Changes at the fast food counter … small steps to fight childhood obesity

FoodFacts.com is constantly looking for new information regarding how the obesity crisis is being dealt with.  It’s not just the research and medical information in which we are interested.  We’re also always seeking out how our society (people, businesses and culture) is finding ways to educate consumers, change unhealthy habits and work on reversing a situation that so desperately needs to improve.  Today we read information that does exactly what we’re looking for!

Food advocates and McDonald’s released an updated agreement clarifying the chain will phase out on the kids’ meal section of menu boards. listing soda

Margo G. Wootan, nutrition policy director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, said on Sept. 26, McDonald’s, in partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation — founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation as a response to the growing rate of childhood obesity — announced that it would cease featuring and promoting soda as a beverage option with kids’ meals.

“The fine print of the agreement, however, disclosed that while McDonald’s would not depict soda through graphics on the Happy Meal section of the menu, it would still list soda as a Happy Meal option on menu boards,” Wootan said in a statement.

CSPI issued a statement on Sept. 27 stating that McDonald’s had misled the public and the media about the true extent of it announcement — because continuing to list soda on menu boards as a Happy Meals option is featuring soda on the menu and is a promotion of sugar drinks to children, Wootan said.

“I spoke to McDonald’s and the alliance about my concerns regarding the agreement and urged them to completely remove soda from the Happy Meal section of the menu board,” Wootan said.

“A McDonald’s spokesman told me that my concerns were brought to McDonald’s Donald Thompson, chief executive officer, who agreed that continuing to list soda on the Happy Meal section of menu boards would be inconsistent with McDonald’s commitment. I applaud McDonald’s for strengthening its commitment and removing soda from the kids’ meal section of its menu boards.”

Taking soda off the Happy Meal section of menu boards at McDonald’s is an important step toward healthier kids meals and healthier children, Wootan added.

FoodFacts.com heartily agrees. This is a definite step forward for childhood obesity concerns. While it’s not going to fix the problem, we know that the manners in which products are promoted have a definite effect on children. If they aren’t seeing the kid’s meal with a soda, they probably won’t be asking for a kid’s meal with soda. And, although it may not seem like a huge help, it is definitely a step in the right direction.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2013/10/12/McDonalds-plan-to-remove-Happy-Meal-soda-clarified/UPI-80011381550479/#ixzz2hwZrqAI7