The New Mayor of Happy Town

Look out Mayor McCheese, there’s a new sheriff in town! In one of the most effective PR moves to pepper the headlines, McDonalds has given their timeless classic, the Happy Meal, a new modern update… an apple.

The Happy Meal tradition has made us what we are today! A country full of people lacking clean bills of health and small waistlines. Oh wait, maybe they have a point.  

While the apple has been offered as an alternative to the fries since 2004, it is now given automatically in each meal—a subtle, yet media worthy change.  In fact, an apple hasn’t delivered so much PR attention since Snow White.

The new apple addition has the praise pouring in from none other than healthy eating enforcer, Michelle Obama:

“McDonald’s is making continued progress today by providing more fruit and reducing the calories in its Happy Meals. I’ve always said that everyone has a role to play in making America healthier, and these are positive steps toward the goal of solving the problem of childhood obesity.”

Burger King and other fast food chains have lightened up as well, so what did McDonalds do differently? They delivered a clear message against not just health and obesity but for education. They are promoting concepts of portion control and teaching children about health.

There were a few other changes as well. They shrunk the portion of fries and got rid of the caramel dipping sauce. Cindy Goody, senior director of nutrition for McDonald’s USA said:

 “Based on in-depth research we did with parents, caregivers, as well as with children… what we learned time and time again is that fruits are a win. We also learned through research that people love our world-famous French fries, but we want to be mindful of portion management.”

Side note: Did you really need research to show people love French fries?

But anyway… what’s next for the nearly 26 million daily customers of McDonald’s? A 15 percent decrease of sodium in its meals by 2015 and reductions in sugar, saturated fat and calories across its menu by 2020. Looks like you may have to go find another guilty food pleasure, cuz Mickey D’s is going legit.

So, here’s to McCheese’s impeachment! Mayor McApple, the Golden Arches are all yours!


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