McDonald’s Corp. is removing cheeseburgers from its fabled Happy Meal menus as the fast-food giant responds to a clamor for healthier eating.
All Happy Meals advertised on U.S. menu boards will be 600 calories or less by June, McDonald’s said in a statement Thursday. While the classic cheeseburger will still be available if a customer requests it, the listed entree choice will be a hamburger or a box of chicken nuggets.
“We hope these actions will bring more choices to consumers and uniquely benefit millions of families, which are important steps as we build a better McDonald’s,” Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook said in the statement.
After child obesity rates in the U.S. almost tripled since the 1970s, McDonald’s is seeking healthier ingredients while trying to boost its image with more environmentally friendly packaging.
As part of its Happy Meal overhaul, McDonald’s is cutting the sugar content of chocolate milk and adding bottled water to the menu. By the end of 2022, McDonald’s goal is that at least 50 percent or more of the Happy Meals listed on menus in 120 markets will be 600 calories or less.