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Happy Meal gets a makeover
July 26th, 2011
01:35 PM ET

Happy Meal gets a makeover

McDonald’s Happy Meals are getting their fat and calories trimmed, the fast food giant announced Tuesday.

The seemingly ubiquitous Happy Meals that have drawn the ire of health advocates and have been blamed for contributing to childhood obesity, will carry apple slices, reduced portion of french fries and a choice of beverage, including new fat-free chocolate milk and 1% low-fat white milk.

The core of the Happy Meal will remain the same as kids will still get fries (a smaller portion) and a choice of a hamburger, cheeseburger or chicken nuggets.   All beverages, including milk, fruit juice, water and soda, continue to be options for the Happy Meal.

The changes are scheduled to begin September with the hopes that all 14,000 restaurants will transition to the new Happy Meals by the first quarter of 2012.

The suggested retail price of the Happy Meal will not change, remaining between $2.99 and $3.49.

“By adding fruit in every Happy Meal, McDonald’s hopes to address a challenge children face in meeting the recommended daily consumption of produce,” according to the corporation’s statement.

The new Happy Meal with four pieces of McNuggets, apple slices, smaller French Fries and 1% milk has 410 calories, 19 grams of fat and 560 milligrams of sodium.

The makeover of the Happy Meal comes after cities and counties began considering Happy Meal toy bans over concerns about nutritional quality and marketing towards children. Happy Meal toys have been banned in San Francisco, and a New York council member  has proposed a similar measure this year.

Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University, said McDonald’s had to change its nutritional content because of political and community pressures.

“I see this as a positive development,” he said.  “The companies have recognized the pressures from the public, the community and parents to offer healthier choices for children.  They’ve begun to respond.   There have been criticisms of what they serve children for many years. In the past years, the pressure has intensified, the White House concern about childhood obesity is one source of that pressure.”

First lady Michelle Obama who has spearheaded a public health campaign to prevent childhood obesity commended McDonald's for making "progress today by providing more fruit and reducing the calories in its Happy Meals.  I've always said that everyone has a role to play in making America healthier, and these are positive steps toward the goal of solving the problem of childhood obesity."

McDonald’s promised continuing changes to the nutrition in its meals.

“McDonald’s has been engaging suppliers, government and non-government organizations to determine ways it could play a role in helping society address today’s obesity concerns,”  the company’s press release said.  “McDonald’s will develop additional fruit and vegetable choices and expects them to roll out over the next few years.”

The apples were not very popular in Happy Meals - only 11% of all kid's meal purchases included the fruit option.  Many customers were not aware of apples as an option, according to the company. They will become a default item on the children’s meal.

The fast food giant also pledged to reduce sodium 15% across the board in its menu by 2015.  It recently reduced sodium by 10% in most of its chicken offerings, including the Chicken McNuggets.

McDonald’s also vowed to reduce added sugars, saturated fat and calories through varied portion sizes, reformulations and innovations by 2020.

Brownell said he hoped that reduced sodium and apples in the menu would not give parents “permission to go to McDonalds more than they did before. That’s not a good development.”

It’s a good first step, but doesn’t solve the problem, according to a statement from Corporate Accountability International, which is a frequent critic of McDonald’s.  It released a statement saying that McDonald’s “deserves credit for not only taking these steps, but for acknowledging its role in today’s epidemic of diet-related disease in so doing.”

“McDonald’s is taking steps in the right direction, but we should be careful in heaping praise on corporations for simply reducing the scope of the problem they continue to create,” said Kelle Louaillier, executive director of Corporate Accountability International.  “Ultimately corporate responsibility is not about securing public relations for cleaning up your own mess, but for not creating the problem in the first place. In this case, that means stopping the marketing of junk food to kids.”

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soundoff (632 Responses)
  1. Jack

    I would like Michelle Obama to get the hell out of my nutritional business.
    Also seems to me that the only change that McDonald's is making is reducing the size of the fries, which saves them money and rips off the customers a bit more. They have offered milk and apples for a few years now.

