A screenshot of a Google search for “diet” with the Diet Filter plugin activated.
Screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET
This time of year, it seems the Internet is equally full of articles telling you how to succeed on your new diet and those telling you why your resolution to slim down in the new year will never work. In short, there’s just way too much mention of the word “diet” on the Net.
Strangely enough, Lean Cuisine, a company that makes food to help you slim down, released a Chrome browser plug-in this week that will blot out the word “diet” on any site you surf. It’s called the #WeighThis Diet Filter, and you can download it here.
As to why a company concerned with helping people lose weight would want them to stop seeing the word “diet,” a company representative had this to tell us:
“As a modern eating brand and ally for women’s wellness, Lean Cuisine has shifted away from a ‘diet’ brand and toward one that inspires overall well-being. (The company is) moving away from its antiquated relationship with dieting to become an advocate for healthy lifestyles, inspiring women everywhere to weigh themselves differently and begin authentic discussions about weight and value perception across social media.”
So, it’s pretty much an advertising gimmick. But it’s kind of a fun one, especially if you’re just fed up (see what I did there?) with the New Year’s diet talk flowing as freely as ice cream from a soft-serve machine.
Speaking of gimmicks, when you go to the #WeighThis Diet Filter page, you’ll see something called the #WeighThis Diet Filter for TV, which counts the times the word “diet” is spoken and bleeps it out when it happens. From that, and the video explaining how it helps you block the word on TV, you might assume you could order such a device. You can’t.
“The TV filters were created as experimental technology to see how filtering out diet messaging helps us focus on the things that really matter,” the Lean Cuisine rep said. “Each one is a 3D-printed prototype not able to be mass-produced.”
Oh well. You’ll just have to plug your ears with your fingers instead when the nasty D word appears on TV. Kind of old-school, but you got to do what you got to do to enjoy those Chips Ahoys guilt free, no?
In addition to helping rid your computer screen of a not-very-well-liked word, the Diet Filter campaign is also donating cash to an organization called Girls Leadership. While the campaign page says that “when you filter the word ‘diet’ we’ll give back to Girls Leadership,” there actually is no link between the number of times the word is filtered and the cash the company is donating. It’s making a $25,000 flat-fee donation (about £17,220, AU$ 35,950) to the group, which, of course, still isn’t small potatoes (sorry).
According to Lean Cuisine, the browser plug-in has blotted out the word “diet” more than 650,000 times so far this year. That’s a lot of guilt-free surfing-while-eating, no?