Fast-Food Chain McDonald’s Launches Educational Campaign To Help Dieters
McDonald's on Tuesday launched "Real Life Choices," an educational campaign at 650 of its restaurants in New York, New Jersey and southern Connecticut that tells customers how to reduce carbohydrates, fat and calories in existing menu choices by altering their orders, the Washington Times reports (Higgins, Washington Times, 1/7). Nutritionist Pam Smith, author of "Eat Well, Live Well," created the program with McDonald's franchises (Ilnytzky, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 1/6). Smith used guidelines from the American Heart Association, FDA, and NIH to develop the program, in which she has assigned menu items to categories called "Watching Calories," "Watching Fat" and "Watching Carbohydrates" (Washington Times, 1/7). The program features posters encouraging consumers to customize their orders by deleting buns and condiments and customizing salads to keep in line with their diets. "Real Life Choices" is McDonald's "latest effort to appeal to health-conscious consumers," according to the New York Times. As part of the effort, McDonald's franchises in Southern California have begun advertising salads and low-fat sandwiches, while Houston franchises have promoted low-fat items and offered exercise tips (Day, New York Times, 1/7). The promotion of healthier menu options also comes amid obesity-related lawsuits targeting the fast-food industry (Washington Times, 1/7). Next week, Burger King is expected to announce a low-fat, low-carbohydrate, low-calorie menu platform (New York Times, 1/7). McDonald's has no immediate plans to promote the "Real Life Choices" program nationwide (Washington Times, 1/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.