    July 26, 2011 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jenny

      Apple slices have always been an option other than fries, so there was no way to get both fries and apple slices. This new meal will include both. It's a big difference, coming from someone who takes her kids to McDonald's.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:03 | Report abuse |
    • kazz

      Michelle Obama is not in your nutritional business.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:04 | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Jack – You're imagining things. Michelle Obama is not in your "nutritional business," whatever the heck that means.

      She merely is advocating - rightly so - that Americans' diets, in particular those of children, be improved. There's plenty of room for improvement there, because we as a society have a growing obesity problem.

      You of course are free to make whatever dietary choice you want. Nothing has changed. There's nothing to be afraid of.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
    • MC

      I bet you are obese. This is a step in the right direction. If you think it's too expensive for what you get (which it is) you shouldn't buy it. Simple. It is the price for connivance.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
    • T3chsupport

      Michelle Obama has just as much control of your nutrition as your veterinarian does about what pet you choose.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:11 | Report abuse |
    • Dina

      I could not agree more. ! the toy banning is ridiculous ! whether your having your meal at home and sitting or in the car its still the same.... your sitting typically regardless where your child will be. ! The toy option is a entertainment piece more then anything and it keeps the little ones occupied while in the car or even at home, its something new and it should be up to the parent if the child recieves that or not..... at their own convience!

      July 26, 2011 at 15:13 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan Callahan

      Were you this up in arms when Nancy Reagan was telling us to "just say no" to drugs, or when other first ladies encouraged things like reading or exercise. People like you are asses, you turn everything into some liberal campaign to take over the world. she's trying to stop kids from getting fat, oh the horror...she must be a socialist commie.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
    • Wideout#80

      You are probably fat. Being fat is not healthy, even though it seems most people out there are fat. This is a part of American culture we NEED to change. McDonalds is a part of the problem.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      Jack:

      They ADDED apples to the meal and reduced the size of the fries. That is indeed, a change, and is not ripping off the customer. The government AND Michelle Obama are not mandating what we eat, but they are trying to force these fast food chains to offer healthier meals for our kids. A good analogy would be that they ask the restaurants to use healthier ingredients in food prep. Obesity is a huge problem in the United States and anything we can do to address this problem in adults and in kids is a win for everybody! Open up your mind!!

      July 26, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
    • Scotty2Hottie

      EXACTLY JACK- its about money! They don't give a damn about anything else! BOTTOMLINE- cut where ever and when ever, and this makes a great opportunity to cover it up!

      MAC- Your a CLOWN!

      July 26, 2011 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      @Dina

      If your feeding your brood McDonald's and eating it in the car, you're lazy and a bad parent. If you think that "happy meals" don't include toys to get kids to want them your ignorant and or naive. Learn to cook, it's better for your kids and it doesn't take much time if you actually learn how.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
    • Germaine

      So Jack is obese and Dina has bratty children that she doesn't want to entertain herself. These are all steps in a positive direction. What bad could come of this? If you want your children to continue to have an extra fatty meal, then buy them some extra fries. Happy meals are meant to be a treat and, just like anything else, should have rationed portions that are appropriate for one meal time.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:23 | Report abuse |
    • jjs

      I wish everyone would quit complaining about Michelle Obama. It isn't her fault this country is filled with garbage food, yet she is trying to make a difference. When I see an overweight person, and not a few pounds overweight, I mean an extremely large person I can't help but to feel sad. That's no way to live. If more people had the sense to watch what they ate then the government wouldn't be putting their noses in what this county is consuming. Adults will eat what they want and are also shoving that same garbage into the mouths of their children. What's wrong with teaching children to make healthy choices?

      July 26, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      That food is so nasty anyway. All it is is salt and processed fats. Disgusting!

      July 26, 2011 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
    • LEmomma

      Don't be dissen Michelle!

      July 26, 2011 at 15:30 | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      If you factored in the costs tax payers bear for obesity related illnesses in this country, the dollar menu would turn into the fifty dollar menu.

