Call it New Year’s marketing masquerading as health news.

Restaurant.com reports the results of a survey by Applebee’s about food related New Year’s resolutions. Undertaken on behalf of the chain, it says 9 of 10 people break resolutions to eat healthier, with the most popular reason being “I like to eat what I want, when I want.”
The item goes on to tout how this is possible with Applebee’s Under 550 menu. However, back at corporate HQ, the survey likely confirmed that this casual theme dinner house is on the right track from a business perspective: largely ignore the obesity crisis because you can make a lot more money selling mostly high fat-salt-sugar combinations masquerading as meals.
There are exactly six entrees on the Under 550 menu, and they even carry Weight Watchers Points Plus tracking values. But they are salty and incredibly unhealthy for that reason alone. They range in sodium content from 1,520 mg to 3,180 mg — despite the fact that 1,500 mg a day is considered the maximum any adult over 50 should eat.
And then there is that asterisk about how variations in preparation can increase or decrease the nutritional values. Having eaten their Weight Watchers entrees before, I’m pretty sure it’s the former rather than the latter. The food was overly shiny, and the portions easily compared with a typical Applebee’s meal. Indeed, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2011 found errors of 100 calories or more about 19 percent of the time.
Nice try Applebee’s. How about a real New Year’s resolution from you?
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