Monday 17 December 2018

McDonald's to remove cheeseburgers from happy meal menus in US in bid to reduce calorie count

McDonald's
McDonald's

Sabrina Barr

McDonald’s has announced plans to reduce the amount of calories in their Happy Meals in the US - by removing cheeseburgers from the menu.

Fast food chains are a big money-maker in the US, with a recent study revealing that 80 per cent of American adults eat fast food at least once a week.

However, the tides are shifting. More people are attempting to lead healthier lifestyles and it seems that McDonald’s is following the trend.

Today, McDonald’s has announced plans to reconfigure the menu for their Happy Meals in the US in order to reduce their calorie content to 600 or less.

Cheeseburgers will be removed from the menu, the sugar content of the chocolate milk will be reduced and bottled water will appear as an option.

“We hope these actions will bring more choices to consumers and uniquely benefit millions of families, which are important steps as we build a better McDonalds,” chief executive officer Steve Easterbrook said in a statement reported by Bloomberg.

Although cheeseburgers will no longer feature on the Happy Meal menu, they can still be requested by customers.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention states that the percentage of children and adolescents afflicted with obesity in the US has increased by as much as three times since the 1970s.

McDonald’s plans on reducing the calorie content of at least 50 per cent of its Happy Meals in 120 markets by the end of 2022.

Although the cheeseburger is still available on the Happy Meal menu in the UK, a representative from McDonald’s has assured The UK Independent that all Happy Meals in the UK are already 510 calories or less.

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McDonald’s UK and Ireland has partnered with Mumsnet to add a new item to the Happy Meal menu, which is due to launch later this year.

The collaboration comes after parents on the parenting network requested more options on the menu, including a food item that wasn’t fried.

“Mumsnet users tend to be pretty focussed on providing healthy food and snacks for their children, so the opportunity to help McDonald’s develop a new Happy Meal option was too good to pass up,” said Carrie Longton, co-founder of Mumsnet.

“We’ve taken big steps to improve our Happy Meal in recent years and reducing saturated fat, salt and sugar content across our menu remains a priority,” said Emily Somers, vice president of food and marketing at McDonald’s UK.

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