McDonald's to Print Nutrition Info on Packaging

McDonald's Corp. (MCD) customers will soon know that the Big Mac they bought contains almost half their recommended daily fat intake just by looking at the wrapper.

In its latest measure to fend off critics that blame the world's largest restaurant company for contributing to a rising incidence of obesity and other health problems, McDonald's on Tuesday said it will start printing nutritional information on the packaging of its food.

Information including calories, fat grams, protein, carbohydrates and sodium is already available in bie diet (47 percent of total recommended fat for the Big Mac (search).)

Customers will also be able to go to the company's Web site and tailor the information for themselves, using age, gender and other variables.

McDonald's plans to have the new packaging in more than 20,000 of its roughly 30,000 restaurants by the end of 2006, starting in February at the Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy.

The cost of changing the packaging will have a minimal impact on earnings, Skinner said.

In recent months, McDonald's has undertaken a campaign to promote what it calls balanced, active lifestyles, eliminating "Super Size" menu options, and using marketing and advertising to promote physical activity.

The company has also added several entree-sized salads and grilled chicken sandwiches to its menu.

The campaign followed the 2004 release of Morgan Spurlock's (search) film "Super Size Me (search)," a cautionary tale about the dangers of eating too much fast food, in which the filmmaker subsisted on nothing but McDonald's fare for a month.

McDonald's shares were down 32 cents at $32.80 on the New York Stock Exchange.