(Fox News) – McDonald’s says fewer people are picking soda for Happy Meals after it stopped listing the drinks as an option on its menu boards.
The world’s biggest hamburger chain said Thursday 48 percent of Happy Meals orders chose soda as a beverage in the U.S. after it was scrubbed from menus and marketing materials between July of last year and May. That’s down from 56 percent in the year-ago period.
“I would expect that this would continue to go down,” said Julia Braun, director of nutrition at McDonald’s.
The results were noted in a report commissioned by McDonald’s Corp. to track its progress on a pledge made in late 2013 with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which was founded by the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association.
The pledge is part of a push by McDonald’s to quiet critics who say it serves junk food and peddles unhealthy choices to children. Shaking that reputation is particularly important for McDonald’s, whose courtship of parents and children over the decades helped make it an industry leader.