McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) public relations department has been working overtime to show that the fast food chain cares about customer health. In September it announced:
McDonald’s 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
Access is one thing, and choices are another. The McDonald’ menu is still dominated by high calorie, high fat, and high sodium foods. The tremendous presence of these on the menu shows how strongly McDonald’s puts sales over heath concerns, which is as it should be with a public company, the goal of which is to sell as much fast food as quickly as possible.
The products which have been the core of the McDonald’s menu for decades are big sandwiches and sugary drinks. Among the mainstays of the menu are the Big Mac which has 550 calories, the Quarter Pounder with Cheese which has 520 calories. For people who want to upgrade, McDonald’s offers the Bacon & Cheese Quarter Pounder with 600 calories. For customers who can’t fight the urge to have a side dish, the Large French Fries have only 500 calories–without ketchup. It is hard to wash so much food down without a drink. A large McCafe Chocolate Shake has only 850 calories.
McDonald’s largest push to increase global sales has been to become a breakfast destination, and its earnings have consistently shown that the decision has helped. Breakfast, for the most part, is not for dieters. A Steak, Egg & Cheese Biscuit only has 510 calories. And, for those who want a real meal, the Big Breakfast has 740 calories, Add a Large McCafe Mocha with 500 calories…
It would not be fair to tour the McDonald’s menu without a look at its salads. The calorie count in the Premium Bacon Ranch Salad With Crispy Chicken–only 390, for people who need to watch their weight.