Associating fat-laden, high calorie food with toys has been big business for McDonald’s and it’s competitors. This tactic has also slammed for pushing this bad-for-you food on children and encouraging them to beg to go to McDonald’s. I’ve seen it in action with my own children who are dying to get a “free” toy whether they like the food or not. My son doesn’t like french fries, but he says he’ll gag them down if he gets the toy. Not a good sign. Based on all the complaints about the poor nutritional quality of Happy Meals, McDonald’s has announced that it will improve the healthiness of the meals. With 20% fewer calories based on a 100 calorie portion of french fries and the addition of apple dippers, without the sugary caramel sauce, this is definitely an improvement: From 520 calories and 26 grams of fat down to 410 calories and 19 grams of fat.
This is a step in the right direction and including apples in the meal may encourage children to eat some fruit, but a Happy Meal is a long way from a healthy meal. Even a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread is more nutritional with 20 fewer calories and twice as much protein. Yes, McDonald’s is quick, and healthier is better, but sandwiches are quick, too. It takes just as long to wait in line, pay and pick up your Happy Meal as it does to pull out a loaf of bread, slap on some peanut butter and hand it to your child with an apple. The big problem is that Americans have gotten used to the high sodium, high fat foods that we get at the drive through so it’s not just about easy, it’s about maintaining bad food habits that we’ve grown to love. These habits have also made us grow…wider! The fat and calories increase not just our weight but our cholesterol and blood pressure. It’s about time we start weaning ourselves off of the Happy Meals and work on making our own happy meals at home.
Written by www.labtestingnow.com