McDonalds nutrition information now displayed on menu

As of September 2012, McDonald’s nutrition information is now displayed on the menu. They are a few months ahead of the federal health care law mandate that will take affect in 2013, requiring chains with more than 20 outlets (fast food or dine-in) to display the calorie information on the menus. The plan behind this law is to make the public more aware of the calories in food choices and to throw another punch at the obesity epidemic. Here is the new look you’ll be seeing at this fast food chain:

Some chains like Starbucks and Panera already have the nutrition facts displayed on their menus. I know for a fact that seeing the calorie content in the items has definitely made me rethink my order a few times. Even though salads seem like the healthier choice, that’s not always the case (read my experience on salad vs. pasta dish at Noodles & Company). I LOOOOVE the peppermint mocha from Starbucks, but if you know anything about liquid holiday calories, you know that a 16-ounce serving contains 370 calories, and that’s even after choosing skim milk instead of whole! The calories in some of the drinks can quantify for an entire meal, or two! Even if the calories are listed next to the food item, you may want to clarify what the calorie content is based off of. If you ask for mocha and forget to say “skim,” they may make it with whole milk and you’ll be adding an extra 70 calories and 9 grams of fat. Drink up.

One dollop of encouragement I’ll share with you is that although yes, when calories expended exceed calories in will lead to weight loss, choosing the lower calorie item on the menu does not make it “healthier.” If you take a look at the “300 calories or less” section of the menu, what do you think will give you more bang for your buck in terms of nutrition: a caramel mocha or an egg McMuffin?

You can read the details of McDonald’s commitment to a nutrition-minded future here.

Do you think this new law will help you make wiser choices when eating out?

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Author: budgetforhealth

Jessica is a Registered Dietitian and shares practical, useful tips on food, fitness and finance. Be sure to subscribe to her blog, Budget for Health!

10 thoughts on “McDonalds nutrition information now displayed on menu”

  1. I haven’t had McDonalds in a really long time, it’s amazing to see how much progress they’re making from the good ol’ days of just hamburgers. (I know… it’s been THAT long hehe) I think hot coffee was a new item on the menu the day I stopped eating there. I’m glad they’re taking initiative at doing it early – shows they’re not afraid of change. I frequent Panera quite a bit but never actually took notice of calories on the menu – gotta have my favorite chicken almond sandwich with potato soup!
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  2. This really isn’t anything new, at least not around here. The calories have been on the back of the McDonald’s tray liners for a few years now. I do like the idea of putting it up on the menu. Maybe then unsuspecting customers will be able to make better food choices. Or, just skip it all together!

    1. I agree with skipping altogether, but having the nutrition facts on the ordering menu might help people make better decisions BEFORE ordering. Showing the nutrition facts on the tray liners seems like a guilt trip as you are blown away by the calories in the burger you already ordered and are about to eat!

  3. If McDonald’s wanted people to eat healthier, they should have made their foods….healthier? Putting nutrition information on the back of their items isn’t going to stop anyone from eating what they want. If you frequently eat at McDonald’s, you don’t care about nutrition! It’s falling on deaf ears. Good try, Micky D’s! I’m still not going to eat your food.
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    1. Agreed! They never started the chain thinking about good nutrition. It started as a place you went on occasion for a burger and fries. This new labeling law and the banning of fountain drinks larger than 16oz in New York try to tackle obesity but it’s more or less just putting a bandaid on an open wound.

  4. This drastic change in menu of McDonald’s had made the people’s choice more comfort and easy. This is what I was waiting for hurray!!! way to McDonald’s.
    Public health nutrition

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