Fast food chains across the country are attempting to reverse the trend that accelerated when the first Big Mac rolled off the conveyor belt in 1968 — all in response to America’s expanding waistline.
A number of major chains have recently turned to salads, healthier sandwiches, even fruit, and their websites have been reformulated to allow for nutrition and ingredient information. For the most part, fast food establishments are trying to overhaul their image of being a repository for all things unhealthy. It seems to be working. Over the past year, fast food companies reported a 16 percent growth in servings of main dish salads, according to the market research firm NPD Group.
At McDonald’s that means “premium salads” such as …
a Caesar with Paul Newman dressing and either grilled or crispy (read: fried) chicken.
Besides salads, the company has introduced sliced apples with caramel sauce in some markets as a substitute for fries. And on placemats, in addition to being tempted by the latest action figure or movie tie-in, customers can now peer down at a list of “healthy lifestyle” tips by Bob Greene, Oprah Winfrey’s personal trainer. That’s not to mention the new package design the company just unveiled that features photos such as an athlete crossing the finish line.