How Many Points in a 10 pc. Chicken McNugget

So this morning I planned on talking about my workout and an ab routine, and then I went and read this article and got all riled up. Now I have to talk about it with you guys.

Now, there have been some pretty odd brand pairings in today’s day, but this one is a bit of a shocker.

McDonald’s has signed a deal with Weight Watchers, branding some of their menu items as healthy and “Weight Watchers approved.”



It’s true. Basically, McDonald’s gets to further its ongoing quest to be rebranded as “healthy” by having Weight Watchers promote the fast-food chain to its members, and Weight Watchers gets to advertise by having its logo on  McDonald’s menu items – including fried foods like fillet o something like fish and chicken nuggets.


OK, so before I go into my thoughts, I’ll be up front and just let you know my opinion is that I don’t approve (if you hadn’t caught that already Winking smile.)

While I do understand that life gets busy and sometimes McDonald’s happens (heh) I just think of the two teaming up as a bit ridiculous.

My thoughts:

  • I understand that having nutritional information is helpful, but to support unhealthy, fried foods is just disappointing.
  • To list fried foods as like chicken nuggets as WW approved and “healthy” is contradictory to the direction weight watchers has been rebranding itself. What happened to moving from just points and portions to whole foods and a healthy diet?
  • Why can’t they even just listing the points for everything – with points per serving size –  on the menu? Just stamping something “weight watchers approved?” doesn’t seem like it’d be very helpful for dieters.


Let’s move on, shall we? Smile


I don’t know if my breakfast is WW approved, but I do know that it is very tasty and healthy:


The return of paleo cereal! Plus a HB egg to make it more filling. Before eating this morning’s breakfast I was at the gym and did this HIIT workout, and I’m a ravenous beast on HIIT workout days.

The other day, Lindsay asked how I make my cereal. Ask and you shall receive! There’s a few variations, as I originally got the idea from Christina who got the recipe from youtube, but this is how I make it:

Paleo Cereal (though not really because I add brown rice protein powder)

¼ c. raw walnuts
¼ c. raw pecans
~1 tbsp. chia seeds
Dash of sea salt
Hefty shake of cinnamon
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
½ grated apple
2 tbsp-ish unsweetened coconut flakes
1 c. unsweetened flax or almond milk

Mix all the ingredients except the milk together in a bowl, then pour the milk over top.

Such a yummy flavor combination.

Time to get ready for work!

What are your thoughts on Weight Watchers teaming up with McDonald’s?

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  1. My limited experience with WW is with members who had a budget of 21-25ish points per day – which I think would make an educated member still think twice about the filet-o-fish.

  2. Well, I think it’s smart to have the weight watcher’s points on the items so that people can be aware of how many points they are using. BUT, I also think it’s crazy that some of these things are being touted as “weight watcher’s approved”. And I totally agree with you- why can’t the put the points for everything instead of points for the serving size?? People don’t generally just eat 1 serving size!

  3. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Weight Watchers “approved” items at McDonald’s?! Are you freaking kidding me? That is all kinds of wrong.

    Yes, sometimes McD’s happens. I stop there occasionally. (Well, it used to be more frequently – now it’s occasionally!) But to be endorsed by Weight Watchers will be confusing to consumers and make those options seem “healthy.” They aren’t! Ugh.

  4. I find Weight Watchers a little odd. My mom does it and is successful with it, so I guess it works. But the concept of tracking “points” instead of just trying to eat healthy is what gets me.

  5. Interesting article! To me, I feel like WW promoting chicken nuggets, etc as “healthy” is where they went wrong. There will be times when you find yourself at McDonalds or other fast food restaurants and those on WW may want to know how many points are in their meals. I think knowing points could allow them to have a treat and stay on track for weight loss. Although it would obviously be best if they ordered the salad, or the low fat milk, or the apples. At least if they ordered an unhealthy item, perhaps they wouldn’t feel like a failure and give up living a healthy life! Fried McDonalds chicken nuggets though should never be considered a “health food!” :-)

  6. Oh dear lord!! When will people learn about nutrition?!?!? As a trainer, I’m honestly getting tired of telling people that, “no, white bread ISN’T good for you!”
    Makes me angry.

  7. First – I need to try that cereal! I am not a fan of boxed cereals but crave cereal every now and then.
    Now I will also refrain from a rant but that is ridiculous. I have a issue with many diet companies out there though – it seems to me the only focus on calories versus actual nutrition. Like you said what happened to consuming whole/plant based foods?! We are only as good as the food we feed our bodies right? I think many companies are focusing on quick, convenient foods that may be not too bad on the calories scale but lack any nutrition because this is what our society thinks we they hear the word “diet” – low calories. When in fact what they need to look at is teaching people how to eat and why what we put in our mouths directly effects our health and future. Okay that’s enough for now 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  8. I’d vote that yes, your breakfast seems to be WW approved 😀

    4 points! (totally made that up and have no idea what it means)

  9. Shame on Weight Watchers… lost a lot of respect for them by partnering up with McD’s. Just proves it’s all about the mighty dollar. Sad…

  10. I hear you on the rant. I did WW about 10 years ago while in college and found it helpful and successful. One thing I didn’t like about it was that it encouraged me to eat more processed foods (think 94%FF butter popcorn, frozen entrees etc) because the points were low & easy to calculate. Recently I thought they’ve taken a turn for the better — whole fruits & veggies are now “free”. This whole McDonalds branding thing detracts from that in my mind. My guess for a 10pc chicken nugget? At least 10 pts, which is about half of daily allowance. NOT worth it!

    • Oh yeah, WW has gotten SO much better in the past 10 years, I agree. Several of my clients are on ww, and are doing great!

