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Weighing in on McDonald's move to post calories

Items on the breakfast menu, including the calories,

Items on the breakfast menu, including the calories, are posted at a McDonald's restaurant in New York. McDonald's restaurants across the country will post calorie information on restaurant and drive-thru menus nationwide starting Monday. (Sept. 12, 2012) Credit: AP

Here’s a health tidbit that might make Michelle Obama start jumping (jacks) for joy.

The first lady’s campaign against childhood obesity involves getting our kids off the couch and moving, as well as getting them to eat healthy. Her mission may have just gotten a boost.

McDonald’s — the world’s biggest hamburger chain and a favorite haunt of busy parents — announced it will post calorie information on its restaurant and drive-thru menus nationwide starting Monday. The move comes ahead of a regulation requiring major chains to post the info as early as next year.

Jan Fields, president of McDonald’s USA, in a statement said, “We recognize customers want to know more about the nutrition content of the food and beverages they order.”

Cities such as New York already require chain restaurants to post calorie counts. Eateries such as Panera Bread, one of my family’s favorite, also post calories.

Now that school and after-school programs are in full session and you head to the nearest fast-food place instead of eating a home-cooked meal, tools such as these can help families make informed nutrition choices.

Perhaps staring at the calorie count of a McDonald’s double quarter pounder with cheese (750 calories) will make the kids opt for its premium grilled chicken classic sandwich (350 calories) instead. Or you might opt for a baked potato instead of a large order of fries.

What’s important is that should you eat on the run, you can still eat healthy. You may want to do some jumping jacks, to boot.

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