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Friday, 9 September 2011

So Just How Many Calories Are There in a McDonald's Meal?

McDonald’s are among the 37 fast-food firms who have signed up to a voluntary agreement, which came into force on 7th September 2011, to display the calorific content of their meals.

Nutritionists and health professionals have grudgingly accepted the Governments ‘Responsibility Deal’ on public health issues.

The Government is hoping that the ‘Responsibility Deal’ will help to counter health problems like Britain’s obesity epidemic. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said that it would help consumers ‘spot those hidden calories in their favourite foods and keep an eye on their waistlines’.

37 fast-food companies, including McDonalds, Burger King, KFC and Pizza Hut, have signed up to the voluntary agreement.

Alison Wetton, founder of Britain’s fastest growing weight loss organisation, All About Weight and the lady who branded Ronald McDonald as an ‘evil influence’ accepts the agreement as a step in the right direction.

“The more information that is available to the consumer the better as far as we are concerned,” said Mrs Wetton, who attacked McDonald’s earlier this year for using their fast-food mascot to tempt youngsters away from a healthy diet.

“Improvements in food labeling can lead to better food choices being made by consumers but it should be stressed that this is a voluntary scheme and fast-food chains such as Subway, Domino’s Pizza, Nando’s and Pizza Express have refused to take part.”

All About Weight nutritionist Holly Finnegan said, “When McDonald’s introduced their ‘chicken Caesar salad’ they rightly received a lot of criticism because the salad contained more calories and fat than a hamburger with chips.

“Salad is something which people associate as a healthy choice and the public needed the nutritional information to be able to make an informed dietary decision.”

Dr Paul Gately, a professor of exercise and obesity at Leeds Metropolitan University and adviser to McDonald's, said: "These sorts of nudge methods won't tackle real obesity."

All About Weight is committed to instilling a culture of ‘ lifestyle nutrition’ into Britain. Alison Wetton said that it targeted McDonalds because of its popularity with children and food education must begin with children.

“The ‘Responsibility Deal’ is no more than a step in the right direction,” she said. “Overweight parents can start on the right path by switching to a healthy diet themselves – improving their health, losing weight, gaining fitness and, most importantly, setting a good example for their children.”

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