‘Pie hole’, colloquial for one’s mouth, is believed to have evolved in the USA in the 1980s from the British expression ‘cake hole’ (coined in the mid 20th century). Pie hole refers to a mouth, as in: Shut your pie hole or, in this case: Put less in your pie hole.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Walmart Pledges Healthy Plates: Serves Up Heart Attack Ad

On October 8, Walmart CEO pledged himself and his company to health and healthy food. That same week I receive a piece of promotional material completely invalidating the pledge. The ad promises to dish up simple, easy, heart attack-inducing, obesity-causing family meals.

Without further ado, here's the ad in question:


Here's Walmart's CEO talking about promoting healthy foods and health for children.
Here's Walmart's "pledge to you" that details their plan for 2015 to improve the healthfulness of the Walmart brand.

Don't get me wrong, Walmart has pledged some admirable changes, but backflipped in a matter of days.

So here's me calling you out, Mr Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO, would you feed your family these 14 meals for 14 days?

Several of these meals feature zero vegetables. They all, however, are chock full of highly processed, fat-filled, sodium saturated, fiber-failing foods.

Mr Doug McMillon, which of this smattering of 'Texas Toast', 'Pillsbury Biscuits', 'Ultimate Chicken Helper', 'Velveeta Mac and Cheese', 'Original Manwich', 'Mozzarella Sticks', 'Curly Fries' and 'Dinner Yeast Rolls' are healthy options for the families and children you care about? Which of these meals "allow millions of families to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, instead of relying on foods high in fat, sodium, and preservatives"?

As a dietitian and educator, I would not recommend my clients or students feed any of your meals to their families, and I certainly would not feed them to my own.

Let's get a closer look at that front page and the quote on it:
Allow me to point out the quote featured on the front page.

Let me simply draw your attention to the so-called 'Mom blogger' who states "simple meals make my life easier and my family happy". Hmm, here's a link to her page on the interwebs.

Mr Doug McMillon, CEO, can you explain why such a quote is being used to promote meals that are neither healthy, nor health promoting?

Mr CEO, could you please explain why your company is linking highly processed, unhealthy meal ideas with the notion of 'simplicity' and 'happiness'?

Mr CEO, there are lots of simple meals that are easy and happy. How about two 20 cent eggs scrambled with a slice of whole grain toast, a sprinkle of cheese, and side of lightly microwaved zucchini or peas? Is this an expensive or complex culinary concoction? Let me answer that... No.

If President Obama pledged today that he would bring 1,000 soldiers home from war, and then tomorrow coyly deployed 1,000 more and sent out a memo to every home in the US stating this... Would we call him a liar? Allow me to answer that... Yes we would.

So, Mr Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO, what does it make you if you pledge yourself and your company to health and healthy food, then send out the ad I received?

Simply, I am outraged and disgusted. Allow me to adapt your marketing quote to: "Walmart's simple meals do not make my client's lives easier and they don't make their families happy".

Mr CEO, I challenge you to restore my faith and trust in Walmart's quest to improve the health of Americans. Based on this ad, "Save Money, Live with Diabetes" is a more truthful catchphrase than "Save Money, Live better".

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