McD’s Fries: Great Taste, More Trans Fats
By George Anderson
Improvements in food testing helped McDonald’s discover an unpleasant fact about the company’s famed French fries. They have one-third more trans fats than the company previously thought.
The announcement by McD’s comes at a time when the company begins disclosing the nutritional data for the items on its menu on new packaging. Federal guidelines for trans fats urge consumers to “just say no” to ingesting any trans fats, which have been show to increase bad cholesterol and the risk of heart attack.
Back in 2002, McDonald’s pledged to reduce the trans fats in its fries but the company has been reluctant to tinker in a way that would dramatically alter the taste of the product.
Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), told The Associated Press, “Nutritionally it’s a disastrous product. McDonald’s could fry in canola oil or other liquid oil.” The company already uses other oils in countries including Australia, Denmark and Israel, he said.
Cathy Kapica, global nutrition director for McDonald’s said the company is proud of its menu options.
“It is important to note that McDonald’s menu has a wide range of choice and variety, with an array of portion sizes, including three options with french fries – small, medium and large,” she said.
Moderator’s Comment: Will the announcement that McDonald’s French fries contain higher level of trans fats result in slower sales of the menu item? How
should McDonald’s handle this from a stakeholder communications standpoint? –
George Anderson – Moderator