Fast food future - May 2004 update
“We’ve made the decision to be part of the solution to the obesity problem by creating healthier choices and improving nutrition information, while at the same time satisfying customers and stakeholders.”
Guy Russo, CEO McDonald's Australia
Since May 2004, nutrition information has been given on the packaging for McDONALD’S:
- Big Macs
- Quarter Pounders
- Junior Burgers
- Sausage and Egg McMuffins.
And during April and May 2004, burger buns with 50% less sugar than before were also introduced.
The next phase for nutrition labelling, due to happen from August, will cover McDONALD’S: chicken and fish products and fries, among other foods. Crucially, all restaurants will be replacing the beef tallow (fat) currently used for cooking with a liquid canola oil, which is lower in saturated fat. And we can expect an alternative Happy Meal — in the research and trial stage at present, but thought to incorporate lean meat as well as fruit and vegies — to be launched later in the year.
They now have a range of filled baguettes on the menu.
We welcome this positive and proactive move from one of the leading players in the fast-food industry. But the whole industry needs to work on healthier fast food if we’re to seriously tackle Australia’s high obesity levels — improving the nutrition profile of all current big sellers as well as creating new products.
See the 2004 update on McDonald's salads.
The way it was in April 2003
There’s not much on offer for the diet-conscious eater — even the tiniest burger on the menu (the Junior Burger) has around 1000 kJ. While you might think the fish or chicken options would be leaner than the heavyweights — Big Mac, Quarter Pounder with Cheese or McOz burgers — don’t be taken in. Filet-o-Fish still manages three teaspoons of fat despite its small size, and a McChicken only has a teaspoon less than a Big Mac.
And if you’re making a full meal of it, it’s pretty much chips or chips.
If you’re vegetarian, don’t bother even going in … there’s no vegie option and even the chips and apple pies are fried in beef tallow.
See the full table for fast food comparisons.