After helping you put it on, now they want to help you take it off.

Yum Brands Inc. which owns the Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, Long John Silver’s and A&W chains is offering free, four-week memberships at Bally Total Fitness Holding Corp. clubs in January to people bent on indulging without bulging.

The timing of the promotion coincides with the ritual of making a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. It also comes as many fast-food chains work to blunt the negative publicity received in recent years from obesity-related lawsuits and the documentary film “Super Size Me.”

One health expert viewed the health club offer as a smart public relations stunt.

“The fast-food industry in most people’s minds is equated with being fat and sick,” said John McDougall, an advisory board member with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. “What this does is provide good PR because it associates these restaurants with exercise and the concept of good health.”

From L.A. Times