McDonald's New 'Healthy' Drink? IS It Healthy?


This morning, as I was reading my daily ADA news articles, one particular blurb from The Sun caught my eye.  Apparently, McDonald’s is launching a brand NEW! fizzy “fruit juice drink” geared toward children as a “healthy” alternative to soda. The said beverage is called Fruitizz and McDonald’s announced “We are thrilled to be unveiling Fruitizz, a refreshing fizzy fruit juice drink that will help parents give children one of their five-a-day.”

Oh joy! Oh Bliss.

Now, before I go bashing McDonald’s, I will admit that they have made strides to improve their menu over the years AND provide adequate nutrition facts for their meals. However, they’re still a fast-food burger joint and the majority of customers come in for their burger and fry fix (or nuggets). Let’s be honest here.

When it comes to children, fast-food burger joints are a touchy subject with me. I just don’t believe that these are places where we can give our developing children substantial nutrition. Even if the Happy Meal OFFERS apple dippers and 2% milk as options, the apples still come with a caramel-y dipping sauce and the milk? Well, is non-organic milk really that healthy for them? Maybe better than the orange drink…?

NOW, as a way to lure unsuspecting parents to the drive-thru, McDonald’s wants to launch ‘Fruitizz.” With just about 49 grams of sugar per 500 mL, ‘Fruitizz’ is sure to put your little one into a sugar coma for hours to come. Oh dear.

“McDonald’s defended the new fizzy drink, stating it contains no added sugars, artificial colours or flavours, and that the sugar content is derived from natural sweeteners in fruit. According to Omninfo the drink contains a mix of 60 percent fruit juice combined with natural sparkling water. The fruit juice is a mixture of raspberry, grape and apple juice. The chain is marketing the drink as a healthier alternative to Coca-Cola although it contains just 7.5g less sugar.” (source)

Now, I’m not saying that kids are really drinking a full 500 mL of this stuff, but to call this a “nutritious beverage” that can be part of their ’5 A-day,’ is insane. Call it what it is! Might as well be giving them Fruit Punch (or a soda)!

When it comes to children, I typically recommend that the average sugar intake not exceed 3 teaspoons of sugar a day. That’s a hard quota to hover around, especially with all the packaged, processed foods and drinks that our children are consuming these days. It is up to the parent though, to help children reduce their sugar intake, as it can lead to obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, and improper nutrition. A good place to start is looking at the beverages they are consuming. It is NOT necessary for children to drink fruit juice, milk, punch, and soda all throughout the day. ALL children should be drinking water as their primary beverage and eating as many WHOLE foods as possible. Replace ‘Fruitizz’ with a REAL piece of fruit and they will actually be contributing to their 5-9 A Day!

Steer clear parents. ‘Fruitizz’ is NOT healthy.

Question: What are your thoughts on the launch of ‘Fruitizz?’ 




16 comments to McDonald’s New ‘Healthy’ Drink? IS It Healthy?

  • adam everett

    I think you need perspective guys. Mc’d should be a treat not a diet. I would agree living off a mc’d menu would not be very good. Live some, life’s really is just too short to be woried about how much sugar is in that drink. It’ aint gonna kill you, and it aint really that bad!. And yes you do walk into mc’d and have a salad bowl with a chicken fillet, have you not tried it!.

    If you look at eating lots of friut then lets talk about acid errosion, seen it, not good either.

    As a country we are the biggest consumers of choclate in europe. Now thats worth talking about.

  • I feel that it is just like a soda! That is a WHOLE lot of sugar to have in one drink. Yes, sugar is sugar. Nonetheless, at least real fruits come with fiber and vitamins and minerals and phytochemicals!

  • Hello lovely!
    I don’t think Canadian Mcdonald’s have the fizzy drinks yet. At least I haven’t seen them. However, I have seen the adds for Mcdonald’s new fruit smoothies and they boast that they’re made with yogurt and real fruit. What’s your opinion on the smoothies?
    Hope you are doing well and feeling great in your last trimester!

