McDonald’s Happy Meal Goes Healthy

McDonald’s announced this week that they are beginning to take steps to making the kids Happy Meals more nutritious. Here is what they are planning on doing:

  • Reducing the fries container to a 100 calorie portion
  • The automatic inclusion of apples without the caramel dip with a 20% decrease in calories and no sugar added
  • Reducing the sodium by 15%

In the press release from McDonald’s they state “McDonald’s will automatically include produce or a low-fat dairy option in every Happy Meal.” This leads me to think that the new fat-free chocolate milk offered or 1% low fat white milk would be automatically included in the new “healthier” Happy Meal. However, this is not the case. Kids still get to choose between milk and soda. And, it’s pretty obvious which one they will choose.

What kills me is the fact that again, no one is even addressing the real health issue here. Where is the food coming from, what kind of preservatives are in the food, what chemicals are in the food? Simply adding automatic apples (3 or 4 slices) to a meal and reducing the fries by 1 ounce isn’t something to be praised for. According to OrganicAuthority.comChicken only accounts for about 50% of a Chicken McNugget. The other 50% includes a large percentage of corn derivatives, sugars, leavening agents and other completely synthetic ingredients, meaning that parts of the nugget do not come from a field or farm at all. They come from a petroleum plant.” And let’s not forget the mystery meat called the hamburger. As Master Chef Anthony Bourdain describes it as “scraps that have to be whipped or extracted or winnowed out or rendered before they can put them into a patty mix. Mystery meat assembled from all over the world and put through one grinder – like one big, group grope in moist, body-temperature sheets – with strangers.” Not to mention that those patties taken from scraps of meat including the bone and fatty trimmings, are then washed with ammonia to kill the bacteria. “An enormous percentage of burger meat in this country now contains scraps from the outer part of the animal that were once deemed sufficiently ‘safe’ only for pet food,” says the Bourdain in his new book “Medium Raw” that warns people about why there’s so much E.coli in hamburger today.

This is the issue that needs to be addressed for our children’s health. Thanks, but no thanks – McDonald’s we aren’t buying it. Well maybe people are, but let’s wake up and see what’s really going on here. The Happy Meal is a far cry from healthy, even with this new plan.