McDonald�s tackles health issues with new meal deal

OAK BROOK, IL: Trying to capture the high ground in the nation?s ongoing debate over obesity and nutrition, McDonald?s has teamed up with Oprah Winfrey?s personal trainer to demonstrate its commitment to healthy foods and physical fitness.

OAK BROOK, IL: Trying to capture the high ground in the nation?s ongoing debate over obesity and nutrition, McDonald?s has teamed up with Oprah Winfrey?s personal trainer to demonstrate its commitment to healthy foods and physical fitness.

McDonald?s this month unveiled its new ?Go Active? Meal, a $4.99 adult offering of a salad and bottled water or a medium fountain drink.

Currently being test-marketed at 150 McDonald?s restaurants in the Indianapolis area, the meal also includes a pedometer and an information booklet from Bob Greene, with whom millions of Americans are familiar from his work with Oprah.

Greene, whose picture appears on the meal box, will be used extensively to promote the new offering. McDonald?s is using long-time agency Golin Harris International to help with this effort.

Last week, McDonald?s took Greene to New York for a satellite media tour. He?s already addressed employees at the company?s US headquarters here and will speak to members of the American Dietetic Association later this year, said Mike Donahue, VP, US communications and customer satisfaction at McDonald?s.

The fast-food giant has been a frequent target of groups complaining about obesity and the poor eating habits of Americans. It?s also been subject to a lawsuit by someone claiming its food made him obese.

The affiliation with Greene and the new meal are part of an ?effort to exert leadership in another area of social responsibility. We feel it?s our obligation to go out there and help change the discussion,? Donahue said.

McDonald?s says its new salad line has been a hit with mothers of young children and feels that Greene?s association with Oprah should help it continue to be a draw for that group.

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