Feb. 15 (UPI) — Parents may soon have to make a special request for a child’s cheeseburger at McDonald’s.
The McDonald’s Corporation announced Thursday that, by June, cheeseburgers will no longer be among the entrée choices for happy meals in the United States. Instead, the choices will include the hamburger, four-piece and six-piece chicken nuggets, according to the release. “The cheeseburger will only be available at a customer’s request,” it stated.
The move is part of its global effort to make happy meals healthier by reducing sugar and saturated fat across 120 markets by 2022.
Other changes include reformulating chocolate milk to include less sugar and cutting out its availability during the reformulating unless requested, changing the small fry to a kids’ size, and adding bottled water as a featured beverage choice.
By June, happy meals in the U.S. will be 600 calories or fewer, according to the release, and in compliance with new nutrition criteria for added sugar and saturated fat.
The company has been working with the not-for-profit Alliance for Healthier Generation to develop a comprehensive plan since 2013. The changes represent progress as far as being able “to impact kids’ calories, saturated fat, sodium and added sugar… and to promote more water,” said Dr. Howell Wechsler, Chief Executive Officer of Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
The American Heart Association applauded the move.
“With more than 40 percent of young children eating fast food on a given day, the American Heart Association encourages all restaurants to ensure families have healthier options that positively impact the health of children,” American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said in a statement.