In response to looming criticisms about enticing children to eat unhealthy foods, McDonald’s has decided to make a slight adjustment to it’s iconic Happy Meal. The amount of french fries will be halved and served with a fruit side, reducing the calorie content of the meal by about 20 percent. This move, according to the New York Times, will do little to quiet critics that feel that the appealing Happy Meal box and included toy are inviting kids to eat poorly. San Francisco recently banned restaurants from including toys with kids meals unless certain nutritional standards are met and a similar measure is pending in New York City.
McDonald’s is not the only chain to address this issue; Jack in the Box recently scrapped their kids meal toy, while Burger King joined more than a dozen other chains in backing an effort to promote healthier meals for young customers.
In addition to reducing the fries for it’s little ones, McDonald’s claims that by 2015 it will reduce the sodium content in all foods by fifteen percent and that the rest of the decade will be dedicated to adjusting sugars, saturated fats, calories and portion sizes.
McDonald’s surveyed parents about eliminating fries altogether, as well as the soda option and found that they were met with complaints. “That’s what we’ve really felt all along, that ultimately, it’s a parent decision to make about their child’s well-being,” said Dayna Proud, a company spokesperson.
Is this a step in the right direction? Or just a small tweak that will garner big press? Ultimately, does Mickey D’s have the responsibility of making sure that kids eat healthy? Or are parents who fail to recognize that fast food should be a treat, not a daily meal, the ones to blame? Speak!