Next week, McDonald’s will begin to inform customers about the amount of calories in their products. From the company’s announcement it is clear that this will happen only in the United States, but not worldwide. However, McDonald’s customers in Dubai and elsewhere in the Middle East are not much different than the fast-food eaters in North America.
Read further: Fast food emerges as main cause of obesity in Dubai
On Wednesday, the most famous fast-food chain in the world announced that it is going to provide more information on their menus about the calories in the food. So far, that will happen in about 14,000 restaurants and drive-throughs in the States. The reason for that is a new US law that will require food chains to list their products’ calories.
Many other chains look up to McDonald’s and as a result a lot of restaurants may follow their example. It is important that many of these fast-food chains embrace these policies as a worldwide practice, but not only as an extra condition to profit from the American consumers. Fast-food eaters worldwide have also rights to know what exactly they are being offered and how the fast food affects their health.
Further reading: Obesity linked to fast food TV commercials
Calories are already listed in chains in California and New York. The new national rule will require many restaurants in the US to provide additional nutrition details on their menus. However, only food chains which have over 20 different locations have to follow this law. Nevertheless, most of the restaurants haven’t listed the information since there are no fines and regulations concerning this law.
The regulation still hasn’t entered into force, because it was postponed until the end of the presidential elections.
McDonald’s, however, took some time before listing the calories. A few years ago, officials of the company were against such laws. They stated inconsistency of the rules as the main reason for their discontent. Some of the representative also claimed that providing such information on the menus would infringe the privacy of their customers.
Now McDonald’s has clearly changed its position. Moreover, the company says that it wants clients to have more information about the food they choose to consume.
In addition, McDonald’s considers that the regulations will make their business more successful and less criticized. Now because of the new listings, clients will want to come more often. Apart from the calorie details on the menus, the site of the company will also provide nutrition information.
According to specialists, restaurants’ deadline for labeling will be towards the end of 2013. This means that McDonald’s will provide the additional nutrition details a lot earlier.
The new laws in the US have made many food chains, like Starbucks, to choose a more healthy approach and cut down the calories in their products. This is very important, because it was estimated that nearly 35% of all Americans eat out.
McDonald’s considers to offer their customers healthier food, because of the many protests of parents and activists. Again in the United States, but not yet in Dubai, the company replaced the French fries in most of the children’s meals with apples. Also, this summer the fast-food chain created a special menu with low-cal products, of which we haven’t heard here yet as well. In addition, McDonald’s will increase the amount of fresh fruit and vegetable products. What is more interesting is that the company has come up with a plan to reduce calories, fats and sugars in their food by the year of 2020.
In the recent past, a few organizations criticized McDonald’s for offering an unhealthy menu and targeting children as potential consumers. Despite the changes, many of them still think that the company has more work to do.
Another food chain that started listing calories is Subway. The company decided to provide details on the calories in their products in order to appear more heath-oriented than its competitors McDonald’s and Burger King.