      Fast food is indefensible.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
    • elizabeth

      Hamburgers in Canada are cdn beef and have less fat than american burgers. We have had healthier happy meals for some time. We are getting fatter too but not nearly as much as americans which I understand is 50% of the population. Obesity is killing the health care system – childhood onset diabetes, loss of self-esteem, high blood pressure, heart disease, knees and hips that can't support the weight. I'm glad Michelle Obama is being a good role for the country.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
    • Yourmother

      Jack, this is your mother. Stop being an idiot on the internet and get out of the basement and get a job. Stop talking bad about that nice black lady too. She doesn't care if you sit at home on your giant rump and eat Cheetoh's in my basement all day that I pay for. Now go get a job, chubbles. Love, Mommy

      July 26, 2011 at 15:36 | Report abuse |
    • Tiffany

      You have to be REALLY absurd to hate on Michelle Obama simply because she is addressing the nation's childhood obesity crisis. All she is doing is encouraging more healthy behavior, which is a good thing.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
    • USMC_0651

      anyone that takes their kids to mcdonalds should be ashamed. why feed your precious kids that garbage? my kids won't be eating mcdonalds.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
    • David

      Jack – Did you say the same thing when Nancy Reagan got involved in the anti-drug movement? What's wrong with a first lady speaking out on an issue of national importance? If one parent hears that and feeds their kid a little more healthily, it's worth it.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      Right on Jack, when you worship Michael Moore as some kind of god or saint, you have no right to tell others what they should be eating. Their rules and desires always apply to the commone folk, their elitist gods, public sector masters, are always exept.

      The hypocrisy, double standards, and elitism has been there since the days of Andrew Jackson, it is always consistant and prevelent in every generation of 'Crat.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
    • Emma

      Jack, I agree. No one should care about your nutrition. Just don't ask me to pay for your healthcare.

      July 26, 2011 at 22:50 | Report abuse |
  2. asgardshill

    There's going to be a lot of dried apple slices moldering in the floorboards of a lot of SUVs in 2012. Just sayin'.

    July 26, 2011 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kazz

      Not if you eat them.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
    • Sneakipete

      While I am delighted wtih the change that McD is making to the Happy Meal, but I don't understand why it takes a corporate decision to see that kids eat better. I have for a long time ordered the apple slices INSTEAD OF fries, and my kids didn't mind one bit. Half the time, the fries were cold or stale, especially if ordererd through the drive-thru, so we quit ordering them and ate apples instead. YUM-O!

      Now for all those parents who can't think outside of the box - know how to keep the apple slices off your floorboards? Hand them to the kids FIRST and have them eat them before they get the rest of the meal. It's easy, it's called parental decision making, and it also may help kids to consume fewer calories because the apples will raise their blood sugar and fill the up faster.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:23 | Report abuse |
    • USMC_0651

      if you guys were good parents you would not take your kids to mcdonalds. it is not mcdonalds fault that parents make bad choices and feed their kids unhealthy food. no one is forcing you to take your kids to mcdonalds. oh but i bet you are too lazy to cook or to cheap to buy some healthy food. probably both. i will never take my kids to mcdonalds.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:51 | Report abuse |
  3. john

    I have the feeling that Corporate Accountability International would have a problem with McDonalds if they sold a non-fat vegan happy meal with a biodegradable toy, simply because they're a corporation and out to make $. I thought Morgan Spurlock's super-size me was a complete fraud of a book/movie as he had already reached his conclusion before he began. This has since been proven as multiple people have gone on a one month McDonalds only diet and lost weight and been healthier than before by using Spurlock's same rules, but making healthier options and exercising. If you hate corporations just come out and say it, don't be a coward and try to hide your feelings with fraudulent reports that are set up to reach a predetermined conclusion.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Johnny

      Yawn. Go beat your dog, you'll feel better.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
  4. Celticladydar

    My kids grew up eating at McDonalds and neither one is obese. Moderation is important as well as keeping them active.
    I find it disturbing that some people would actually think it best or a child to be removed from the home and their parents because they are fat and their parents have having a tough time.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Pete

    I never go there because my kid won't eat burgers or fries because she hates the taste.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mommytoane

      How old is your kid? Does kid like Nuggets? Mine went through a non burger stage...but got into burgers around 5-6. Don't count all your chickens before they hatch.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
    • Bates

      Most people don't like the taste of grade D meat.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:08 | Report abuse |
    • Germaine

      Yeah, I'm not seeing the disadvantage here....

      July 26, 2011 at 15:25 | Report abuse |
  6. VALIER

    The meat they use shouldnt be feed to children.I grew up getting mcdonalds hear and there and i loved it.But now that im older and know the meat they use and the stuff thats injected into these products it's gross and is making people very sick,and there getting sicker younger and younger.Im not telling you what to feed your kids but research it and they say you would let your kids eat that.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. mommytoane

    Well, McDonalds sucks anyways. But....we're reducing portions...but not price. And still offering SODA as an option? Since when do kids require soda? IMO, Soda shouldn't be an option for kids.....period. Why fill our kids with artifical carbs, sugars and other crap when we can give them a healthy juice or milk instead. THAT would help with childhood obesity rather than trimming already too small portion sizes.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • food police

      Juice is not a healthy option. It is full of empty calories; in order to get the nutrients in one apple, a child would have to drink three glasses of 100% juice which means they are getting three times the sugar. The price remains the same even though the portion size of the fries is smaller becuase the apples will now come with every Happy Meal.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:23 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      My kids have never had soda with their McDonald's. It's always been milk, thank goodness.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
  8. runner920

    Happy Meals should be a treat, not a staple of the kids' diet. Shifting responsibility from the parents to the corporation is stupid. Besides, putting boring apple slices in there would make the meal a little less happy.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • food police

      Juice is not a healthy option. It is full of empty calories; in order to get the nutrients in one apple, a child would have to drink three glasses of 100% juice which means they are getting three times the sugar. The price remains the same even though the portion size of the fries is smaller becuase the apples will now come with every Happy Meal.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
  9. Parkerman

    Corporations should be able to sell whatever the consumer wants. I think its stupid, that we allow government to decide what we can buy and what we can't. I can buy my kid a steak and potatoes lunch at a local steak house all I want, but that happy meal has to be changed. Just buy the regular cheeseburger meal then and buy the toy seperately, lets put the accountablility back where it belongs, with the parents.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mr. Bones

      But The Government ™ didn't decide ANYTHING here! This is a corporation responding to the market! It's exactly what You People ™ want!

      Ah, but they're making something SMALLER. That's what you don't like, isn't it? It ain't MERICAN to make something even a little bit healthier, is it?

      July 26, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
  10. Amber

    This is a business's dream come true. Way less product, same inflated cost. News flash, kids don't like the food there anyhow.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • T3chsupport

      Like hell they don't!

      July 26, 2011 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
    • Sheepherder911

      Yea what kid have you been hangin out with? Harry Potter and the Voldemort Crew don't count!

      July 26, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
  11. Dryarae

    I agree with this. McDonald's controlls parents. They force them to feed their kids this food because it will make them money and they're a big, greedy corporation that doesn't care about anything but their revenue.

    /sarcasm

    Don't like the food? Don't buy it. Simple as that. Stop trying to regulate every damned thing you think you can.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nick

      McDonalds doesn't force parents to hop in their vehicles and drive to the restaurant, pull out their wallet and pay for a meal. Learn one simple word when it comes to children… NO!

      July 26, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      ...my replay was a little ambigious, I agree with you.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      They aren't regulating anything. They're responding to market pressure. That's normal for business. If everyone stops going, I'm sure they'll switch it back.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
  12. Terri

    If the government is so concerned then address the overall issue, processed foods. 77% of a person sodium intake comes form processed foods....people need to start making food for themselves and their children...I am not saying everything needs to be made from scratch but really are we so lazy that to use real veggies instead of canned is neccessary...look at the sodium/sugar content in fresh versus canned fruits and veggies. The sad truth is that if you shop for organic foods, low fat, low sodium, whatever the average cost on your grocery bill will be 20-30% more so maybe this is where the government needs to step in and find a way for poor quality trash foods to cost more and make healthy foods a more viable option. I think that we are getting so use to, as a society, making everything someone else fault that we spend more time blaming things than taking accountability and doing. If you are a parent be one...treats are ok but they are just that treats not nourishment.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sheepherder911

      Chinese Restaurants will be the first to DIE!!! No, in all seriousness, your right. With the economy in the sad shape its in though....

      July 26, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
  13. Janet

    I buy happy meals all the time. Not for a child, for myself. I loved the reduced size portion of the fries and the smaller burger. It's a treat once in a while. Now they're cutting the size of the fries and adding apples? I don't want apples, I want the small fries. I think it shoud be optional. Not all happy meals are for kids! I really don't need the government telling me what to do, eat or think, thank you very much.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sheepherder911

      Fail, Janet, just....You Fail!

      July 26, 2011 at 15:14 | Report abuse |
    • AC

      What did she fail at Sheepherder911?

      Trying to share her opinion? So an adult buys a Happy Meal for herself. What's the problem with that?
      Go rub one out and feel bad about making fun of someone.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:35 | Report abuse |
    • Kacey

      Janet, did you actually read the article? The government isn't telling you want to eat. That's actually your choice. The McDonald's corporation made the decision to change the servings in the Happy Meal to provide a healthy ingredient.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
    • Janet

      Sheepherder911 – Whatever...... I like a burger and fries every once in a while and try to reduce my portion size with an occasional Happy Meal and I'm a failure? Ok, I'm fine with that.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
    • Nubian King

      Janet gets fail sauce on her burgers. Just get a regular small fries and burger...then stop a t Toys R Us and pick up a toy if you *really* want one.

      July 26, 2011 at 16:11 | Report abuse |
    • Unhappy

      Nubian King FYI – a small burger, a small fry and a small drink costs a lot more than a Happy Meal. You can toss the idiotic toy! Learn how to add.

      July 26, 2011 at 16:28 | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      Just get an all-american meal (happy meal minus the toy). Small fries, hamburger or cheeseburger, and drink and I believe it is cheaper than a happy meal. Or at least it used to be – I haven't been in a Mickey D's since I turned vegetarian oh so many years ago.

      July 26, 2011 at 16:54 | Report abuse |
  14. Kathleen

    Why is it that most fast food places offer healthier choices for kids such as apple slices instead of fried, but do NOT offer the same healthy choices for adults? A side salad at McDonald's costs $1.00, the same as a small fry. Therefore, wouldn't McDonalds be saving their own money by allowing adults to choose a side salad rather than the medium/large fry?

    July 26, 2011 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. turbofire amie

    My 8 year old "Big Foot" eats a happy meal every now and then... she loves the apples, rarely finishes her fries in the first place and gets the coke and then nurses it for the day (hot coke, blech!!!!) From the time the kid gets up until I drag her back into the house she is MOVING... she rides her bike, she runs up and down the hill looking for friends. If no one else can play, she challenges me to different things. Moderation and motion, people. I am not worried about her weight, I do, however fear for the size of those feet!

    July 26, 2011 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Lori

    Yeah um pretty sure fried anything isn't good anybody. How dumb.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sheepherder911

      But so tasty! Where's my Crisco Fries?

      July 26, 2011 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
  17. Sheila

    The article says: "There have been criticisms of what McDonald's serve children for many years. "

    People, McDonald's doesn't serve children. Parents serve children. It makes no difference what's inside a Happy Meal. I mean, what's to stop a parent from buying their kid two Happy Meals? Or from buying the junk food separately? Or stopping off at Duncan Donuts or Cold Stone Creamery for dessert?

    Should those confections be altered as well?

    You have NO RIGHT to force parents to feed their children nutritious food. It is not the right or responsibility for any individual other than the parent to feed their child nutritious food. And further, the definition of what is nutritious also belongs to the parent, no one else.

    This entire debacle is a lesson in absurdity, in paternalism, in Nanny State irrationality and purest Totalitarianism. Learn REASON.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ben

      "You have NO RIGHT to force parents to feed their children nutritious food."

      I can't read that without imagining a thick hick accent...

      If taxpayers are having to subsidize the medical care for the obese children of bad parents...then yes they have a right, at the very least, to complain.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:53 | Report abuse |
  18. KC

    My son almost always asks for apples instead of fries...now there's both? Guess we'll be wasting some potatoes...

    July 26, 2011 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lee

      Bet those fries won't go to waste :p

      July 26, 2011 at 15:41 | Report abuse |
  19. Burbank

    I wonder what they put on those peeled apple slices to keep them fresh looking for the consumer? It's probably something pretty nasty. The kids will just throw that part in the trash anyway. Parents have no business buying their kids that stuff anyway, apple slices or not. It should be only for once in a while on a road trip or something. I won't even eat it myself! Ew!

    July 26, 2011 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Stephen

    ITS ALL MC'D's FAULT THAT THE KIDS ARE FAT. BS parents pull your heads from your backsides and figure out who is buying the fat filled meal for you couch potato child. Get your little fatties off their little butts, quit feeding them half a chicken and 4 biscuits and gravy for supper. My kids can eat full adult size meals at McD's because we dont let them veg out on the couch.

    As for government telling me what I can or cant eat P!$$OFF

    July 26, 2011 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sheepherder911

      I'm in complete agreement on the first bit! Part Two: Attack of the Conspiracy Theory...Ehh ya lost me. Never make a sequel to a good flick bro :)

      July 26, 2011 at 15:18 | Report abuse |
    • Sheila

      Here, here. I agree.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
  21. ssf

    McDonalds the blame? Get real...it starts with home, and the price of groceries. A loaf of cheap white bread is .99c, and multi grain is about $4. when feeding a family of 4 or larger on a budget, what do you think people are going to buy? Bologna around $2,turkey breat around $6, a cheap case of off brand pop $2,one carton of real juice, $4. Now do that across the board on all food items that a house with children consumes, and you do the math!!! People can't afford to eat healthy!

    July 26, 2011 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jess

      Yet the same ppl that are feeding their kids crap have cell phones, iphones, internet and cable...cut the cost of luxuries and put that $ in your grocery budget.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
    • Sheepherder911

      Not at one point did you put in "Big Mac with Fries" That's healthy right...

      July 26, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      A great point! Healthy food is more expensive. With 3 teenage boys, my grocery bill could send me into debt. Food Clubs help a lot!

      July 26, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
  22. amac

    I'm not happy about this.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sheila

      Best post ever. (And btw, me either.)

      July 26, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
  23. Nick

    Corporate Accountability International needs to get their head out of their butt. McDonalds has done nothing wrong. The people that should be criticized are the parents of obese children (children that are simply obese because the parents do not know how to say “no”). it is all about moderation, I ate Happy Meals and fast food as a child and I was never obese. Mothers and fathers need to get off their ass** and do some damn parenting. But o course, this is 2011… a time when no one is accountable for their own actions, it is always someone else’s fault. Pathetic.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Jess

    Start cooking simple, nutrious foods for your kids at home...don't rely on big fast food chains to feed your children.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Household 6

    @ asgardshill Amen my friend! Luckily I have one kid that will eat them, the other not so much. I'm not taking my kids to MCD's for their daily nutrition. Oh, and likewise, the SUV's of the "healthy" kids will have a ton of fries (well 1/2 a ton cuz they've cut the size down!") thrown on the ground because there doesn't look to be an option anymore-all with fries and apples!

    We have a guy that runs a very small lunch room at my job. He use to sell Cheeto's and decided that the MSG was not healthy and quit selling them. Really? Why does anyone have a say in my food? I'm so tired of people being in my business. I don't go to McDonalds for my daily nutrition. I go occasionally as a treat. I can decide for myself what I eat and where I get my fruit. I don't see fast food as the place I go for healthy stuff.

    I'm also tired of people trying to look out for the people who are to stupid to feed themselves and aren't getting enough "good food". Ok, survival of the fitest, if they are too stupid to eat a salad or a bannana once in a while, let em go!

    FWIW, I'm now going to get fatter becuase my 2 kids and I split the 2 small fries between the 3 of us and I'll be forced to buy a 3rd fry now!

    So, so stupid and wasetful. The apples will not be eaten, I guarantee it. I hope the apple rights activists start fighting this.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. NWNATIVE

    My kid-o has ONLY gotten happy meals w/ apples and white milk. This isn't new. Its my responsibility to teach that we make the best choices we can.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NWNATIVE

      and NOT Happy the fries are included. let me choose!