  • Up until right now I hadn’t heard of this new bevy but let me tell you I am NOT impressed. I’m with you. McDonald’s is really trying hard to make themselves look like they are making healthy strides but at the end of the day, it’s McDonalds. You don’t go to McDOnalds to get a salad you go for a double quarter pounder with cheese with a side order of HEART ATTACK.

    It saddens me but it’s a reality.

    I say, what’s wrong with water???

  • adam everett

    There are so many health freaks out there, look at all the comments above.
    Is there anyone on the side of mc’d.
    Come on you guys you are all so biased. Maybe we should just treat our kids with bread and water!

    People who don’t entertain visting the store because of healthy eating will just blast anything a buger chain offers to try and better itself. So why are you getting so worked up on it? You dont use it.

    Its better than coke so thats all that counts. Its a treat not a diet.

    Should supermarkets not sell Alchol, how many of you guys down a bottle when you go out?

  • My thoughts are…..this is nauseating. BLAH, I hate it when companies do this! Can you imagine being the dietitian for McDonalds?? Having to go against all that you actually believe?! Yikes. No thanks. I’d rather give my child the OJ that’s on their menu.

  • Oh gawd…YUCK! Come on with this..really??? Ugh.

    I agree with you, they’ve made stride…but my daughter will never see the inside of one (or a drive thru) if I have anything to say about it!

    Thank you for bringing these topics and products to light, Erin!

  • I agree that they should just call it what it is! I feel like this is how so many people get confused. Obviously we know to look twice at these items, but most the public may not.
    Oh McDonald’s, I just don’t know what to say. ;)

  • I just realized that the new dring says FANTA. Don’t they make that sweet soda pop? That sould be a clue right there.

  • I have learned to be a little weary about McDonald’s healthy choices. When they started to serve oatmeal, I was excited. I even learned to ask if they had one without the brown sugar, and they did. I just added Splenda or Stevia. For some reason, it still tasted too good to be true and I was gaining weight. Now mind you, I didn’t go there everyday. Just mainly everyother weekend after working out. I finally asked the manager what else was in this besides the oatmeal and fruit. He told me cream. I just about died. I knew it was tasting too good. With all that said, I am not a fan of fast foods healthy choice menus and avoid them. This new drink from McDonalds is just another example…too good to be true!

  • That amount of sugar is ABSURD! Water, water, water.

  • Hmmm

    …but, how much sugar is in that piece of fruit you suggest?

  • ashley

    Sugar is a drug. The reason fruit is on the list of things we should eat isn’t because of the vitamins, but also the FIBER. Put the fruit in a juice and the fiber is gone. Fiber and sugar work together; take away the fiber and you’ve got a ton of sugar with nowhere to go. Give your children water or milk. Juice and pop in anything but moderation is child abuse, in my opinion. They are dependent on US to make good decisions for them. Let’s be responsible adults and choose what’s best for our kids, not what’s most convenient, cheap, or what will make them happiest in the present.

  • I feel this is along the lines of other products out there that are “healthy” but not quite. Like Jif being a peanut butter “spread” and not actual peanut butter. Maybe there is one thing that is beneficial… but it doesn’t counterbalance the sugar and such.

    Granted, I’m not a juice person, but aren’t you supposed to be super careful with what kind of juice you buy, anyway?

  • I just about spit out my coffee when I saw that sugar content! What’s wrong with water for kids?

  • Meg

    I have to say: it’s all coming together now. When my brother and I were kids, our mom NEVER took us to fast food. (Though once in a long while our dad would take us there for breakfast on saturdays so we could play and mom could sleep in.) We never had soda in our house, though we did have juice. As a kid, I felt like I was missing out on a lot of junk that other kids got to have, but now I can really see why my mom kept that stuff away from us. No wonder so many kids are struggling with ADD, 49g of sugar is a LOT for a a full grown person to have at one time!

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said McDonald’s is still a fast food joint. It’s really unfortunately that so many foods are masked as being “healthy” when in reality they are not. It just comes down to common sense.

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