McDonald's slims down Happy Meal by banishing cheeseburgers - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

McDonald's slims down Happy Meal by banishing cheeseburgers

Posted: Updated:

By JOSEPH PISANI
AP Retail Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - McDonald's will soon banish cheeseburgers and chocolate milk from its Happy Meal menu in an effort to cut down on the calories, sodium, saturated fat and sugar that kids consume at its restaurants.

Diners can still ask specifically for cheeseburgers or chocolate milk with the kid's meal, but the fast-food company said that not listing them will reduce how often they're ordered. Since it removed soda from the Happy Meal menu four years ago, orders for it with Happy Meals have fallen 14 percent, the company said.

The Happy Meal has long been a target of health advocates and parents who link it to childhood obesity. McDonald's has made many tweaks over the years, including cutting the size of its fries and adding fruit. Most recently, it swapped out its apple juice for one that has less sugar.

It's been especially important as the company tries to shake its junk-food image, since McDonald's is known for getting more business from families with children relative to its traditional rivals, such as Burger King and Wendy's. The Happy Meal is a key part of that.

The latest changes will occur in the United States by June.

McDonald's said Thursday that it wants all its Happy Meal options to have 600 calories or fewer and have less than 650 milligrams of sodium. It also wants less than 10 percent of the meal's calories to come from saturated fat and added sugar.

The cheeseburger and chocolate milk didn't meet those new standards, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said. It is, however, working to cut sugar from the chocolate milk and believes it'll be back on the Happy Meal menu eventually - but doesn't know when that will happen.

There will be other tweaks: the six-piece chicken nugget Happy Meal will now come with a kids-sized fries instead of a small, lowering calories and sodium from the fries by half. And bottled water will be added as an option to the Happy Meal menu, but will cost extra. Currently, the Happy Meal menu lists milk, chocolate milk and apple juice. Soda does not cost extra.

For international restaurants, McDonald's Corp. said that at least half of the Happy Meal options available must meet its new nutritional guidelines. The company said some are adding new menu items to comply, like in Italy, where a grilled chicken sandwich was added to the Happy Meal menu.

_____

Contact Joseph Pisani at http://twitter.com/josephpisani

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • White House called toxins contamination 'PR nightmare'

    White House called toxins contamination 'PR nightmare'

    Thursday, August 16 2018 5:52 PM EDT2018-08-16 21:52:09 GMT
    (AP Photo/Matt Rourke). In this Aug. 1, 2018 photo, Lauren Woehr hands her 16-month-old daughter Caroline, held by her husband Dan McDowell, a cup filled with bottled water at their home in Horsham, Pa. In Horsham and surrounding towns in eastern Penns...(AP Photo/Matt Rourke). In this Aug. 1, 2018 photo, Lauren Woehr hands her 16-month-old daughter Caroline, held by her husband Dan McDowell, a cup filled with bottled water at their home in Horsham, Pa. In Horsham and surrounding towns in eastern Penns...
    Toxics used in nonstick cookware, fast-food wrappers and much more are turning up in public water systems in dozens of states.More >>
    Toxics used in nonstick cookware, fast-food wrappers and much more are turning up in public water systems in dozens of states.More >>
  • Outdoor fun dwindles as smoky haze hangs over California

    Outdoor fun dwindles as smoky haze hangs over California

    Tuesday, August 14 2018 1:03 PM EDT2018-08-14 17:03:07 GMT
    (AP Photo/Lorin Eleni Gill). The city of Berkeley, Calif., sits in a dull, smoky haze Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. The air quality has hit unhealthy levels in cities miles away as California's largest wildfire ever burns to the north.(AP Photo/Lorin Eleni Gill). The city of Berkeley, Calif., sits in a dull, smoky haze Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. The air quality has hit unhealthy levels in cities miles away as California's largest wildfire ever burns to the north.
    No major wildfires are burning near Sacramento but for two weeks a dull haze and the faint smell of smoke from distant blazes has blanketed California's capital region.More >>
    No major wildfires are burning near Sacramento but for two weeks a dull haze and the faint smell of smoke from distant blazes has blanketed California's capital region.More >>
  • Twitter CEO defends decision not to ban Alex Jones, Infowars

