The McDonald's Balanced Lifestyles platform promotes the importance of balance and includes significant efforts in the areas of food choices, physical activity and education. The "Go Active" meal has been designed to promote the importance of food/energy balance. This Happy Meal for adults includes a premium salad, bottled water and a Stepometer brand pedometer which can be used to track your daily steps.
"We want to help adults achieve the right balance between their daily calorie intake and physical activity, and to help children adopt active, balanced lifestyle habits early on," Michael Roberts, president of McDonald’s USA, said.
There will also be a brochure that promotes walking as an attainable effective goal. Authored by exercise physiologist, Bob Greene, and endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine, consumers can use the brochure as a stepping stone to create their own exercise and physical activity routines.
"Poor eating habits and inactivity are contributing factors to Americans’ declining health. There are small steps that we can take everyday to protect our health, including being physically active everyday and eating a nutritious diet," stated Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary of Health and Human Services, in a news release.
"This announcement by McDonald’s is a positive step toward helping Americans make healthier choices," Thompson said.
Low-carb dieters also have new options which include the ability to order burgers and other sandwiches "low-carb-style" (without the buns) and a brochure that shows customers how to order across the menu to lower fat, calories and carbohydrates.
Additionally, kids' Happy Meals will become healthier when the restaurant offers Apple Dippers (apple slices served with a low-fat caramel dipping sauce) and new beverage choices including 100 percent pure apple juice, as well as 1% milk.
The company is also encouraging its some 600,000 U.S. restaurant employees to get healthier, too, by providing them with Stepometers and education materials to promote walking and well-being.
The new "Go Active" Happy Meal will be available nationwide beginning May 6, 2004.