McDonald's Canada launches "Healthy Lifestyles" initiative

January 21, 2004 in Food Companies, Manufacturing and Trends

McDonald's Canada launches "Healthy Lifestyles" initiative

With fast food coming under fire from health professionals and the overweight, McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Ltd. said on Monday it will list the calories and fat grams for all the food it sells and offer Canadians healthier menu choices.

The move to embrace healthier eating comes amid growing concerns over the links between obesity and fast-food meals like hamburgers and French fries, the health effects of trans fats, and in the wake of U.S. lawsuits that blame McDonald's Corp. for customers' weight problems.

By March, McDonald's Canada expects to carry items like grilled cheese sandwiches and apple slices with caramel sauce as options for children. At least two new salads and more grilled chicken items will be added to menus in some 1,300 restaurants across the country.

But the biggest change will occur mid March when nutritional details can be seen on posters at the front counter and on the back of every tray-liner. (Drive-thru customers will have to visit the McDonald's website to learn the nutrient content of their meals.) Similar nutrition listings are now offered at Canadian sandwich and doughnut chain Tim Horton‘s, a unit of Wendy's International Inc.

McDonald's Canada says it also plans to promote physical activity to children through community based initiatives and offering activity-oriented toys in Happy Meals.

McDonald's will also cater to the popularity of low-carbohydrate meals, popularized by the high-protein Atkins diet, and will offer protein platters - basically meals without bread. (Not sure if I would include that under the ’healthy lifestyle initiatives‘ banner! ’ LB)

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