Michelle Obama praises McDonald's new Happy Meals

Staff - nydailynews.com - 07/27/2011

McDonald's has finally done something do make the First Lady smile.

Michelle Obama is congratulating the fast food chain for agreeing to make its kids Happy Meals a little healthier.

"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," she said in a statement Tuesday. "McDonald's has continued to evolve its menu, and I look forward to hearing about the progress of today's commitments, as well as efforts in the years to come."

McDonald's finally bowed to pressure from anti-child-obesity health advocates, and the new meals will include apple slices, a new smaller serving of French fries and a choice of fat-free chocolate milk or 1% low-fat white milk.

McDonald's will begin rolling out the new Happy Meals in September, with the goal of having them available in all 14,000 restaurants early next year.

More than 15,000 eateries across the country agreed to offer 600-calorie kids meals that feature two servings of fruit, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy, the National Restaurant Association announced last week.

These meals – which will be sold at 19 chains, including Burger King, IHOP and Friendly's - will follow federal recommendations for salt, fat and sugar. The joints also must offer a side dish of 200 calories or less.

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