October 26th, 2005


McDonald's to Spill the Beans on its Wrappers

CHICAGO, Oct. 26 - Fast-food giant McDonald's has announced a campaign to provide truth in calories, total fat, protein, carbohydrates, and sodium.

On the packaging of chicken nuggets, double quarter pounders with cheese, side of fries, and everything else that comes in billions and billions, McDonald's will soon feature graphics and a bar chart to provide consumers with easy-to-read nutritional information.

Beginning next year, consumers will quickly see that the double quarter pounder with cheese contains 730 calories and 40 grams of fat. And the 21-ounce cup with a chocolate milkshake to wash down that burger will advertise itself as containing 770 calories and 18 grams of fat.

The company announced its plans at a press conference here Tuesday. The new packaging will appear in 20,000 of the company's 30,000 restaurants worldwide by the end of 2006. McDonald's will begin rolling out the new wrappers in February during the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.

The labels will inform customers of the food's calories, grams of fat, protein, carbohydrates, and sodium content. Although this information already exists on McDonald's web site, the company said the new packaging would make the information more accessible to consumers.

Their announcement comes amid growing criticism against the fast-food industry for allegedly contributing to the rising obesity rate among both adults and children. According to the CDC, approximately two-thirds of the U.S. population is either overweight or obese and childhood obesity has tripled from 5% two decades ago to 15% today.
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