  11. I could probably go on for paragraphs here but let me just paraphrase….It’s flippin’ ridiculous. WW should be ashamed of themselves for now aiding in Americans ignorance of healthy eating with this alliance. Healthy eating is not calorie (or points) restriction, it’s whole foods that are actually giving your body nutrients. No fish filet or chicken nuggets are doing that regardless of their “points.”
    This just perpetuates unhealthy tendencies and things like heart disease and all the other medical problems clogging up our health care system from poor diet choices and in turn making healthy people’s (ie: MINE) insurance rates sky rocket. And with that, I’ll stop.
    Fuming over here…

  12. I’m a WW member (lifetime) and though I don’t necessarily like that they’ve teamed up with McD’s, I don’t think it means the whole program is a fail. Keep in mind there are WW members who start out very overweight and have absolutely NO concept of healthy food, serving sizes, etc. With WW teaming up with McD’s, WW members can make informed choices about what they are eating, IF they choose to eat at McD’s. WW is not a restrictive diet, it is a lifestyle. WW encourages its members to eat balanced meals, including fruit and vegetables, whole grains, dairy and lean meats, and move more.

    Did you notice that the article was written in March 2010? I’m not sure about WW Australia, but in the US the Point system has changed in the last 6 months and the points are calculated differently now (meaning the 6.5pt McD’s meals are most likely no longer 6.5pts) and as far as I know WW in the US has NOT endorsed McD’s.

    It really is a great program, I promise. Please don’t let this one article change your view on a program that has helped a lot of people lose (and maintain!) weight loss and live a healthier, more active lifestyle.

    • Hi Ashley! Thanks for commenting – I was hoping I would hear from someone with a WW member’s perspective.

      I probably should have elaborated on my thoughts on WW itself. I’m not even upset with the fact the ww teamed up with McDonald’s. It’s mainly just the point in saying blatantly unhealthy foods are WW approved.
      I mentioned I thought WW was going in the direction of promoting healthy, whole foods, and it has gotten much better with that. Gone are the pre-packaged weight watchers meals and now they promote whole, healthy foods. I’ve actually had clients who were on the ww program who had much success with it.

      • I’m also currently a WW member, and was going to leave a very similar comment. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing.

        I also wanted to add that, while I cannot speak for all WW leaders and meetings, my leader does not really promote any specific foods or products. The message has always been that most WW endorsed foods and products, such as the SmartOnes, are for “in a pinch” situations and that we should not be relying on them. Instead we should be focusing on the power foods which are whole foods, fruits and vegetable, whole grains, lean meats, etc.

        Also, my understanding/ the way it has been explained to me is that a WW endorsement or approval isn’t necessarily an indication that a food item or product is healthy but rather is it a healthIER option.

  13. I do think it’s a weird cross-promotion. I think it’d be more fitting and beneficial if McDonald’s created a whole Weight Watchers menu with salads or wraps and healthier options seems to make more sense. I just wish that all menus across the board would post all their nutritional stats.

  14. “Filet o something like fish” sounds pretty darn accurate. This is such a bad idea.

  15. I miss chicken nuggets as a veg! But that’s really one of the only things I miss about McD’s, as the taste no longer appeals to me as much.

    I’ve never bought into the whole WW thing, as what has worked best for me is knowing when I’m full and the caloric content of foods and balancing healthy fats/carbs/protein as best I can. From there, I can decide what to eat, when to splurge.

  16. Ick! I HATE McDonalds anyway 😛 Gross.

  17. I couldn’t believe this article either when I first read it. Stupid…Stupid..STUPID!!!

  18. This is so wrong on so many levels, and makes me want to quit Weight Watchers! Isn’t the whole point of WW to make changes towards a healthy lifestyle? I don’t know what universe they live in- but in mine, that does NOT include Fast Food! Barf! I honestly can’t even remember the last time I ate fast food… at least 5 years? 10? The thought makes my stomach hurt.
    But- your cereal looks SO delicious! MUCH more appetizing than a filet-o-fish!

  19. I totally agree that it’s not right for WW to be endorsing McDonald’s menu items and as a lifetime member, I’m disappointed.
    These foods are not healthy and I think it just starts them on a slippery slope that will be hard to come back from. What’s next, co-branding with ice cream stores and listing them as fulfilling a dairy requirement? Or with Round Table and listing their pizzas as a complete meal with all four food groups? Seriously?

  20. Unfortunately, the average American household does consume a fair share of fast food. And a lot of people who start WW probably started off with very, very poor eating habits… And probably include Fast Food in their regular diet…

    Although I know these places are really ‘healthy’, part of me still thinks that it’s somewhat of a good idea for WW to team up with some of these popular chains and have them put points on fast food items. The point system simplifies reading nutritional facts (I recently read an article that starts that the majority of Americans don’t read nutritional facts!)

    So for people who are just changing their life around, I think seeing the point system on Fast Food places are a good starting point (simplification). They can think about ‘healthier’ options. Cause face it… Kicking the Fast Food habit is like any habit… Very hard to do it cold turkey… Hopefully these people can quickly realize that their points carry them a longer way with whole foods that aren’t processed…

  21. Wow, All fried food isn’t bad but i don’t think fast food places fit into that realm of frying food properly. Also when your trying to lose weight (like myself) its better to just set clear lines anyways. So i think the team up with WW is a bit sad.. Mc Donald’s food is all bleached,Processed and stripped of its original nutritional content (All Processed food?).

  22. I agree that it’s interesting yet disappointing. I guess the point of the points system is to allow for treats so long as you account for them. Even beers have points (Guinness is pretty low, I hear). But I totally get what you’re saying. I’d have to point the finger at WW for this one.

  23. I’m shocked. I can’t believe that Weight Watchers teamed up with McDonalds. This just proves that WW is a quick weight loss program and isn’t about teaching what foods are healthy and what are not. What a shame.

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