McDonald's: Happy Meals Will Be Healthier

Two things are going to be missing from this

McDonald's Corp.is putting its Happy Meals on a stricter health regimen.

It's as iconic as the golden arches, but McDonald's is making some major changes to its Happy Meal. But they aren't exactly going to turn unhealthy kids healthy. "If you're in a restaurant and your child smells french fries and sees the soda, it's very hard for kids to get the healthier choices", she said.

Portions of fries will also be halved in six-piece chicken McNugget Mighty Meals for older children. Customers who ask for cheeseburgers will still be able to get them.

McDonald's says with the forthcoming changes there will be, on average, a 20-per-cent reduction in calories and a 50-per-cent cut in added sugars.

The company is also looking at changing the options for the coveted toys that come with the meals.

The company is "reformulating chocolate milk to reduce the amount of added sugar", but the drink will be available at a customer's request. Chocolate milk will no longer be listed on the Happy Meal menu, but will be available at a customer's request, the company said. On Thursday, the chain said many of those markets are ahead of schedule in their progress on those efforts.

This new global commitment is particularly encouraging, said Penny Kris-Etherton, a distinguished professor of nutrition at Penn State University.

By June, 100 percent of Happy Meal menu combinations at restaurants across the U.S. will be 600 calories or less, and likewise comply with the new nutritional goals for added sugar and fat.

There will also be changes to other Happy Meals on the menu.

In December 2017, 52 percent of Happy Meals in the USA included water, milk or juice. This is huge considering 42 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 9 eat fast food on any given day in the US alone. In the Canadian market, McDonald's already meets local advertising pledges, and offers nutrition transparency related to Happy Meal bundles and all menu items.

McDonald's announced in January it plans to bring back its Archburger, which is made with fresh beef, according to the Deseret News. It says it plans to measure how much it sells and share best practices and results.

The American Heart Association hopes that McDonald's competitors will follow in their steps, according to a CNN report.

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