Make us your home page
Instagram

McDonald's shifts its Happy Meal in healthy direction

Moving to silence childhood nutrition critics, McDonald's has revamped its popular Happy Meal to automatically include an order of apple slices and a downsized order of fries. The changes start hitting stores in September.

It's part of the fast-food giant's expanded commitment to grappling with childhood obesity by reducing sodium, saturated fat and portion sizes over the next four years and inserting healthy eating messages in all of its ads directed at children in 2012.

The new Happy Meal, which will still come with a toy, gives parents options of drinks, burgers or Chicken McNuggets, but the standard fries order has been shrunk more than in half to 100 calories, with five apple slices on the side.

"The apples are peeled because research says that's better for tiny hands and tiny tummies," said Cynthia Goody, the chain's senior nutritionist.

McDonald's also has tested raisins, carrots and pineapple as balanced meal options. The changes cut the Happy Meal calorie count 20 percent to less than 600. There's no sugar added or caramel dipping sauce for the apples unless the parent chooses. McDonald's has offered apples as a Happy Meal alternative since 2004, but only 11 percent of buyers picked them.

Michelle Obama, who is heading a nationwide effort to battle childhood obesity, said McDonald's decision to add apples to its Happy Meals is a positive step. The first lady recently joined major retailers, including Wal-Mart, to announce plans to open or expand more than 1,500 stores over the next five years in areas without easy access to fresh produce.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

McDonald's shifts its Happy Meal in healthy direction 07/26/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay cools down to more moderate home price increases

    Real Estate

    The increase in home prices throughout much of the Tampa Bay area is definitely slowing from the torrid rate a year ago.

    This home close to Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa sold for $3.055 million in August, making it Hillsborough County's top sale of the month. [Courtesy of Bredt Cobitz]
  2. With successful jewelry line, Durant High alum Carley Ochs enjoys 'incredible ride'

    Business

    BRANDON

    As a child Carley Ochs played dress up, draped in her grandmother's furs.

    Founder Carley Ochs poses for a portrait in her Ford Bronco at the Bourbon & Boweties warehouse in Brandon, Fla. on September 19, 2017. Ochs is a Durant High and Florida State University graduate.
  3. At Menorah Manor, planning paid off during Irma

    Nursing Homes

    ST. PETERSBURG — Doris Rosenblatt and her husband, Frank, have lived in Florida all of their lives, so they know about hurricanes.

    Raisa Collins, 9, far left, works on a craft project as Certified Nursing Assistant Shuntal Anthony holds Cassidy Merrill, 1, while pouring glue for Quanniyah Brownlee, 9, right, at Menorah Manor in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15. To help keep its patients safe during Hurricane Irma, Menorah Manor allowed employees to shelter their families and pets at the nursing home and also offered daycare through the week. The facility was able to accommodate and feed everyone who weathered the storm there. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  4. After Irma, nursing homes scramble to meet a hard deadline

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida's nursing homes and assisted-living facilities find themselves in an unfamiliar place this week — pushing back against Gov. Rick Scott's administration over new rules that require them to purchase generator capacity by Nov. 15 to keep their residents safe and comfortable in a power …

    In this Sept. 13 photo, a woman is transported from The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as patients are evacuated after a loss of air conditioning due to Hurricane Irma in Hollywood. Nine have died and patients had to be moved out of the facility, many of them on stretchers or in wheelchairs. Authorities have launched a criminal investigation to figure out what went wrong and who, if anyone, was to blame. [Amy Beth Bennett | South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP]
  5. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst

    Business

    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.