McDonald’s adds calorie counts to menu boards
DENVER — You’ll notice some new items on the menu the next time you visit McDonald’s in metro Denver.
The world’s largest fast-food chain is posting calories for all its food.
Restaurants across the country will change their menu boards by next week. But, in Denver, many of the changes are already in place.
“What can I make for you today?” asks a McDonald’s worker through the drive-through speaker.
It’s not what they make in the kitchen. But the numbers they’ve put on their menu boards making it easier to eat healthy.
“This is something we’ve done for 30 years. We’ve had our McDonald’s nutritional information posted in restaurants, on the back of tray liners, on packages for food. We have it on McDonalds.com,” says McDonald’s franchise owner, Rick Hill.
But now, the fast-food giant posts how many calories your favorite foods contain on their menu boards.
A Big Mac alone is 550 calories, an Angus Mushroom and Swiss Burger is 770 calories, or a Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken is 190 calories—no dressing.
“This is great. This is a huge help,” says registered dietician Tracy Boykin.
She says the calorie information could make a dent in our collective guts—over time.
“People who are looking into a healthier lifestyle, they’ll look at that stuff. The people who aren’t thinking about that at all, they’re not even going to see that. It’s not even on their radar,” she says.
Angela Delgado, is a prime example. She didn’t notice the calorie counts until we pointed them out to her. Her order of Chicken McNuggets and small fries combined for 535 calories.
“I would have gone with something different. I would have made a different decision and now it’s too late,” she laughs.
Another customer, Marla Ijames, got a Quarter Pounder with Cheese at 520 calories—but she’s okay with that.
“It’s a lot. But I’ll be careful tonight,” she laughs. She says eating a burger with that many calories is a once-in-a-while indulgence.
WHILE OTHERS, like Simeon Francis, SAY CALORIES ARE NOT WHAT THEY LOOK FOR IN GOOD FOOD.
“I come here for the taste. I’m not necessarily watching my figure,” he says.
Fast food often gets labeled as fat food.
But McDonald’s hopes these new menu boards give customers food for thought
“It’s a new change I would pay attention to,” says Delgado.
McDonald’s decision follows the U.S. Supreme Court upholding President Obama’s health care plan, which includes a regulation requiring restaurant chains, with more than 20 locations, to post calorie information. But no deadline has been set yet.
McDonald’s is considered an industry leader in making nutritional changes.
It was the first to take trans fat out of its French fries, one of the first to introduce fruit into its kids’ meals and now it’s reduced sodium across the board in its food by 11-percent.