US fastfood chain McDonald’s has unveiled a new multi-year plan aimed at tackling America’s obesity problem.

The initiative, which will focus on both adults and children, aims to promote “the importance of balance and includes significant efforts in the areas of food choices, physical activity and education,” the company said.

The “balanced lifestyle platform” includes new food choices such as the “Go Active! Adult Happy Meal”, which includes a salad, bottled water and a Stepometer, as well as a brochure that promotes walking as an attainable and effective form of exercise.

McDonald’s will also launch its new Happy Meal Choices across the US. The new format allows parents and children to choose new offerings, such as Apple Dippers and apple juice, in place of other, less healthy options in Happy Meals.

The company also plans to capitalise on the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets with the launch of “low-carb-style” burgers and other sandwiches, which will be served without the bread buns. There will also be a “Simple Steps” brochure available to help customer choose options with lower fat, calories or carbohydrates.

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In the education part of the plan, McDonald’s said it has volunteered to take an industry-leading role to respond to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to determine the best way to communicate nutrition information to consumers. McDonald’s will also test providing nutrition information on Happy Meals.