OAK BROOK, Ill. -- Starting this week, McDonald's will list calorie information on restaurant and drive-thru menus nationwide to further inform and help customers and employees make nutrition-minded choices, said McDonald's USA LLC president Jan Fields.
In addition to menu board labeling, McDonald's published its first-ever nutrition progress report and revealed several 2013 menu innovations in test that will include recommended food groups from the United States Department of Agriculture's 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reflected in the messages supporting MyPlate.
These are the latest in a series of actions to support McDonald's Commitments to Offer Improved Nutrition Choices, announced July 2011. The comprehensive plan aims to help customers and employees make informed nutrition choices whether visiting McDonald's or eating elsewhere.
"At McDonald's, we recognize customers want to know more about the nutrition content of the food and beverages they order," said Fields in a statement released by the company. "As a company that has provided nutrition information for more than 30 years, we are pleased to add to the ways we make nutrition information available to our customers and employees."
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This past summer, McDonald's introduced a "Favorites Under 400" menu that highlights the calorie information for some of customers' favorite foods and beverages to help put calorie counts in better context.
Later this fall, approximately 750,000 employees working in McDonald's and franchisee restaurants in the United States will be introduced to a voluntary nutrition e-learning program. The program will help build employees' knowledge of calories, nutrition and McDonald's menu offerings.
These programs follow the launch of McDonald's mobile app late last year that provides customers with on-the-go nutrition information, as well as an updated online meal-builder that offers customizable information.
To make nutritious choices more convenient and accessible, McDonald's has revealed plans to test foods that would increase the number of wholesome choices on its menu. The menu items it is exploring for 2013 include more recommended food groups. Among the additions being tested:
McDonald's published its first nutrition report Wednesday, "McDonald's USA Nutrition Journey: 2012 Progress Report," which measures McDonald's nutrition performance over the past year. Ernst & Young LLP conducted an independent examination of McDonald's progress against its commitment goals. Report highlights focus on three key nutrition commitments:
"We've made a lot of good progress toward our nutrition commitments and we recognize there's still more to do," said senior director of nutrition for McDonald's USA Cindy Goody. "As we continue to accelerate our nutrition-related efforts, we're dedicated to offering balanced menu options and making nutrition information accessible to employees of McDonald's and its franchisees, as well as today's busy customers."
Nearly 90% of Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local businessmen and women.