Considering the heaviness that's engulfed the news this week, perhaps we should thank McDonald's for giving us this thought -- a healthier Happy Meal.
Don't laugh. I didn't write "healthy." (Details matter, folks.) But it seems the higher-ups at the nation's favorite fast-food chain are sincere about making their ubiquitous children's meal better for the kids. By that, they mean with fewer calories and sodium.
"By June 2018, all its U.S. Happy Meals will contain less than 600 calories — and most will contain less than 650 milligrams of salt. The chain is shrinking the size of the fries that come with kids’ Chicken McNuggets and reformulating its chocolate milk to make it less sugary. Bottled water will soon become a default Happy Meal option. Cheeseburgers will drop off entirely. The chain has also promised to continue promoting fresh fruits and vegetables as a Happy Meal side, building on the success of its baby carrots and 'Cutie' tangerines.
"Taken together, the changes do not transform burgers or chicken nuggets into health foods. But McDonald’s and public health experts who have reviewed the chain’s plans say they have the potential to incrementally improve the diets of millions of children. One-third of U.S. kids eat fast food each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
Now, those changes may not persuade America's healthiest eaters to try a Happy Meal once the changes are implemented. Nothing, in fact, could likely do that. But even if McDonald's ultimate goal is larger profits, if its food is somewhat healthier, that's a win-win for all, especially since it seems like there's a McDonald's on every American corner.
-- Phillip Tutor