Published: Fri, February 16, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

American Heart Association commends McDonald's for offering healthier menu in kids' meals

American Heart Association commends McDonald's for offering healthier menu in kids' meals

As part of its Happy Meal overhaul, McDonald's is cutting the sugar content of chocolate milk and adding bottled water to the menu. The chain has also promised to continue promoting fresh fruits and vegetables as a Happy Meal side, building on the success of its baby carrots and "Cutie" tangerines.

The iconic United States burger chain has been pushing to make Happy Meals healthier amid mounting concern over the impact of its food on children.

McDonald's said Thursday that it wants all its Happy Meal options to have 600 calories or fewer and have less than 650 milligrams of sodium.

McDonald's Corp is removing cheeseburgers from its fabled Happy Meal menus as the fast food giant seeks to shed its junk food image amid a clamor for healthier living.

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The adjustment are the latest in a string of changes McDonald's has made over the years in an effort to make its choices for kids healthier. In 2011, it began including Apple Slices in all Happy Meals along with a reduced portion of fries.

Four years ago McDonald's cut soda from the Happy Meal menu and orders for it with the children's meal fell 14 per cent.

The Happy Meal has been targeted by parents who link it to childhood obesity.

Another goal is to make it easier to find Happy Meal nutrition info, or as McDonald's says, to "be transparent" with that info. Instead, more than half of Happy Meals ordered now include water, milk, or juice.

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Other restaurants have also overhauled their kids' menus.

"I just feel like if you are coming to McDonalds, you're not necessarily looking for the healthiest option", she said. Soda came off the menu in 2013. In fact, this announcement coincides with another interesting development: Researchers at the Sorbonne in Paris report in a British Medical Journal article that eating fast food may increase your risk of cancer. All combinations will comply with new nutritional criteria for added sugar and saturated fat, and 78 percent compliant with the new sodium criteria.

That's one of the changes McDonald's will be making to offer more nutritious food for kids.

The chain's US restaurants will continue to offer Happy Meal cheeseburgers on request, which nudges diners to change behavior. He acknowledges he would like to see more changes at McDonald's - such as offering customers in the USA the full array of fruits and vegetables that it sells in other parts of the world.

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