Nestle company bought Jenny Craig, Inc. this week for $600 million
I frequently warn you to beware of any food manufacturer trying to sell you their products that supposedly help you lose weight because those companies are just not concerned about your health or your weight. It's all about their bottom line.
Keep that in mind when you read this South Florida Sun-Sentinel story about food giant Nestle purchasing up-and-coming weight loss business Jenny Craig for a sum total of $600 million smackaroos on Monday.
The world's #1 food manufacturer of an entire line of fattening, high-carb products such as Dreyer's Ice Cream, Toll House Chocolate Chips, Stouffer's meals, Hot Pockets, Sweettart, Spree, 100 Grand, Baby Ruth, Bottlecaps, Bit-O-Honey, Butterfinger, Gobstoppers, Goobers, Laffy Taffy, Lean Cuisine, Nerds, NesQuik, Crunch, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Turtles, Nips, Oh Henry!, PowerBar, Raisinets, Runts, and Willy Wonka, just to name a few, now tries to capitalize on the other side of the food spectrum with their purchase of the Jenny Craig diet company.
I'm all for a company trying to make money for itself because that is what companies do in a capitalistic society. Some people don't like the way some companies market their products to make them appeal to the consumer, but it is what it is. Americans want to be told what they want, then sold on the idea that they need that product, be convinced it's a good deal, and finally feel like it is going to add some kind of value to their life. Welcome to the heartbeat of our booming economy.
Nestle CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe has "concern" over obesity
But it annoys me to no end when I hear someone like Nestle Chairman and CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe explain the reasons why his company has decided to get into the weight loss market.
"The rise of obesity and the resulting metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, is a major public health concern, not only in the U.S.A. but also the world over. The Jenny Craig acquisition puts us in a privileged position to help many of our consumers."
So you are concerned about obesity and metabolic syndrome conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, eh, Mr. Brabeck? Are you so worried about this "major public health concern" that you would be willing to hold an impromptu press conference on Monday explaining just how wrong your company has been about the damaging effects of all that sugar and high fructose corn syrup you have been loading into your products which have contributed to tens of millions of people becoming addicted to it so much so that now two out of every three Americans are overweight or obese? Are you THAT concerned, sir?
Here's a very simple challenge for you, Mr. Brabeck. If you want to take this "privileged position" you have been given to "help" so many of your customers who have gotten plump because of your company's health-destroying products, then at that same press conference on Monday you can announce a nationwide recall on every single sugar-laden Nestle product on the shelves of convenience stores, grocery stores, pharmacies and big-box retailers to show your genuine and serious commitment to improving the health of the American people.
Furthermore, you should also immediately begin working on new formulations for your products which will make them sugar-free and healthier for consumers to eat better and get their weight under control without the dangers associated with the blood sugar rollercoaster ride your customers currently experience when they eat your products. And that DOESN'T mean loading them up with the stomach-exploding sugar alcohol maltitol either! Whaddya say, Mr. Brabeck? Deal or no deal?
As singer Buddy Holly once crooned, "That'll be the day!" Wouldn't you agree, though, that it is the height of hypocrisy for someone like Brabeck to feign concern over obesity and health when the very company he is the head honcho over has been a major reason why obesity rates have gone up? Sugar is destroying America from within and NOBODY seems to care! Giving lip service to the problem is not offering a solution.
One of the brilliant political strategies that former President Bill Clinton often used throughout his two terms in office in the 1990s was to talk about a wide range of topics in his speeches and public appearances. Whether any actual legislation or bills in Congress were brought up or not, Clinton was always able to make the claim that he had done something on just about every issue that came up simply because he had talked about it. In actuality, though, very few of those issues he talked about ever had any meaningful legislation attached to them. In a nutshell: listen to what I say, not what I do.
Talk is cheap, though. Anybody can SAY they care about obesity and the related health problems that arise out of it. But it is not until there is an accompanying ACTION to those words that the sincerity and authenticity of that "concern" become apparent. Brabeck KNOWS this, but he hopes the American people will fall for his artificial "I care about you" dog and pony show. I'M NOT BUYING IT, THOUGH, BUDDY! You're gonna have to show me more than a lamenting demeanor to convince me you want to help people struggling with their weight.
Sure, there are people, like their famous spokeswoman Kirstie Alley, who have lost weight following the Jenny Craig diet plan. And if it works for people to lose weight and they are happy doing it for the rest of their lives, then knock yourself out. I won't be surprised to start seeing the Nestle logo show up on the Jenny Craig foods in the not-too-distant future as they attempt to remarket themselves as a company with a reputation for providing healthy products.
Why wouldn't they want to do this, too? You cannot underestimate the gullibility of people who are so desperate to lose weight that they will equate Nestle's affiliation with Jenny Craig in a positive manner regarding the entire Nestle product line. I'd love to know the psychology behind why this happens. Subway and Starbucks have a "healthy" image with consumers thanks to creative marketing efforts and now Nestle is hoping to do the same thing.
In fact, even before acquiring Jenny Craig this week, on the Nestle web site there is a Nutrition, Health and Wellness page where Nestle states they understand the "importance of providing information and products that contribute to solutions for growing health issues in America, such as obesity and diabetes."
Oh, yeah, I can REALLY see people losing a TON of weight eating Baby Ruth, Crunch, and 100 Grand candy bars all day! Sheez! What a big fat (literally!) joke this is and people are actually buying into this line of thinking. It goes back to the "I care because I talk about it" mentality. People need to start demanding MORE out of companies than simply yapping their gums on something as vitally important as diet and nutrition. The REAL solutions to these problems will only come from a thorough education about what is contributing to the skyrocking obesity numbers -- not the least of which is SUGAR!!!
Alas, there's too much money at stake in the diet market for truth like this to be disclosed to the public. As long as you slap "fat-free" on the front of the packaging, who cares that it has 45 grams of sugar in it?! I bought this lie during my failed low-fat diet in 1999 when I often bought products ONLY because they said "fat-free" on them (like these new candies being hawked by supermodel Heidi Klum). Stupid, stupid, stupid! All I did was fatten the wallets of these companies that hope to keep on fooling people into buying their products for many years to come.
It's a sick world we live in where companies are so hungry to make money that they will play on the oftentimes emotional issue of weight loss just to make a buck. I'm not against a company making quality health food products for consumers who want to lose weight. But what I am against are these companies that create garbage products under the guise of being "healthy" when in fact they are not. Low-fat diet foods like Lean Cuisine and Lean Pockets from Nestle are a prime example of this. Don't expect to lose weight just by eating these foods, especially if you are livin' la vida low-carb.
Make no mistake about it, this takeover of Jenny Craig by Nestle was "a strategic acquisition," as spokeswoman Laurie MacDonald put it in the story. They FULLY intend on making a boatload of money whether anyone ever loses a single pound on the program or not. They just don't care and that's the way it is. It really is all about their bottom line. Say it with me now: THAT'S JUST THE WAY IT IS!
One final note: At the end of the story there were some fascinating new statistics regarding the one in four people who are currently on a diet program. The numbers are from the NPD Group and show some incredibly exciting results for those of us who are supporters of the low-carb lifestyle.
It caught my eye when I saw the statistics of the percentage of people on South Beach and Atkins: 5 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively. While South Beach is still one of the hottest diets around, I was shocked to see the Atkins dieters on a nearly equal playing field as South Beach.
But I thought the Atkins diet was dead? How can tens of millions of people STILL be doing this allegedly unhealthy weight loss plan in 2006 after the constant barrage of bad publicity the media has been giving it? The answer is simple -- IT WORKS! And it works VERY well for a whole lotta people.
After losing 180 pounds in 2004 on this way of eating, I have been sharing my success on the Atkins diet with everyone I know through face-to-face contact and in the articles I have written at my blog. The media might be sick of low-carb, but it seems a lot of people have finally realized there's a lot more to it than just eating meat, eggs and cheese all day everyday. In my opinion, the best days are still ahead for low-carb living in America as more and more examples like me share how they too have lost weight and kept it off because of low-carb.
The NPD Group survey also found that nearly one-third (30 percent) of Americans are following their "own diet" as well as 37 percent are doing some other weight loss plans, which could be just about anything and very well might include people watching their sugar, white flour, processed foods and starchy vegetable intake or any of the other low-carb programs out there.
Using these numbers, it is probably safe to deduce that 15-20 percent of the people on a diet this year are livin' la vida low-carb. That's close to ONE OUT OF EVERY FIVE Americans! ON LOW-CARB! In the year of our Lord 2006! Somebody, stop the presses! This is BIG NEWS people and you should celebrate the fact that people are ignoring the negative and getting their weight and health under control the low-carb way. WOO HOO!
If you're livin' la vida low-carb, though, STAY AWAY FROM NESTLE PRODUCTS! :D