McDonald's Move on Happy Meals an Important Step in the Right Direction
Statement of CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson
July 26, 2011
The improvements that McDonald’s has announced for its Happy Meals are an important step in the right direction. It’s good news that those meals will all have apple slices, smaller servings of fries, and fewer calories. While we wish that Happy Meals would include a bigger serving of fresh fruit or vegetable, including even a small serving—and without a sugary sauce—as a standard component is a real advance.
McDonald’s clearly has a lot more to do, for both kids and adults. But this move is a sign that the company recognizes that parents don’t want burgers, fries, and soda to be the default fast-food experience. And, surely, McDonald’s recognizes that policy makers are becoming increasingly interested in ensuring that healthier foods are marketed to children.
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The Center for Science in the Public Interest has pressed McDonald's and other companies to stop using trans fat, reduce sodium levels, and provide more-healthful options. In a lawsuit filed last year, CSPI represents a parent concerned about McDonald's use of toys to attract children to its Happy Meals.