McDonald's president Jan Fields has announced that starting next week, the mega-restaurant chain that features clowns and Happy Meals will list calorie information on restaurant and drive-thru menus nationwide.
This is a step in the right direction for all fast food chains in providing real information to consumers who might not know how many calories they're consuming in that innocent looking little lunch they've just supersized at the suggestion of the friendly person behind the counter.
In addition, the fast food giant has pledged the following healthier changes to their menu:
- Reduce sodium by an average of 15 percent by 2015
- Develop additional vegetable, fruit, or low-fat dairy options for Happy Meals in the next few years
- Reduce added sugars, saturated fat, and calories by 2020
While the new McDonald's rules display the calories, sodium and fat counts will not be on view on the menu boards (though there is usually a chart in teeny-tiny font that lists nutritional values in each location and on the company's website). In case you were wondering, we took a look and found some of McDonald's worst offenders.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult should limit their caloric intake to about 2,000 calories, consuming no more than 44-78 grams of fat daily. Sodium intake should be less than 2,300 mg a day, and drops to 1,500 mg daily if you're 51 or over, black, or at risk for high blood pressure. That means that eating one of the following items might just put you at the brink of your daily fat and sodium intake.
Big Breakfast with Hot Cakes - 1150 calories, 60 g fat, 2260 mg sodium
Spicy Chicken McBites (10 ounce) 910 calories, 55 g fat, 1990 mg sodium
Angus Bacon & Cheese Burger - 790 calories, 39 g fat, 2070 mg sodium
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Chicken Selects (five piece size) - 640 calories, 59 g fat, 1240 mg sodium
Premium Crispy Chicken Club - 620 calories, 45 g fat, 1200 mg sodium
Bacon, Egg & Cheese Bagel - 560 calories, 27 g fat, 1300 mg sodium