America is soon going to find out – since McDonald’s will soon be changing its Happy Meal menu. On par with First Lady Michelle Obama’s push against obesity, McDonald’s will soon be reducing the french fry portion by more than half and adding apples to every child’s meal.
New, Improved Happy Meals
McDonald’s has explained that the changes will come in September and that the new, improved Happy Meals will be available for all of the 14,000 U.S. restaurants by the end of the first quarter of 2012. McDonald’s, in addition, has promised to cut the sodium content by 15% in all its menus by 2015 and to cut sodium, added sugars, saturated fats and calories in its domestic meals by 2020.As Cindy Goody, the senior director of nutrition, explained on a webcast,
“We are going to be casting our gaze more closely on portion management as well as how we can introduce more food groups such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.”
Same Price, Less Food
The new and improved Happy Meal will make health conscious parents and others happy, if not pleasing the children involved. It will have 20% less calories than today’s most popular Happy Meal and will be under 600 calories total. Even though the portions are going to be made smaller, the prices will not change.Margo Wootan, the CSPI nutrition policy director called the McDonald’s changes a change for the better. As she said,”McDonald’s is an industry leader and Happy Meals have been copied by so many restaurants. Having them change the nutritional quality for the Happy Meal sets a standard for the industry.”
Others Jumping on the Bandwagon
Other fast food chains seem to be taking the hint as well, as Burger King Corp., DineEquity Inc’s IHOP and a dozen or so other restaurant chains have all recently backed an industry push to serve and publicize healthier meal options for kids.