By the end of the year, McDonald's will phase
Instead of five french fry sizes from 2.4 ounces to 7 ounces, three options will offered, 2.6 ounces (small), 4 ounces (medium) and 6 ounces (large). From a nutritional standpoint, the 6-ounce french fry serving packs 540 calories, 26 fat grams, 360 milligrams of sodium and 68 carbohydrate grams, instead of 610 calories, 29 grams of fat, 390 milligrams of sodium and 77 grams of carbs for the 7-ounce portion size.
Even the 14-ounce yogurt parfaits, considered a healthy option, will be eliminated, leaving a serving half that size. Iced slushes and frozen carbonated beverages will come off the menu by the end of 2005. One-percent milk will be served and Coca-Cola Co.'s Dasani water will be the only water brand available (some stores sold Groupe Danone's Dannon brand).
Among other menu changes, carb-laden bagels will leave the core breakfast menu, making room for better-selling large cinnamon rolls and a sausage burrito.
Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's in a statement said changes to simplify the menu and offer healthier options have been in the works since 2002, when it began testing entree salads, fruit slices and all-white meat chicken nuggets. The company said the menu changes, which will be part of the core menu of all its U.S. restaurants by the end of 2004, offer "an exceptional customer experience that includes a consistent and relevant menu with a range of choices that support a balanced lifestyle."
The move comes just a month after the anti-fast-food mockumentary Super Size Me won the directing award at the Sundance Film Festival. In the 90-minute documentary, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock becomes his own lab rat and eats a diet of nothing but McDonald's food for 30 days to chronicle how it affected his health. Between segments about school lunches, declining physical education programs and extreme dieting trends, the film follows Mr. Spurlock on visits to his doctor, who scolds the filmmaker for his 25-pound weight gain and rising cholesterol and liver toxicity levels.
A McDonald's spokesman said the move to end super-sizing had nothing to do with the film.