McDonald’s announced this week that it is adding calorie information on restaurant and drive-through menus across the U.S., starting this month.
According to a press release from Kim Leslie, account associate with MSL Atlanta on behalf on McDonald’s, this is just another step to the restaurant chain’s journey toward helping customers and employees make informed nutrition choices.
“In addition to evolving our menu board labeling, we published our first-ever nutrition progress report and revealed several upcoming menu innovations 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,” Leslie said. “These are the latest in a series of actions to support our “’Commitments to Offer Improved Nutrition Choices,’ announced last summer.”
Leslie said this past summer, McDonald’s introduced a “Favorites Under 400” menu that highlights calorie information for some customers’ favorite foods and beverages as a way to help put calorie counts in better context. In addition, later this fall, about 750,000 McDonald’s and McDonald’s franchisee employees will be introduced to a voluntary nutrition e-learning program.
“The program will help build employees’ knowledge of calories, nutrition and McDonald’s menu offerings,” Leslie said, adding that 2013 menu tests are planned to make nutritious choices more convenient and accessible.
“We plan to test foods that would increase the number of wholesome choices on our US menu,” Leslie said. “The menu items being explored for 2013 include more recommended food groups.”
These are some of the additions that are being tested:
- More seasonal fruit and vegetables options
- Additional produce side options and grilled chicken choices for Happy Meals
- New breakfast choices, including an egg-white breakfast sandwich on an English muffin
According to the press release, the 2012 Progress Report that highlights McDonald’s USA Nutrition Journey focuses on the following three areas:
- Children’s well-being
- Nutritionally balanced menu choices
- Nutrition information and education
According to Huffington Post, this move by McDonald's is in keeping with President Barack Obama’s Health Care initiative that requires any restaurant that has more than 20 outlets to post calorie information. A timeline for this requirement hasn't yet been laid out, but McDonald's looks to be getting ahead of the game on this.