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Submitted by: McDonald's Corporation
Categories: Community Development
Posted: Mar 27, 2003 – 11:00 PM EST
Jim Cantalupo, Chairman and CEO of McDonald's Corporation, has directed all McDonald's markets that offer Happy Meals to identify additional product choices for its popular children's meals to build on the quality and variety of its existing menu. These additional choices could include – but are not limited to - fruit, vegetable, or yogurt options as well as juice or non-carbonated drinks.
This expanded menu choice is already underway in several McDonald's markets around the world. For example, McDonald's United Kingdom offers sliced fruit, McDonald's France provides low fat yogurt and many countries including the U.S. offer beverage choices that include low fat milk, bottled water, juices and non-carbonated drinks. McDonald's Australia serves a Happy Meal with a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich, raisins and orange juice; and McDonald's Spain is the first market where customers can create their own Happy Meals, from a variety of entrée, side and beverage choices.
Cantalupo also announced the creation of "McDonald's Advisory Council on Healthy Lifestyles." This will be an independent group of the world's leading experts on nutrition and healthy lifestyles to help guide the company on activities that address the need for balanced, healthy lifestyles.
McDonald's Corporate Vice President Ken Barun will lead McDonald's Healthy Lifestyles activities, and work with the Advisory Council as programs are implemented in McDonald's markets worldwide.
"We will work with leading nutrition, fitness and lifestyle experts on these important subjects and will make the Advisory Council a top priority," said Barun. "Our plan is to announce the council members by early May and to bring them together shortly thereafter to begin working with us on key initiatives."
Cantalupo also announced that McDonald's is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization in a collaborative effort to help educate consumers about the role nutrition and fitness play in maintaining healthy lifestyles.
"We want to help consumers make informed choices not only when they come to McDonald's, but just as important, when they make decisions about exercise, diet, and other daily activities that can help maximize healthy lifestyles," said Cantalupo. "McDonald's has a history of providing nutrition information to our customers through in-store brochures, educational programs or interactive websites. Our goal is to work with the appropriate organizations to identify the most effective programs."
Tommy Thompson, U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services said, "We welcome McDonald's providing additional healthy menu items, particularly for children, as well as its efforts to engage nutritional experts to advise the company. Consumers clearly want more healthy choices, and McDonald's deserves credit for being a leader in the private sector in responding to consumer needs."
Finally, Cantalupo asked McDonald's markets to allocate specific funding to support educational programs that promote active, healthy lifestyles through public service campaigns, restaurant materials and education outreach. The Advisory Council will collaborate with McDonald's to identify ways to help educate children and families on issues of health and well-being, ranging from physical fitness and activity to nutrition and personal safety.
For example, McDonald's is re-issuing its award-winning children's nutrition public service campaign entitled "What's On Your Plate" to markets around the world. The television vignettes feature clay animated characters including host "Willie Munchright," a fun-loving personality who speaks to kids about diet and exercise. The program also features educational materials for classroom instruction.
"Above all, McDonald's endeavors to do the right thing for our customers and the communities we serve," said Cantalupo. "This is a principle that guides our decision-making in all aspects of our business. Our customers take their family's health and fitness very seriously, and so do we."
McDonald's will implement these and other activities on a market-by-market basis, working with appropriate outside experts and government and regulatory agencies.
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