McDonald's to display calorie counts on in-store menus

05/09/11

McDonald's

Ever wondered how many calories are in that Big Mac or milkshake?

For the first time, McDonald's is going to display calorie information on its menus.

The fast food firm, which has 1,200 restaurants in the UK, has agreed to join the government-backed scheme.

McDonald's calorie count

    • Big Mac - 490kcal
    • Medium fries - 330kcal
    • Medium strawberry milkshake - 380kcal
    • Chicken and bacon salad - 325kcal
    • DoH Recommended daily allowance - 2,500kcal (men), 2,000kcal (women)
Source: McDonald's nutrition counter

From Wednesday 7 September, the calorie content of each item will be displayed on the menu boards in-store.

McDonald's already puts this information on its food packaging.

'Hidden calories'

Several other companies have already signed up for the scheme, including KFC, Pret A Manger, JD Wetherspoon and Pizza Hut.

The consumer group Which? says many other firms are yet to join, including Subway, Pizza Express, Domino's Pizza, Nando's, Caffè Nero and Costa.

Ministers hope the scheme will encourage people to eat more healthy food.

Problems linked to obesity cost the NHS more than £4bn a year.

Newsbeat has been to speaking to customers at one McDonald's in central London, where the calorie counts are already on display.

James Woolley, 31

James

"I have some fast food every few weeks and I burn it all off. It's convenient for me because I don't get time to make my own lunch.

"I don't think this idea is going to work at all because we all know what we're getting.

"I really don't care how many calories there are in things - not bothered at all."

Lily Wang and Jenny San, both 25

Lily and Jenny

Jenny said: "Normally I check for calories in my food but when it comes to something like McDonalds, I know what I'm coming for so it doesn't bother me as much.

"I don't even see what is so wrong with getting some fast food anyway, it's cheap, convenient and hot."

Lily said: "I really wouldn't want to know how much there was in my burger, it would probably upset me. The idea is good, but there's nothing wrong with wanting to eat junk food."

Gloria Chukou, 23

gloria

"It's a really good idea because people usually deny to themselves that's something is fatty, and because the calorie amount is not on there, it's an excuse to keep going.

"This way you're confronted face to face with it and you know exactly what's inside it, so you've got no one else to blame."