The world’s largest fast-food chain is expanding its menus, but this time with information instead of new stuff to eat. Starting Monday, every signboard and drive-thru menu at all of the corporation’s 14,000 sites will list each item’s calorie count.
Some places, such as New York City and the state of California, already require chains like McDonald’s to post the information where customers can easily see it. McDonald’s has long had brochures (often hidden in plain sight) that fully disclose the caloric damage of a Big Mac (770) so this step is just a matter of making it part of the ordering process.
New regulations built in to the Affordable Care Act would have required this move for certain types of eateries, so critics are saying McDonald’s corporation is just complying early to bask in the PR glory, according to the Los Angeles Times. It’s also still up to customers to educate themselves on how many calories make up a healthy meal.
The LA Times also reports that McDonald’s is not only trying out quick delivery of nutritional information, they’re also trying out quick delivery of more nutritious options with test-runs of offering seasonal produce like blueberries and cucumbers and selling different chicken wraps with calorie counts around 350. Last year, after pressure from advocates got to them, they started including a serving of fruit with every Happy Meal. Previously, kids had to choose between apples or fries. To McDonald’s credit, the portion of fries has also gotten much, much smaller in a Happy Meal.
McDonald’s isn’t turning its back on high-calorie meals, fear not. They’re bring back the popular Mighty Wings from the 1990s, and Quarter Pounders are going nowhere. The only catch is you’ll have to stomach the calorie counts before digging in.
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