US fastfood giant McDonald’s is to phase out its Super Size French fries and soft drinks as it tries to create a healthier image for itself.

The Super Size option is to be phased out by the end of the year in an attempt by McDonald’s to slim down its menu amid increasing concerns in the US about obesity, according to information provided by franchisees and reviewed by Dow Jones Newswires.

The company is also planning other menu changes, such as switching to a cinnamon roll and a sausage burrito as its core breakfast offering, while bagels would become an optional item. The company is to stop selling its 14-ounce McDonald’s Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait and replace it with a smaller-sized version of the product.

McDonald’s said the menu changes are part of its strategy to provide “a range of choices that support a balanced lifestyle”, Dow Jones reported.

The company added that the simplified core menu would be rolled out to all of its US restaurants by the end of 2004.

As part of the simplification, McDonald’s will begin to offer three size options for French fries: small (2.6 ounces), medium (four ounces) and large (six ounces). The US chain currently offers five different sizes – 2.4 ounces, 3.75 ounces, five ounces, six ounces and the Super Size seven ounces.

“The reason for reducing the number of fry sizes is to simplify operations and enhance our ability to deliver better service to our guests,” the company told franchisees.