    Twitter CEO defends decision not to ban Alex Jones, Infowars

    Tuesday, August 14 2018 11:01 AM EDT2018-08-14 15:01:19 GMT
    (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File). FILE - In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016 file photo, Alex Jones, center right, is escorted by police out of a crowd of protesters outside the Republican convention in Cleveland. Facebook says it has taken down four pages b...(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File). FILE - In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016 file photo, Alex Jones, center right, is escorted by police out of a crowd of protesters outside the Republican convention in Cleveland. Facebook says it has taken down four pages b...
    Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defend company decision not to ban right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his "Infowars" show.More >>
    Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defend company decision not to ban right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his "Infowars" show.More >>
  • More NewsMore>>

  • Austintown Police say missing 11-year-old boy has been found

    Austintown Police say missing 11-year-old boy has been found

    Thursday, August 16 2018 11:35 PM EDT2018-08-17 03:35:55 GMT

    Austintown Police are now searching for 11-year old Christian Shuler, who is currently missing from a residence in Austintown. According to police, Christian was last seen wearing black shorts with teal on the sides, a black shirt with gold on the front, and he was not wearing any shoes. Officers are asking if you see him or have seen him, that you please call the Austintown Police Department immediately at (330) 799-9721.

    More >>

    Austintown Police are now searching for 11-year old Christian Shuler, who is currently missing from a residence in Austintown. According to police, Christian was last seen wearing black shorts with teal on the sides, a black shirt with gold on the front, and he was not wearing any shoes. Officers are asking if you see him or have seen him, that you please call the Austintown Police Department immediately at (330) 799-9721.

    More >>
  • PA Department of Corrections responds after employees from multiple prison's fall ill

    PA Department of Corrections responds after employees from multiple prison's fall ill

    Thursday, August 16 2018 11:05 PM EDT2018-08-17 03:05:07 GMT

    Yet another prison in Pennsylvania had an incident that sent staffers to the hospital. Butler County Prison the fourth corrections facility in the state to have an incident similar to the one in Mercer County last week. Our Pittsburgh affiliate said four officers and two nurses were exposed to an unknown substance, possible K2 synthetic marijuana. Prison staffers from Fayette County Prison, SCI Green, and SCI Mercer have all been treated after coming into contact with an unknown su...

    More >>

    Yet another prison in Pennsylvania had an incident that sent staffers to the hospital. Butler County Prison the fourth corrections facility in the state to have an incident similar to the one in Mercer County last week. Our Pittsburgh affiliate said four officers and two nurses were exposed to an unknown substance, possible K2 synthetic marijuana. Prison staffers from Fayette County Prison, SCI Green, and SCI Mercer have all been treated after coming into contact with an unknown su...

    More >>
  • Bus drivers train for evacuating special needs passengers

    Bus drivers train for evacuating special needs passengers

    Thursday, August 16 2018 8:54 PM EDT2018-08-17 00:54:49 GMT

    While all bus drivers are trained on how to evacuate kids during an emergency situation, for those drivers with special needs passengers evacuations can be even more challenging. Julie Bloom, the training coordinator, explains that many challenges present themselves due to the variety of disabilities, saying "you might have a kids who is ambulatory but does not have the ability to stand in one place by himself, or you might have a child who doesn't have the abilit...

    More >>

    While all bus drivers are trained on how to evacuate kids during an emergency situation, for those drivers with special needs passengers evacuations can be even more challenging. Julie Bloom, the training coordinator, explains that many challenges present themselves due to the variety of disabilities, saying "you might have a kids who is ambulatory but does not have the ability to stand in one place by himself, or you might have a child who doesn't have the abilit...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms