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McDonald's USA President Jan Fields announced today that, starting next week, the company will list calorie information on restaurant and drive-thru menus nationwide.
Additionally, McDonald's published its first nutrition progress report and revealed several 2013 menu innovations in test that will include recommended food groups from the United States Department of Agriculture's 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
McDonald's plans to test foods that would increase the number of wholesome choices on its menu, including:
"At McDonald's, we recognize customers want to know more about the nutrition content of the food and beverages they order," Fields said. "As a company that has provided nutrition information for more than 30 years, we are pleased to add to the ways we make nutrition information available to our customers and employees."
These are the latest in a series of actions to support McDonald's "Commitments to Offer Improved Nutrition Choices," announced July 2011. The comprehensive plan aims to help customers and employees make informed nutrition choices whether visiting McDonald's or eating elsewhere.
Menu labeling, nutrition e-learning program
According to recent research by the International Food Information Council Foundation, about 15 percent of Americans accurately estimate the number of calories they need to maintain their weight. In July, McDonald's introduced a "Favorites Under 400" menu that highlights the calorie information for some of customers' favorite foods and beverages to help put calorie counts in better context.
Later this fall, approximately 750,000 employees working in McDonald's and franchisee restaurants in the U.S. will be introduced to a voluntary nutrition e-learning program. The program will help build employees' knowledge of calories, nutrition and McDonald's menu offerings.
These programs follow the launch of McDonald's mobile app late last year that provides customers with on-the-go nutrition information, as well as an updated online meal-builder that offers customizable information.
"McDonald's initiatives to provide apple slices and a fat-free milk option in the Happy Meals are aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, as is the goal to reduce sodium, added sugars and saturated fats in foods," said Judith C. Rodriguez, PhD, RD, LD/N, FADA, chairperson and professor, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Brooks College of Health. "The transparency and availability of nutrition information enables consumers to make choices and can help caregivers teach and model decision-making behavior to children. These are life skills that will benefit them not only at McDonald's but in every aspect of life."
New McDonald's report measures company's nutrition progress
McDonald's published its first nutrition report today, "McDonald's USA Nutrition Journey: 2012 Progress Report," which measures McDonald's nutrition performance throughout the past year. Ernst & Young LLP conducted an independent examination of McDonald's progress against its commitment goals. Report highlights focus on three key nutrition commitments:
"We've made a lot of good progress toward our nutrition commitments and we recognize there's still more to do," said Dr. Cindy Goody, PhD, MBA, RD, senior director of Nutrition for McDonald's USA. "As we continue to accelerate our nutrition-related efforts, we're dedicated to offering balanced menu options and making nutrition information accessible to employees of McDonald's and its franchisees, as well as today's busy customers."
A full copy of McDonald's 2012 nutrition report "Commitments to Offer Improved Nutrition Choices" is available online. McDonald's will continue to collaborate with third-party organizations to examine the company's performance against its commitments and progress will continue to be reported publicly.
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