terrified of the exercise.  But, it was on, and I was there in bed, watching people trying to commit suicide via 26 miles of running/jogging/walking/wogging/crying.  I was in AWE that any of them could finish the marathon, let alone while still standing.  I would have keeled over at about mile three, and would take an ambulance to the finish line.  Kudos to them.  I'm still shocked.

So there's that.

But, that's not what got my attention.  It was the pep talk before the contestants started the marathon, from the trainer, sharing with them that they'd be running the Designer Whey Protein! Race, and it's full of Amino Acids! that they are going to need to rebuild and repair! at the end of the Race!  The contestants are all blank-faced and, "Well, yeah, we're going to die!"  And, they run off into a commercial.

Later, they're all ready to nosh after the race, when the trainer Bob stops, in the middle of a picnic table buffet to share How Great These Subway Sandwich Platters Are And OMG THEY Have Apples!  And Who Doesn't Love A Subway Platter And Why Don't You Bring One To Your Next Party Because What If They Serve You Buffalo Wings?Picture 28

I understand that the show requires sponsorship and commercials.  I have a billionty sponsors on my own website myself.   I love Subway six inch sandwiches, I'll take a Veggie Delite, please. Picture 30
 But what I don't get is the middle of the TV show, during an intense scene — all of a sudden it's "EAT SUBWAY EAT FRESH GET SKINNY" commercials that aren't commercials, it wasn't even a product placement, it was an outright BUY IT BECAUSE WE TOLD YOU SO.

So hey, by the way, don't you love those Subway Party Platters from Subway with the Subs on them?Wouldn't you like one right now?  Why don't we all get Subway Party Platters with the Fresh Fit Choices this weekend for our families?  Why — because I said so?

During the commercial breaks, it's more of the same, and more… commercials are expected.  I even went to the website to check out the ads, of course it's the same.  Funny though, at the video site, the ads are for alcohol.  TANQ-ERRRR-AAAAY.  'URP.

Maybe this irked me because, as of YESTERDAY?  Bloggers, little old BLOGGERS!? are required to disclose damn near anything we do that might be construed as something I got for free, was paid to do, or a "commercial."

Like this post?!  IT AIN'T SPONSORED BY NOBODY.  But, if it were?  Like, Subway?  (I'd like a Veggie Delite, Extra Olives Please.)  I HAVE to tell you.

So — I can't all of a sudden pull out "HEY! Want some Designer Whey Protein!" in this post, because, then it might be construed differently, even if it's something I purchased, I have to tell you.

So, want some, uh… Protein Powder That I Bought Specifically For The Purpose Of Reviewing For The Blog?  ;)

Comment below.


Nutrisystem Announces Distribution at Walmart, Cue Your Eye Roll.

Initially I rolled my eyes at this press release.  Honestly.  

You know I am a Wal*Mart shopper, in fact I am an ex Wal*Mart Employee as is Mr. MM.  (You're looking at Department Manager Beth here, and Assistant Store Manager Bob.  Gack, I know.  But, tis true.  They opened a store across the street from where we were living at the time, and the both of us got job there until I quit nearly immediately — while he worked for peanuts and had the best commute EVER.)

I spend a good $300 a week there, and the company has received a large portion of my income for years.  I have to admit to it, because it's true. 

I shop other grocery stores for a few things, but typically, we're all Wal*Mart.   Even if I did not WANT to spend grocery money there, I do, as the costs of where I would have liked to go (WHOLEFOODSWHOLEFOODS) were quite prohibitive for a family of six on one and a fourth incomes.  (That, and the times I go to Whole Foods, I'm surrounded by a virtual luxury car sales lot and $800 baby strollers.  Wal*Mart shoppers don't so much Fit In with our $1 flip-flops and Garanimal-clothed babies.)

But one of my frustrations with The Wal*Martz has always been not being able to find diet-appropriate choices, and being sucked into several aisles of Fat Food.  At this time, I currently walk past at least two full aisles in the grocery section if I can get away with it, seriously, a FULL 60+ foot aisle of orange and black bags of Halloween Candy?  Is this necessary?  It's like an epileptic hypoglycemics playground!

So, yeah, as much as it feels like bringing a plan like nutrisystem into a place like Wal*Mart is just ass backwards, it does make sense.  We ARE it's target customers.  The Wal*Mart customers.  I just want to know if they can place it in tempting locales like the CANDY AISLE and in the middle of a toy aisle.  Don't put it in the pharmacy area — I mean — who actually buys the appetite suppressants and diet bars THERE?  (Besides peeps like me who grab their Atkins Coconut Bars before hitting the carb aisles… hoping it will help deflect the goodies jumping into our carts.)6a00d8345190c169e20120a599e361970b-pi

Wal*Mart is marketing SODA and CHIPS in non-food aisles of the store — and it works! 

Why not put some diet/lifestyle eating plans in the SAME PLACES to target us — the people that buy the stuff? (Don't say we don't — go have a look at the products — a lot are the same or Quite Similar to products you might already use in other plans, or buy online.)

