McDonald’s is pushing, hard, to be healthier, and lure back diners in the process. The McVegan has joined the menu for good. They’re sourcing their meat more responsibly. And now, to help fight the obesity epidemic among kids, McDonald’s is giving an iconic Happy Meal item the boot. Yep, Happy Meals will no longer come with cheeseburgers.
According to Bloomberg, the burger banishing is part of a push to get the Happy Meal below 600 calories, and includes changes like less sugar in the chocolate milk and adding bottled water as an option. You can still get a cheeseburger if you specifically request it, but it won’t be on the menu as an option. Instead, kids can opt for a hamburger or chicken nuggets.
It may sound like a minor change, but removing the cheese slice loses 50 calories. That said, it’s pretty hard to get a Happy Meal too far above 600 calories in the first place, and even 650 isn’t terrible for one meal, considering kids need between 1,400 and 2,600 calories a day, depending on how active they are. And it’s not just raw calories that contribute to America’s obesity problem, but a complex network of biological factors we only poorly understand. On the other hand, McDonald’s might have done this entirely to see how many people write headlines about cutting the cheese, and isn’t that a public service in of itself?