McDonald’s isn’t known as the healthiest restaurant in the country, but the fast food chain has been trying to trim America’s waistline. The restaurant, which has debuted salads and fruit options in the past, will now display calorie information on its drive-thru menus.
According to ABC, a new regulation could require major food chains to do the same as early as next year. McDonald’s is staying ahead of the game and will start using its calorie menus this Monday.
Jan Fields, president of McDonald’s USA, said:
“We want to voluntarily do this … We believe it will help educate customers. When it’s all said and done, the menu mix doesn’t change … But I do think people feel better knowing this information.”
Fields says that some cities already require calorie information on menus. In those cities, like New York and Philadelphia, Fields says that people’s ordering habits haven’t really changed.
But Margo Wootan, the director of nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, believes that the calorie information could slowly change people’s minds about what they eat.
“Obesity isn’t the kind of thing where one day you wake up and you’re fat. We gradually and slowly gain weight over time.”
Wootan also believes that restaurants may be pressured into changing their recipes in order to display lower calorie numbers. Wootan added:
“It can be embarrassing, or shocking, so they end up changing the way the product is made.”
And McDonald’s is about ready to unveil a few healthier options. Next year they’ll debut a new Egg McMuffin made with egg whites and a whole grain muffin. McDonald’s also recently unveiled its Favorites Under 400 campaign to highlight menu items under 400 calories.
But, even with McDonald’s taking steps in the right direction, the restaurant is still blamed for contributing to the obesity problem. USA Today notes that a Big Mac, a medium fry, and a 16-ounce Coca-Cola clocks in at 1,140 calories.
Do you eat at McDonald’s? What do you think about the restaurant’s new calorie menus?