McDonald’s will deemphasize soda for kids, promote salad
McDonald’s is attempting to make a move toward healthier eating habits for its customers with a new plan that will focus on more fruits and vegetables on the menu. The fast food chain announced Thursday that it will stop promoting soda on its kids menu and offer healthier side items in its combo meals.
McDonald’s will list water, milk or juice as offered drinks with its Happy Meals on the menu board and in advertising. Soda will continue to be available, it just won’t be promoted. The Happy Meals will also be packaged in designs that will encourage children to want to eat vegetables and fruits and drink reduced-fat dairy and water.
McDonald’s worked with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a Clinton Foundation, to develop the healthier plan and made an official announcement at the Clinton Global Initiative Commitment meeting.
“Following years of pressure by parents, nutritionists and health advocates, McDonald’s has finally conceded that young children should not be washing down their Happy Meal with a sugary, calorie-laden soda,” said Harold Goldstein, DrPH Executive Director at California Center for Public Health Advocacy, in a statement. “Their decision to make water, milk or juice the default option in kids’ meals is a responsible step in the right direction.”
For the adults, customers will be able to choose a side salad, fruit or vegetable substitute for the regular French fries in combination value meals.
The changes are slated to take place in 20 of the restaurant’s largest markets by 2020. Those markets include the United States, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.
“If we want to curb the catastrophic economic and health implications of obesity across the world we need more companies to follow McDonald’s lead and to step up to the plate and make meaningful changes,” said former President Clinton at the meeting. “I applaud them for doing it.”
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