Fries or fruit with your value meal?
McDonald’s Corporation will step up the fight on obesity by offering healthy options in place of french fries in its value meals. Fruit, a side salad or vegetables are among the new choices to be on the menu by 2020. In addition, the fast food giant said it will promote and market only water, milk and juice as the beverages in its “Happy Meals” for children.
Obesity is an epidemic that cannot be ignored. Government pressure toward the food industry is motivating restaurants to slim down their offerings and become transparent with meal calorie counts and fat content on menus.
While some health advocates view McDonald’s as slow to adopt healthier practices, the corporation voluntarily began listing calorie information on menus ahead of a national rule that would require larger restaurant chains to make such disclosures.
“It’s unrealistic to expect youngsters to always choose healthy foods when tastier, fattier options are offered,” says Dr. Jennifer DeBruler, board certified in obesity medicine at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill. “Fast food chains are acting responsibly by joining the war on obesity.”
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, more than one-third of Americans are obese, and about 10 percent of the nation’s health care bill is tied to obesity-related illnesses, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.
This movement was developed with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which was created by the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association, to increase customers’ access to fruit and vegetables and help families and children to make informed eating and lifestyle choices.
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