I received this press release and thought it was interesting and worth a share:
McDonald’s USA addING calorie counts to menu BOARDs IN PALM BEACH-TREASURE COAST,
innovatING with recommended food groups, publishes nutrition progress report
McDonald’s leadership takes further steps in journey toward helping customers, employees make informed nutrition choices
Calorie counts for mcdonald’s Happy Meal and all menu items are now readily available on menu boards in restaurants and drive throughs.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – (Sept. 14, 2012) –McDonald’s announced that, starting this month, the company will list calorie information on restaurant and drive-thru menus nationwide to further inform and help customers and employees make nutrition-minded choices.
In addition to menu board labeling, McDonald’s published its first-ever nutrition progress report [www.mcdonalds.com/changing] and revealed several 2013 menu innovations in test that will include recommended food groups from the United States Department of Agriculture’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reflected in the messages supporting MyPlate. These are the latest in a series of actions to support McDonald’s “Commitments to Offer Improved Nutrition Choices,” announced July 2011. The comprehensive plan aims to help customers and employees make informed nutrition choices whether visiting McDonald’s or eating elsewhere.
Menu Board Labeling to Inform Customer Choices
“At McDonald’s, we recognize customers want to know more about the nutrition content of the food and beverages they order,” said Joe Conrado, McDonald’s owner-operator and president of the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast group of owners. “As a company that has provided nutrition information for more than 30 years, we are pleased to add to the ways we make nutrition information available to our customers and employees in our local area and throughout the U.S.”
According to recent research by the International Food Information Council Foundation, about 15 percent of Americans accurately estimate the number of calories they need to maintain their weight. This past summer, McDonald’s introduced a “Favorites Under 400” menu that highlights the calorie information for some of customers’ favorite foods and beverages to help put calorie counts in better context.
Later this fall, the more than 4,000 McDonald’s employees in the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast area, among the 750,000 employees nationwide, working in U.S. McDonald’s and its franchisee restaurants will be introduced to a voluntary nutrition e-learning program.
“The transparency and availability of nutrition information enables consumers to make choices and can help caregivers teach and model decision-making behavior to children. These are life skills that will benefit them not only at McDonald’s but in every aspect of life,” said Judith C. Rodriguez, PhD, RD, LD/N, FADA, Chairperson and Professor, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Brooks College of Health.
McDonald’s also revealed menu items being explored for 2013 to include more recommended food groups:
- More seasonal fruit and vegetables options, such as blueberries and cucumbers, during peak season
- Additional produce side options and grilled chicken choices for Happy Meals
- The McWrap, inspired by McDonald’s Europe, features fresh vegetables and is available in three flavors – Chicken & Bacon, Sweet Chili Chicken, and Chicken & Ranch – starting at 350 calories
- New breakfast choices, including an egg-white breakfast sandwich on an English muffin made with 8 grams of whole grain
McDonald’s also released its first nutrition report today, “McDonald’s USA Nutrition Journey: 2012 Progress Report.” Here are some highlights:
Children’s Well-Being – McDonald’s new Happy Meal launched in March 2012 and now automatically includes Apple Slices, and a kids-size fry. Fat-free chocolate milk was also added as an additional beverage choice. More than 90 percent of McDonald’s paid national Happy Meal television advertising since March 2012 has included a positive nutrition and/or active lifestyle message for kids. Additional communication vehicles like the Happy Meal box and website also now provide kids and families with messages on nutrition or being active. McDonald’s advertising has focused on building kids’ enthusiasm for fruits and other choices that meet the nutritional criteria outlined in the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) Food Pledge.
- Nutritionally Balanced Menu Choices – The new Happy Meal is anticipated to introduce about 100 million cups of apples annually into the diets of our youngest customers. Since February 2011, McDonald’s has reduced sodium across its national core menu of food choices by more than 11 percent. In total, 38 of McDonald’s 75 total national food items had a reduction in sodium, ranging from 1 percent to 35 percent. In addition, each of McDonald’s oatmeal provides two servings of whole grain. Since the introduction of the oatmeal line in January 2011, the company sold more
than 427 million servings of whole grains.
- Nutrition Information and Education – More than 290,000 people have downloaded McDonald’s new mobile application that gives customers access to nutritional information.
“We’ve made a lot of good progress toward our nutrition commitments and we recognize there’s still more to do,” said Senior Director of Nutrition for McDonald’s USA Dr. Cindy Goody, PhD, MBA, RD. “As we continue to accelerate our nutrition-related efforts, we’re dedicated to offering balanced menu options and making nutrition information accessible to employees of McDonald’s, its franchisees and today’s busy customers.”