• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

McDonald's unveils slimmed down Happy Meals

July 26, 2011 12:46:12 AM PDT
As the country struggles with a childhood obesity epidemic, McDonald's unveiled what it calls healthier Happy Meals on Tuesday.

In the new Happy Meals, it's no longer a choice of apples or fries because both are in the meal.

The serving of fries will be smaller, and the whole meal comes in at less than 400 calories. That's 20 percent fewer calories and 15 percent less sodium than the old happy meals.

For Burbank mom Brenda Perez, it's one less thing she'll have to worry about when she takes her kids to McDonald's.

"We normally skip on the french fries, so I guess apples would be a better choice," she said.

The changes underscore how the restaurant industry is reacting to the demands of customers and regulators who blame it for health ills ranging from childhood obesity to diabetes.

Among other changes in McDonald's new program:

  • McDonald's pledged to reduce sugars, saturated fats and calories through "varied portion sizes, reformulations and innovations" by 2020. It didn't give details. By 2015, it will reduce sodium by 15 percent.
  • McDonald's will introduce a new mobile app focused just on nutrition information.
  • McDonald's USA president Jan Fields and other executives will go on a "listening tour" in August to hear suggestions from parents and nutrition experts. The chain will also launch a new online forum for parents.

Michelle Obama said McDonald's changes are a positive step toward solving childhood obesity and lauded the world's largest burger chain for continuing to change its menu.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Load Comments