Health Buzz: McDonald's to Debut Healthier Happy Meals

U.S. News releases list of 'Top Doctors.'


McDonald's Making Happy Meals More Healthful

McDonald's is making its Happy Meals healthier, the fast food chain announced today. That means adding a serving of fruit or veggies to the meals, and shrinking the portion of French fries. The changes will take effect in some markets in September and be implemented in all 14,000 McDonald's restaurants nationwide by April 2012. Depending on season and restaurant location, kids could find apples, carrots, pineapple, mandarin oranges, or raisins alongside their burger or McNuggets, according to the Chicago Tribune. Caramel sauce will no longer be offered with apple slices, and French fries will contain 1.1 ounces of potatoes, down from 2.4. Though soda will remain an option, parents will have to request it—soft drinks won't be advertised to children. "People come to McDonald's and, first of all, they want the choice and the control to be theirs, but their expectation of a Happy Meal does include a fry," Jan Fields, president of McDonald's USA, told the Los Angeles Times. "People tell us they want to feel good about visiting us regularly, about the food options that we serve, and want to visit us even more often."

U.S. News Releases List of 'Top Doctors'

Today, U.S. News unveiled its first-ever list of 'Top Doctors'—a searchable database that includes nearly 30,000 peer-nominated physicians nationwide. All of the doctors have been recommended for their clinical skills, including how well they relate to patients, and other qualifications such as education, training, hospital appointments, and administrative posts. Top Doctors is linked up with the U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings, so you can see which physicians are at the nation's best hospitals, and narrow the field by specialty (from cardiology to plastic surgery) and location. Here's the methodology behind the new project:

Peer Nominations and the Process Behind Top Doctors

When a patient needs a doctor with specific expertise—a heart specialist, for example—his current doctor may suggest one. If she doesn't have the name of a trusted cardiologist at the tip of her tongue, she'll probably turn to her colleagues for their input. Such is the nature of how patients and doctors often find top medical specialists. And it's the guiding principle behind the peer-nomination process used to compile Top Doctors.

U.S. News Top Doctors was developed in collaboration with Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., publisher of America's Top Doctors® and other guides, and was built upon data from Castle Connolly's Top Doctors™. The goals of the new project are twofold.

First, we want to help consumers find the doctors who can best address their needs. That's why Top Doctors are identified by location and by hospital affiliation, across a wide range of specialties and subspecialties and for over 2,000 diseases, medical issues, and procedures.

Second, we want to enlist doctors across the country in sharing their awareness of who among their peers are the most worthy of referral. Their collective wisdom, available at, will contribute to a growing knowledge base that extends and complements doctors' longstanding tradition of seeking recommendations from a convenient sample of their trusted colleagues. [Read more: Peer Nominations and the Process Behind Top Doctors.]

Popular Health Articles from

Need Care? Scan the Rankings: Best Nursing Homes, Best Health Plans, and Best Hospitals

Follow U.S. News Health on Twitter and find us on Facebook.