US fastfood giant McDonald's has launched Passport to Play, its new in-school programme aimed at motivating children to be more active.

"With Passport to Play, children will engage in playground games and physical activities from around the world, while learning more about the culture and country where the activities originate. Passport to Play is being activated in 31,000 US schools, includes a national tour that will make stops at more than 90 schools and is expected to reach seven million school children this year," the company said.

The programme forms part of McDonald's strategy to fend off criticism of its high-calorie and high-fat foods amid concerns over childhood obesity levels. The company has also improved its menu variety and choice, offering fruit and low-fat milk instead of fries and carbonated drinks.