Do you think this is a good idea?  Placing diet plans like this in Wal*Mart?

This is a Press Release, hence the commercial-ness of it.

HORSHAM, Pa., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Nutrisystem,
Inc. (Nasdaq: NTRI), a leading provider of weight management programs
and services, has aligned with Walmart to offer customers the
convenience of a Nutrisystem 14-Day Starter Program for the first time
in the retail channel.

Hitting shelves at the brink of the holiday rush and
leading into the height of the 2010 New Year's resolution season, the
Nutrisystem 14-Day Starter Program will start rolling out nationwide at
over 3,200 Walmart locations the first week of October, and will be
available on Walmart.com.

"Our alliance with Walmart is an extension of our goal to consistently offer consumers a convenient, affordable and effective weight loss option," said Will Auchincloss, Senior Vice President of Business
Development at Nutrisystem. "Walmart provides us with a new and
valuable distribution channel to broaden our customer base and build
awareness of our product at the retail level."

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Smart Choices Food Labels = WTF?

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From the Wait, WTF?  File.  A new food-labeling program called "Smart Choices," has recently slapped 500+ products from margarine to Cookie Crisp Cereal with a "Smart Choice" label — indicating what else, SMART CHOICES!

LA Times:

…But it might surprise people that Lucky Charms, Froot Loops, Ritz Bits
Peanut Butter Chocolatey Blast crackers and Kid Cuisine Magical Cheese
Stuffed Crust Cheese Pizza meals are billed as "Smart Choices" under a
controversial new food-rating program.

A logo adopted by food
company giants is showing up in major supermarkets: a green Smart
Choices check mark meant to replace the blizzard of health labels that
clutter food package fronts: "Sensible Solution, "Smart Spot," and so

Sponsors say the logo will help an overweight and
overwhelmed public make better food choices in a way that reflects how
people really shop.

Critics say Smart Choices won't help end
confusion because its nutrition standards are far too lenient. They see
the program as an attempt by food companies to bill less-than-stellar
processed foods as nutritious.

They are especially steamed by the breakfast cereal category because so many sugary cereals got a stamp of approval.

Loops? Froot Loops! I rest my case," said Marion Nestle, nutrition
professor at New York University. "No nutritionist I know would
recommend Froot Loops for breakfast."

A congresswoman has asked the Food and Drug Administration to investigate whether products have been "misbranded."

Apparently we cannot think for ourselves, and buy crap like this because it's a Smart Choice!  Okay, so maybe we DID at some point, or do at some times, but… I'm over here digging through the Smart Choice product list and considering dipping myself in Country Crock, because it's a Smart Choice.  


August 8, 2009

Kim Metcalfe
Weber Shandwick

Smart Choices Program™ Helps Shoppers Identify Better Food and Beverage Choices

Uniform Front-of-Package Nutrition Labeling System Now on Hundreds of Trusted Brands

WASHINGTON, DC, August 5, 2009 – This summer, the Smart Choices
Program will appear on hundreds of products in supermarkets and other
retail outlets across the country. This first-ever uniform
front-of-pack nutrition labeling program, developed by a diverse
coalition of scientists, nutritionists, consumer organizations and food
industry leaders is designed to promote public health by helping
shoppers make smarter food and beverage choices within product

Unlike nutrient scoring systems, rankings or store-based programs,
the Smart Choices Program uses a single, green check mark on the front
of the product package to provide "at-a-glance" assurance that a
product has met strict science-based nutrition criteria derived from
the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, reports from the Institute of
Medicine and other sources of authoritative nutrition guidance.
Qualifying products also will display a calorie indicator on-pack that
identifies calories per serving and servings per container.

Participating companies with their own "better for you" nutrition
labeling symbols have begun replacing them with the Smart Choices
Program. Because of its scope and the science behind the new nutrition
labeling system, this new program will bring clarity and consistency to
the U.S. marketplace. Now shoppers will have a consistent program to
identify smarter food and beverage choices, regardless of the stores
they shop in or brands they buy.

"The coalition worked very hard to develop nutrition criteria that
met the highest of standards and a symbol consumers would appreciate
and recognize when making choices at the point of purchase," said
Eileen T. Kennedy, DSc, RD, Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition
Science and Policy at Tufts University. "By providing a single, simple
communication on the front of the package, the Smart Choices Program
can help alleviate confusion in the supermarket and help today’s busy
shoppers make smarter choices for their families in store and at home."

Approximately 500 products from many of the nation's top
brands, including ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Kellogg Company (US),
Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, Sun-Maid, Tyson and Unilever (US), have already
qualified for the Smart Choices Program designation in the program’s 19

I see the new labeling as a PUSH to buy the foods — "Look, It's Healthy For Me/My Kids!"  I would never buy a Kid Cuisine (or other items on the list) BUT — since it's marketed as a Smart Choice — I MIGHT GIVE IT A SECOND LOOK and in a lapse of judgment, buy this shit for my family.

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