Wednesday, February 08, 2006

McDonald's unveils nutrition labeling

McDonald's is using the Olympic festivities in Torino as a backdrop to their official unveiling of their global nutrition labeling program. The 26 McD's in the Torino, Italy area are the first in the world to feature McDonald's new product labeling.

The new labels feature a standard nutrition information label and a new icon and bar chart that provides information on a menu item’s nutrition value and how it relates to daily nutrient guidelines. McDonald's says, "the icons represent the five elements that experts agree are most relevant to consumer understanding of nutrition – calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates and salt (sodium)."

In the U.S., restaurants in four test markets currently feature packaging with nutrition information, and the national rollout begins in February 2006 and will continue throughout the year.

I've posted photos of the new Big Mac box in this post, click on them to see full, larger views.


Anonymous said...

I think it is great that fast food chains are stepping up to the plate and displaying the nutritional value of their foods. Now, people can knowingly decide whether or not they are going to eat certain foods. The new boxes contain the percentage of the substance that is recommended daily, as well as the number in grams of the substance in that particular food item. For people on diets, this new labeling system will allow them to keep track of carbs, fats, sodium, and many other potentially dangerous ingredients to one's health. These days, so many children are already eating fast food by young ages, as it seems to be the quick solution. One statistic reported that one in five children eats French fries everyday. While most of us enjoy the tastes of fast food, it is important to eat it in moderation, and try to choose healthier options if possible. McDonald's has expanded their menu quite a bit to offer healthier alternatives, which is great to see as well. They now offer premium salads and yogurts, as well as bottled waters and much more; all better than the cheeseburger, large fries, and coke. It’s also important that parents lead their children in the right track to healthy eating, as starting off on junk food at such a young age can be detrimental to one’s health.

Anonymous said...

three cheers for McDonalds
for taking the right step in Nutrition labeling.
It still is up to the individual to take there own health under control.

Anonymous said...

While it is true that it's up to the individual to control their own health, it's unfair to feed tehm fast food throughout their entire lives, tell them it's bad for them , and expect them to quit while they are still being positively hammered with fast food advertising and no one to support them and keep them on the right track. And did you even consider taht no one can see the nutritional value on the chicken nuggets UNTIL they have bought them? Then we all know exactly how people will justify eating it to themselves- "Oh, well I've already bought it, there's no sense in letting it go to waste." Also, if they quality of health food they buy to sell to us does not come from a safe, reputable source then who knows what kind of shortcuts they may have taken or pesticides tehy may have used in making/growing their product? This guarentess nothing, it is just a different way to die. Obviously this is just a smoke screen for the companies to continue to take our money but to pass of the blame because we were "capable of making an informed decision". Sure they show you the percent daily value of their product, but how are people supposed to know if they exceed those limits with other things they have eaten? And we may eat things for the vitamins but how do they know they haven't already gotten that from fruit or veggies? When was teh last time you saw an orange with nutritional facts?

Anonymous said...

I agree the info needs to be accessible pre purchase. There was a time when McDonalds posted the nutritional info for all the products on a sheet by the ordering counter. I don't know why that stopped.

I note the label does not break out how much is trans fat. It is up to the consumer, not the company selling the food, however I don't think it would be out of line to force companies to disclose trans-fat amounts along with a warning, akin to US Surgeon General required warnings on cigarette packs.