      July 26, 2011 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
  27. Jeff

    Hmm...protect our children from obesity, or protect our borders from illegal immigration or attack... At least this result doesn't undermine a parent's authority nor responsibility.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Asia

    UMMMM PARENTS PURCHASE THESE HAPPY MEALS!!!!! My child LOVES her happy meals, you can satisfy your child in MODERATION! She cannot have happy meals all the time. PARENTS NEED TO TAKE CONTROL!!!!!

    July 26, 2011 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Wideout#80

    Laughing out loud at Americans who are defending McDonalds. You are like crackheads defending your crack dealer. Being fat is not OK. Do something about it.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Christophorus Shabazz

      People defending McDonalds are the ones actually wanting people to "do something" about their own problems, and not expecting a corporation or government to do everything for them.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
    • Wideout#80

      Well we are talking about kids now, aren't we. It's our job to protect kids.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
    • Christophorus Shabazz

      Yeah, it's YOUR job to protect YOUR kids. Expecting the government or McDonalds to keep your kid safe from food is not doing YOUR job.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:35 | Report abuse |
    • Wideout#80

      So most parents in the USA are nutritionists now? Laughing out loud at that. Why don't they sell cocaine in high school vending machines as well. It's YOUR job as a parent to talk to your kids and tell them it's bad.

      Ridiculous.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:50 | Report abuse |
  30. Christophorus Shabazz

    McDonalds is not a health food store. They should not be blamed for kids being obese.

    The increase in the numbers of fat kids now vs. 15 years ago is that parents are doing a worse job raising their kids, the bad economy makes fast food an affordable staple, and the growing Hispanic population has a higher proportion of obese children.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lee

      It is cheaper to serve a home cooked meal than to eat a McDonald's every night. Fast food once a week is okay.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:32 | Report abuse |
  31. CPW

    OK stay with me here.

    Child – Mommy can I have a Big Mac
    Mother – Sure have 2 cause I love you.
    Doctors office – Ma'am your son is overweight.
    Mother – That dam*d McDonald's they made my son fat I'm suing you...

    OR

    Child – Mommy can I have a Big Mac
    Mother – No and stop crying. I'm responsible for your health until you'r 18.

    Moral of this stupid story – Parents take responsibly for what your child eats.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Jake

    Why is Micky D's blamed for child obesity?

    Hello??? PARENTS anyone?

    This country's lack of individual responsibility is revolting

    Excuse me while I go vomit.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Wideout#80

    Also, quit saying McDonalds is an occasional TREAT. A treat is something you give a dog. That mentality is why you are fat.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lee

      The key to any successful diet is to allow yourself an occasional treat.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
    • Wideout#80

      Just like the key to quitting smoking is to allow yourself an occasional cigarette? That's just moronic.

      .

      July 26, 2011 at 15:46 | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      Tobacco is an addictive drug – happy meals are not. Who's the moron?

      July 26, 2011 at 16:13 | Report abuse |
  34. Tim

    No one puts a gun to your head to eat at McDonald's. Don't like it, don't eat there...

    July 26, 2011 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. aldo1968

    My kids eat McDonalds about 3 times a week and are thin and active, but when at the doctor the other week for a routine physical he took a blood sample, out came cooking oil instead of blood.
    Is that bad?

    July 26, 2011 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. smrtaz

    I've got strange kids. I took my kids to Longhorn Steakhouse a few weeks ago. They chose their main dishes and then the waiter asked what they would like for their side dishes. They had to choose from stuff like french fries, mashed potatoes, and etc. Given those options, my 3 kids chose broccoli without any input from my wife or myself. The waiter was dumbfounded.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wideout#80

      Steak and broccoli is a great meal. Great job.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
    • wkdklwn

      that's great!!

      July 26, 2011 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
    • Kacey

      I just KNEW there'd be a parent on here with perfect kids.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
  37. Kells

    how about if Mcdonalds agrees to raise your kids, too, since they're apparently responsible for making them eat healthy options. I guess there isn't a drug for lazy house moms on their way to a play date.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Tracy

    This is nonsense. My sisters and I ate happy meals regularly as children and we were nothing near obese. We were healthy and active.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. aldo1968

    @ Kells
    "I guess there isn't a drug for lazy house moms on their way to a play date."
    Sure there is, it's called a bottle of red wine.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. jen

    I think parents need to take control of their kids and eating habits. It used to be you ate what was put in front of you and that was dinner.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jake

      ...and you ate all of it! Those were the days.

