Last week McDonald’s, the largest quick-serve restaurant in the United States, announced that it would join the list of a small number of restaurants that provide calorie information on their menus.
McDonald’s stated in their press release that labeling of menus was a part of an overall nutrition plan. In addition to the inclusion of calories on the menus, something that will start this week, in 2013 McDonald’s will test foods that will increase the number of wholesome choices on their menus.
Using the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans as a guide, McDonalds’ will include more recommended food groups in the following ways:
- More seasonal fruit and vegetable options
- Additional produce side options and grilled chicken choices for Happy Meals
- Introduce the McWrap, a popular item in Europe, featurimg more fresh vegetables and available in three flavors—Chicken and Bacon, Sweet Chili Chicken and Chicken and Ranch. Each wrap starts at 350 calories
- New breakfast choices including an egg-white breakfast sandwich on an English muffin made with 8 grams of whole grain.
These plans follow the introduction this past summer of “Favorites Under 400” a menu that highlights information on customer favorite foods and beverages.
Last March the Happy Meal was switched to automatically include apple slices and a kids-size fry. Fat-free chocolate milk was added as a beverage option.
McDonald’s reports that since February of 2012 they have reduced sodium across their core menu by more than 11 percent and, with the introduction of oatmeal, they have served more than 427 million servings of whole grain.
These changes are positive steps to help Americans begin to change their eating habits but the next step is for customers to check the calorie information before ordering, visit the web page to learn about the total nutrition plan and use the mobile app that provides nutrition information for menu items.
Arming yourself with the information is an important step but taking action is what gets the job done.
Will seeing the calorie count at McDonald's change how you order?