Monday, October 27, 2008

Weight Control Chicken, Anyone?

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of some spending some time with the girls. Three of us went to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner and, most importantly, dessert. After a long wait, which was expected, we sat at the table browsing the book they call their menu. I love the food at The Cheesecake Factory, but the number of choices is always overwhelming. As I scanned the long lists of appetizers, pasta dishes, pizzas, and entrees, I noticed a dish called Weight Management Grilled Chicken™. I also saw an entire section of Weight Management Salads™. (Yes, they were actually trademarked names with the term Weight Management in them.)

What in the world?!?

First of all, who in their right mind is going to sit down in front of their dinner companions, scan an entire menu of dozens and dozens of delicious descriptions, and then order anything with Weight Management in the name? Really. Imagine sitting across from your new boyfriend and ordering the Weight Management Asian Chicken Salad™. What self-respecting woman would do such a thing?

With names like that, I have a hard time believing that these dishes are very popular, except maybe with the women (and men, I suppose) who want to give the impression that they are on a diet or watching their weight. Frankly, as someone who's done her fair share of dieting, the last thing I'd want to order is a dish with "weight management" in the name. I mean, ordering a dish called Weight Management Grilled Chicken says, "I know I'm a fat cow and I'd like to order the one dish other than a salad that shows you I am trying to do something to rectify the situation."

Using the term "weight management" in the name of a few salads and a single chicken dish is insulting and is obviously targeting people who are insecure with their bodies. Why not Healthy Fare or Light Choices, or something a little less obviously directed toward those of us with weight issues (thin or not)? Were all the good terms for "lower-calorie," "lower-fat" or "healthier" dishes already trademarked? They couldn't come up with anything more creative at the menu brainstorming meetings than Weight Management? For real?

I find it more believable that they were hoping to guilt us fatties (or self-perceived fatties) into choosing the weight management options. What do you think?


Reluctant Housewife said...

I absolutely agree. 100%. Terrible name. "Healthy choices" or something sounds so much better.

I hope you had some cheesecake! I guess they probably didn't have any "weight management" cheesecake, did they?

34 Years said...

I agree - what a crap name! Thumbs down for the creative/naming/whatever dept. that came up with that one.

Not to mention you're at the CHEESECAKE's depressing enough to diet, nevermind gazing at those desserts while pondering that awesome menu.

I've never waited less than an hour there. Crazy.

MommyK said...

I think they could have chosen a better name. I mean, the PR people know that people who eat out are trying to make healthier choices, particularly if they go on CalorieKing like me before eating out. But one chain has the "guiltless grill" and Outback has a healthier section. But Weight Management? And do they have a regular Asian Chicken Salad and a fat people Asian Chicken Salad? Why don't they just call that section "you're a fat cow and why don't you eat your napkin instead?"

Angie Ledbetter said...

Maybe the few Weight Management items cancel out the calories of the cheescakes?? :)

Louise said...

I love that you blogged this- LOL! SWITCH I love that you eat chicken, SWITCH, I love you :)

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

It always takes me FOREVER to order when we go to Cheesecake Factory (which, luckily is usually only once a year if that) because there is just too much to choose from.

I agree w/ you. Very poor choice of words in naming those items.

Ami said...

Reluctant - Nope, no Weight Management Cheesecake options. There was a low-carb one though.

34 Years - I know, totally lacking in the creativity department. ...They don't even list their nutritional info on the website, so who knows how healthy they really are anyway.

MommyK - You're right. There are plenty of other restaurants that have healthier choices without making you declare to the world that you're managing your weight. I know I'm sensitive when it comes to my body and my weight, but I seriously felt like that's what they were saying, "For those of you cows, we have the Weight Management options, but you should probably just drink water."

Angie - I doubt it, since apparently the only qualification for a Weight Management listing was that it was under 590 calories. That's a lot of calories for a Weight Management meal...makes you wonder how many are in their "regular" dishes.

Louise - I told you I would. SWITCH! I told you you're good. SWITCH! I told you not to eat that!
(I love you, too! :)

Crunchy - It's been years since I've been there, and that's part of the reason why. I just don't do well with a lot of options. :)

Thanks for weighing in, everyone! (Pun intended!) Keep those comments coming.

Mitzy said...

When I order dishes like that, I usually say I'll have this and point to the item on the menu. And then the waiter usually says something like, "Ok! You'll have the weight watchers portebello and steak!" Yeah, thanks.

Ami said...

Mitzy - Yeah, the waiter/waitress is usually clueless to our need to keep weight issues to ourselves...they're also usually skinny. :)

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