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McDonald’s: No More Soda With Happy Meals

Update Date: Sep 27, 2013 10:53 AM EDT

Popular fast food chain, McDonald's announced recently that the company would no longer market children's happy meals with soda. As a part of a reform to provide healthier options at fast food joints, the happy meals will be marketed alongside healthier options, which are milk, water or juice. However, if parents ask for a soda replacement, the eatery will not deny them.

The changes to how the company will advertise happy meals are a part of the partnership with the Alliance for a Healthy Generation, which is an organization funded by the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association (AHA). This organization focuses on combatting childhood obesity, an issue that is at large throughout the world. Several studies have tied childhood obesity to many dangerous health conditions during adulthood. Childhood obesity also increases one's risk of becoming a morbidly obese adult. Now, McDonald's has agreed to become a part of that cause.

According to the president and CEO of McDonald's, Don Thompson, there will be many changes that aim to provide a balanced meal for children. Now, when parents and children see the in-store or outside advertisements for happy meals, they will no longer see a soda option. Children might assume that soda is not be served with the happy meals, which would prompt them to pick one of the three healthier options. On top of this change, the company has decided to add a side salad, fruit or vegetable as side options if people want to replace their fries in the value meals.

These changes will be made in 20 global markets, which includes the United States. The U.S. is currently responsible for 85 percent of McDonald's global sales. Despite these new changes, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) believes that more needs to be done in order to combat obesity in general. The CSPI also feels that other fast food companies should follow suit and change their menu options for the better.

"McDonald's could make its meals less harmful by continuing to reduce sodium, adding more whole wheat into their buns, and phasing out their 30- and 21- ounce soda sizes for adults," the director of nutrition policy at CSPI, Margo Wootan, said according to NPR.

The press release can be found here

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