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McDonald’s removes cheeseburgers from Happy Meal menu as a part of new health plan

Do your kids love Chicken McNuggets and the crispy fries that come with them? Those foods could become more nutritious, because McDonald’s has pledged to make balanced kids meals. 

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The company announced the news Thursday in a press release, revealing that 50 percent of the Happy Meals on menus across the globe will have no more than 600 calories by 2022. No more than 10 percent of the calories will come from saturated fat, no more than 10 will come from added sugar, and there will be no more 650 mg of sodium. 

That’s a 20 percent decrease in calories, a 50 percent drop in added sugars, a 13 percent dive in saturated fat and a 17 percent reduction in sodium.

By June, it said 100 percent of Happy Meals in the United States will meet the new calories, saturated fat and added sugar criterion, and 78 percent will have the required amount of sodium.

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"Today's announcement represents meaningful progress to impact kids' calories, saturated fat, sodium and added sugar in Happy Meal bundles as offered on menu boards. This sets a high bar, and we hope other industry leaders will follow suit," said Howell Wechsler of Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a nonprofit that’s working with McDonald’s to reinforce healthy eating habits for the youth.

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Furthermore, menu items will now only list the hamburger, 4-piece and 6-piece Chicken McNuggets. The Cheeseburger will be only be available upon request. Also, the small fry that comes with Happy Meals will be reduced to a kiddie size. 

The brand wants to reform its drink offerings as well. It wants to reduce the sugar in chocolate milk and introduce bottled water on its kids menus. It also wants to explore new vegetable and lean protein options. 

"Our efforts have led to big changes and real progress,” added Julia Braun, the registered dietitian and head of global nutrition at McDonald's. “As part of our continued food journey, we're committed to making it easier for families to choose balanced options that will make measurable differences."

Want to learn more about the changes? Take a look at the details here.

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