McDonald's Unveils Multi-year Effort to Tackle Obesity

WASHINGTON - McDonald's on Thursday unveiled an unprecedented balanced lifestyles platform to help address obesity in America. The multi-year plan, focusing on children and adults, includes new food choices -- such as the Go Active! Adult Happy Meal -- and outreach efforts related to physical activity and education.

"This is a complex issue that is affecting many people throughout the world," said Jim Skinner, vice chairman, McDonald's Corporation. "As a customer-driven organization, we are committed to playing a responsible and active role to be part of the solution. Our restaurants around the world are fully engaged in this important effort. We are proud of our accomplishments and remain committed to doing even more."

McDonald's aims to educate consumers on the importance of food/energy balance in their lives, focusing on the concept of calories in/calories out, touted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The company is volunteering to work with HHS to determine the most effective ways to communicate food nutrition information to consumers, both in restaurants and through broad-based consumer education. In the U.S., the company will work with health, nutrition and education experts to develop and implement a broad-based consumer education campaign.

As part of the balanced lifestyles plan, McDonald's will also encourage more than 600,000 U.S. restaurant employees to take the first steps in leading healthy, active lives by providing them with Stepometers and education materials to promote walking and well-being.

Among its new food choices and ordering options:

-- National launch of the first-ever "Go Active! Adult Happy Meal," which includes a Premium Salad, bottled water, and a Stepometer so consumers can track their daily steps.

-- National launch of McDonald's New Happy Meal Choices, which give parents and children the opportunity to mix and match new offerings, including Apple Dippers (fresh, peeled apple slices) served with a low-fat caramel dipping sauce, and new beverage choices including 100 percent pure apple juice, white and chocolate 1 Percent Milk Jugs, served in child-friendly containers.

McDonald's is also providing detailed nutrition information on trayliners and in-restaurant Nutrition Facts brochures.
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