Disappointing News for the Drive Thru Diet, aka Taco Bell Diet aka Fresco Diet Menu:

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DriveThruDiet Taco Bell Diet - Part II

According to Zeta Buzz, which reviews blogs, message boards and social media posts to measure buzz about a subject, Taco Bell’s  rating dropped six points after launching the DriveThruDiet campaign. The volume of posts increased 44%, the tone has become more negative.

Prior to launch, posts were 73% positive, better than chains like Subway, Wendy’s and Domino’s. Postings are now 67% positive, putting Taco Bell behind White Castle, Blimpie and Arby’s, which rank among the category’s lower tier.

“It seems like it’s backfiring in a big way,” said Al DiGuido, CEO of Zeta Interactive. “It seems like this execution has people really confused and now folks are lobbying in their own way to have it stopped.”

Taco Bell is serious about the program, (see my previous post) and has brought a registered dietician from the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers on board to lend credibility to the effort. “The reality is most Americans are on-the-go and will eat foods purchased through a drive-thru an average of 10 times a month,” said Ruth Carey, the Blazers’ nutritionist, whose role in the push is to offer consumers tips for healthier choices while eating at quick-service restaurants. Mr. Poetsch added, “It’s our hope that people who are looking to eat fewer calories and fat will hear about our new menu and Fresco-style foods and learn how they can fit them into their lifestyles.”

The ranking did go down from 73% positive to only 66% positive.  Words associated with the brand online were “love,” “delicious,” and “favorite.” Now three of the words most closely associated with Taco Bell and its campaign have been “fat,” “stop,” and “joke.”

So, rankings are still pretty good – not everyone has turned their back on Taco Bell’s Drive-Through-Diet. But then, Taco Bell did give out 1 million coupons good for a free Fresco taco.

I’m not bashing Taco Bell – I have personally enjoyed items from their Fresco menu for many years. I may go to Taco Bell once or twice a month, though – not once or twice a day. And I certainly don’t consider anything on their menu to be a smart approach to weight loss.

I think it is important to remember, regular and frequent intake of the high sodium content of these and other fast foods are harmful for us in many ways, and that includes contributing to the bone density loss of osteopenia and osteoporosis.

So, as it is with most things in life… enjoy, in moderation. As they say, this is not a weight-loss plan.

Dr. Martin McIntosh DC