Alliance for a Healthier Generation and McDonald's Announce Groundbreaking CGI Commitment to Promote Balanced Food and Beverage Choices

Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:18pm EDT

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Alliance for a Healthier Generation and McDonald's Announce Groundbreaking CGI Commitment to Promote Balanced Food and Beverage Choices

McDonald's Commits to Leveraging Menu and Marketing Power to Increase Access to Fruits and Vegetables to Help Families Make Informed Choices

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - September 26, 2013) -  McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) is partnering with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association, to increase customers' access to fruit and vegetables and help families and children to make informed choices in keeping with balanced lifestyles. President Bill Clinton, founder of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, Don Thompson, President and CEO of McDonald's, and Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, announced the groundbreaking Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment today at the 2013 CGI Annual Meeting in New York City. 

McDonald's worked with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to develop a comprehensive plan for 20 of the restaurant chain's largest markets.*

McDonald's specifically commits to:

  • Provide customers a choice of a side salad, fruit or vegetable as a substitute for French fries in value meals. (Salad, fruit or vegetable option will vary per participating market.)

The commitment also includes the following related to the promotion and advertising of Happy Meals:

  • Promote and market only water, milk, and juice as the beverage in Happy Meals on menu boards and in-store and external advertising
  • Utilize Happy Meal and other packaging innovations and designs to generate excitement for fruit, vegetable, low/reduced-fat dairy, or water options for kids
  • Dedicate Happy Meal box or bag panels to communicate a fun nutrition or children's well-being message
  • Ensure 100 percent of all advertising directed to children to include a fun nutrition or children's well-being message

"We've seen voluntary agreements with industry have profound impact -- including our work with the beverage industry to limit the amount of calories shipped to schools. Those agreements resulted in a 90 percent reduction in total beverage calories shipped to schools between 2004 and 2010," said President Clinton. "If we want to curb the catastrophic economic and health implications of obesity across the world we need more companies to follow McDonald's lead and to step up to the plate and make meaningful changes. I applaud them for doing it."

McDonald's will retain an independent, reputable third party organization to verify progress on the commitment in a clear and transparent manner as part of the agreement. All pieces of this commitment will be implemented in 30-50 percent of the 20 major markets within three years and 100 percent of the 20 markets by 2020.

"This commitment reflects McDonald's progress regarding nutrition and well-being," said Thompson. "Our partnership with the Clinton Foundation and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation is another important step in our journey. And we know there's more to do. We will continue to use our size and scale around the world to help educate, empower and encourage our customers to make informed choices so they can live a balanced and healthy lifestyle."

This global commitment builds on the nutrition initiatives underway in many countries where McDonald's does business. Today, McDonald's USA announced progress related to nutrition goals set in 2011; that report can be found at mcdonalds.com/nutrition.

Working with industry has been a critical strategy for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a national nonprofit working to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity. The Alliance has brokered voluntary agreements with more than 100 industry leaders in school food and healthcare to ensure children have access to healthier foods and beverages and healthcare benefits to prevent and treat childhood obesity.

"This is an essential step in the fight against obesity. Effective promotion of healthier choices can have a substantial impact on the food and beverage choices that get made," said Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. "It is imperative for McDonald's and other industry leaders to leverage their market share and cultural relevance to help inform and influence the way families eat outside the home."

*McDonald's will take these actions in 20 major markets representing more than 85 percent of global sales. The markets are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China (includes Hong Kong market), France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and United States.

About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, works to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity and to empower kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits. The Alliance works with schools, companies, community organizations, healthcare professionals and families to transform the conditions and systems that lead to healthier children. To learn more and join the movement, visit www.HealthierGeneration.org

About The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation
The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation builds partnerships of great purpose between businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals everywhere to deliver lasting solutions and empower people to live better lives. Because of our work, 18,000 American schools are providing kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; 21,000 African farmers have improved their crops to feed 30,000 people; 248 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced in cities worldwide; more than 5,000 people have been trained in marketable job skills in Colombia; more than 5 million people have benefited from lifesaving HIV/AIDS medications; and members of the Clinton Global Initiative have made nearly 2,300 Commitments to Action to improve more than 400 million lives around the world. Learn more at http://www.clintonfoundation.org, and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.

About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 400 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world, and, this year, CGI Latin America, which will bring together Latin American leaders to identify, harness, and strengthen ways to improve the livelihoods of people in Latin America and around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

About McDonald's
McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with over 34,500 locations serving more than 69 million customers in more than 100 countries each day. More than 80% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local men and women. To learn more about the company, please visit: www.aboutmcdonalds.com and follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/mcdonaldscorp) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/McDonaldsCorp)

Media Contacts:

Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem
McDonald's
heidi.barker@us.mcd.com
630-623-3791

Becca Hary
McDonald's
becca.hary@us.mcd.com
630-623-7293

Megan McIntyre
Alliance for a Healthier Generation
megan.mcintyre@healthiergeneration.org
917-399-5250

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