McDonald's commits to nutrition changes

McDonald's USA President Jan Fields said that, starting this week, the company will list calorie information on restaurant and drive-thru menus nationwide to further inform and help customers and employees make nutrition-minded choices, reports QSR.


Plans are that McDonald's will test more wholesome food choices on its menu. In 2013, the company will include: More seasonal fruit and vegetables options, such as blueberries and cucumbers, during peak seasons; Additional produce side options and grilled chicken choices for Happy Meals; The McWrap, inspired by McDonald's Europe, features fresh vegetables and is available in three flavors -- Chicken & Bacon, Sweet Chili Chicken, and Chicken & Ranch -- starting at 350 calories; New breakfast choices, including an egg-white breakfast sandwich on an English muffin made with 8g of whole grain.


"McDonald's USA Nutrition Journey: 2012 Progress Report," which measures McDonald's nutrition performance over the past year, an independent examination by. Ernst & Young LLP of McDonald's progress against its commitment goals, focussed on three key nutrition commitments.


Children's Well-Being -- McDonald's new Happy Meal launched in March 2012 now automatically includes Apple Slices and a kids-size fry. Fat-free chocolate milk was added as an additional beverage choice. More than 90 percent of McDonald's paid national Happy Meal TV ads since March 2012 include a positive nutrition and/or active lifestyle message for kids. Additional communication vehicles like the Happy Meal box and website now provide kids and families with messages on nutrition or being active. And McDonald's advertising has focused on building kids' enthusiasm for fruits and other choices that meet the nutritional criteria outlined in the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) Food Pledge.


Nutritionally Balanced Menu Choices -- The new Happy Meal is anticipated to introduce about 100 million cups of apples annually into the diets of McDonald's youngest customers. Since February 2011, McDonald's has reduced sodium across its national core menu of food choices by more than 11 percent. In total, more than half of McDonald's national food items had a reduction in sodium, ranging from 1 percent to 35 percent. In addition, each of McDonald's oatmeal provides two servings of whole grain. Since the introduction of the oatmeal line in January 2011, the company has served more than 427 million servings of whole grain.


Nutrition Information and Education -- More than 290,000 people have downloaded McDonald's new mobile app that gives customers access to nutritional information.


"We've made a lot of good progress toward our nutrition commitments and we recognize there's still more to do," says Senior Director of Nutrition for McDonald's USA Dr. Cindy Goody, Ph.D., MBA, RD. "As we continue to accelerate our nutrition-related efforts, we're dedicated to offering balanced menu options and making nutrition information accessible to employees of McDonald's and its franchisees, as well as today's busy customers."