Fast-food chain McDonald’s has announced some major changes to the Happy Meal. By June of this year, all Happy Meals sold in the US will contain less than 600 calories. They will achieve this by shrinking the size of the French fries and using a less-sugary chocolate milk.
They are also dropping cheeseburgers from the Happy Meal altogether. They also promised fresh fruits and vegetables, “building on the success of its baby carrots and “Cutie” tangerines.”
They're doing some other things to reduce sodium and eliminate sugary drinks, and so on, but that’s as far as I can go. We’re talking about McDonald's here. If you're looking for fresh fruits and vegetables, why are you at McDonald's?
The Happy Meal became a thing in 1979. Right in the middle of my childhood. I have great memories of going to McDonald's. Would those memories have stuck with me if the meal consisted of fresh fruit and carrot sticks? Kind of doubt it.
It was a fun treat, maybe as a reward for being brave at the dentist. As a parent, McDonald's is great for a quick meal for the kids before heading for a night out.
I know, obesity is clearly a problem in the US. And it starts in childhood for many. One-third of US kids eat fast food each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The problem isn’t the cheeseburgers and fries, the problem is having the cheeseburger and fries every day. Maybe instead of turning McDonald's, and other restaurant chains, into something they're not, maybe we should learn to practice a little moderation?
What say you?