      July 26, 2011 at 16:07 | Report abuse |
  41. LEmomma

    Why is this important? I'll explain. . .

    McDonald's is a huge client for many large food manufactures in our country. When a food manufacturer has to retool and redesign for one large customer, all of their customers benefit from the new technology. Same goes for Walmart. If Walmart or McDonald's orders their manufacturers to make lower sodium chicken nuggets, many of the other chicken nuggets in the market become low sodium because it's the same people making them.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. wkdklwn

    What happened to holding parents accountable for what their kids eat? Mine gets McDonalds as a "special" treat when we take a road trip. It's not a weekly meal or monthly for that matter. We drive past one everyday near our home and if she asks, I tell her "No". She doesn't have a job or drive so the only who can obtain a Happy Meal is me and I just don't buy it. Besides, if my kid is going to eat something fattening, it should be something that tastes good, like ice cream, not some crappy, stamped out nugget. Regardless, parents are the final decision maker as to what their kids are eating.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Greg

    So....instead of getting a Happy Meal with McNuggets, Apples, and Milk....kids now get McNuggets, Apples, French Fries, and Milk....and this is healthier?

    July 26, 2011 at 15:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lee

      For those kids who would not choose the apple-only option. This way they get fewer fries than normal as well as nutritious apple slices.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:44 | Report abuse |
  44. MomOf4

    I have always had my kids choose apples over fries and get chocolate milk (no soda). It is just the rule when we go to McDonalds or any other fast food place. Now they are going to get the fries, so their fat and calorie count is going up!? I probably won't take them there any more. There are still healthy options at the other fast food places like Burger Kings apple fries and Wendy's mandarin oranges to REPLACE the fries. I like healthy replacements for the fries, not just downsizing them.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. claire.voyente

    Michelle Obama let her daughter Sasha eat cake batter oreo ice cream when they were in Panama City Beach. Hypocrite!!

    July 26, 2011 at 15:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. S-EX

    They should re-name it poison your kid meal!

    July 26, 2011 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Greg

      Maybe if you'd make your little dough-balls shut off the video games and the TV and go outside and play, they wouldn't have to worry about it. I grew up on Happy Meals (back in the days of French Fries and Coke in the meal) and we were all fine...the difference wasn't in what we ate, the difference was we actually burned off the calories we took in by playing outside...riding bikes, playing baseball/kickball/etc.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:42 | Report abuse |
  47. LKT

    Yea! Apples along with fries. This alone will save me a $1 plus tax. WHEN I take the kiddo to Mickey D's, we go to the one with a play place. The boy eats the meal and RUNS around for about an hour with other kids PLAYING. My boy is not fat, not sick all the time from the germs. Hand washing works. McDonalds isn't the Boogeyman many of you paint it to be. However, it was one of the WORST places I ever worked as a teen.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. erich2112x

    You can have a Big mac when you're 16. for now, finish up those apple slices so we can get the h-ll out of here.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. (Un)Happy Meal

    My kids will just throw the apples away anyway. No use.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • smrtaz

      Really? My kids love them. They come with a caramel dipping sauce, so I wouldn't exactly label them as "healthy".

      July 26, 2011 at 15:44 | Report abuse |
    • Ed Jones 53

      test

      July 26, 2011 at 16:09 | Report abuse |
    • Unhappy

      Probably for the best. The preservatives on those apples will kill you before a french fry!

      July 26, 2011 at 16:24 | Report abuse |
  50. Scott

    Some of you people simply astound me. Even if Michelle Obama was all up in our nutritional business (she's not), lord knows there are millions upon millions that need the guidance. Here's a stat from the CDC: Women aged 20-29 were nearly 29 pounds heavier on average in 2002 compared to 1960.

    And you don't think we need help? Wake up and smell the lard, people.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Greg

      In other words: "Please Government....save me from making bad choices". That's pathetic....

      July 26, 2011 at 15:43 | Report abuse |
    • smrtaz

      That's their problem. Not everyone else's.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:51 | Report abuse |
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.