The words “McDonald’s” and “controversy” seem to go hand-in-hand; so naturally, their latest attempt to satisfy the critics is receiving a mixed response.
The restaurant has long been reprimanded for their less-than-nutritional menu choices and their marketing tactics as they target children. The company has made multiple attempts to answer the movement toward healthier living without sacrificing the longstanding traditions that the world has come to know and love.
Their latest crack at promoting healthier eating involves reducing the serving of French fries offered in their famed Happy Meals and adding a fruit or vegetable to each one, according to a recent article by the Los Angeles Times . On average, this change will mean a 20% decrease in the calorie content of the meals.
These adjustments will begin appearing on McDonald’s menus in September, and are expected to reach all 14,000 U.S. McDonald’s restaurants by April. The modifications are meant to silence (or at least quiet down) the health and children’s advocacy groups putting pressure on the company, but some health fanatics are saying it still isn’t enough.
Others, however, agree that the restaurant is taking “good steps” and applaud their efforts. Still others are upset changes are being made at all, arguing that it is the parents’ responsibility, not the restaurant’s, to monitor what their kids eat.
We asked our friends on Facebook what they thought of the changes, and received similarly diverse responses:
“Does a veggie option cancel out the fact that they’re feeding my kids industrial chemicals? No. It’s not enough.”
“I don’t think it’s all McDonald’s fault. I appreciate the changes they’re making, but fast food should be an occasional treat. Occasional treats don’t cause childhood obesity.”
“It is only helpful if the kids eat the fruit/veggies or if the parents make them eat them.”
“I think it’s a great change. We can’t put all the responsibility on McDonald’s… As parents we should be the main ones responsible for what our children eat.”
“As long as they don’t include peanut butter in the equation, I’m happy!”
What do you think? Is McDonald’s making a positive change or defacing the tradition that the Golden Arches stand for? Could these changes aid in the fight against obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and other weight-related health issues? How much responsibility do restaurants hold when it comes to healthy menu options? How much of that responsibility should fall on the parents’ shoulders?