McDonald’s UK eyes healthier Happy Meals

McDonald’s UK could include fresh fruit in all Happy Meals as standard, following moves in the US to make the children’s meal healthier.

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The US business has introduced a raft of measures designed to improve the nutrition of its Happy Meals, including adding fresh apple slices automatically, offering fat-free chocolate milk and reducing the portion size of chips.

A spokesperson for McDonald’s UK didn’t rule out a similar move in the UK and says: “Looking ahead we will learn from the moves made by our business in the US and continue to listen to our own customers to inform any future changes that we may make.”

The company has previously come under fire for using its Ronald McDonald brand character to advertise “junk food” to children. Health campaigners have also criticised the salt and saturated fat in the meals.

Jan Fields, president of McDonald’s USA says: “The commitments we’re announcing today will guide the future evolution of our menu and marketing.”

The spokeswoman adds that McDonald’s has significantly changed its Happy Meals in recent years by introducing fruit and vegetables, milk, water and orange juice as well as reformulating to reduce the salt, saturated fat and sugar.

The fast food chain already provides nutritional information on its packaging, trayliners and website and will display calorie information in all UK restaurants from September.

The US business has also pledged to raise awareness of healthy eating through marketing initiatives, including making sure that 100% of its children’s communications such as merchandising, advertising, digital activity and Happy Meal packaging promotes nutritional messages.

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