Monday, June 19, 2006

Are you surprised that Nestle would purchase Jenny Craig?

"Chocolate maker Nestle SA said Monday that it would purchase weight-loss-product maker Jenny Craig Inc. for $600 million," the Associated Press reported in a story datelined tomorrow (via Washington Post).

Surprising? I think not.

The biggest food and restaurant corporations would be quite worried if nutrition and wellness goals encouraged Americans to slow down a bit, cook more food at home, eat fewer meals in restaurants, and base their meals around fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, with meat as a secondary side dish. A healthy approach to food might imply less profitable "value added," especially for the mega-corporations.

Dieting, by contrast, is a gold mine. People who fall for fad diets spend millions on shakes and pre-packaged meals. And, paradoxically, there is no evidence that most dieters even reduce their food intake in the long run of 12 months or more.