Prince, McDonald's get into healthy debate

Feb. 27, 2007 at 9:37 PM

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Britain's Prince Charles, visiting the United Arab Emirates, said banning U.S. fast food giant McDonald's was the key to healthy diets for children.

But the chain responded by saying the prince was unaware of menu changes.

The prince spoke as he and the Duchess of Cornwall visited a diabetes center in Abu Dhabi and observed children packing lunches of healthy food, The Telegraph said Tuesday.

As a nutritionist told him center workers tried to discourage children from eating fast food, he replied, "Have you got anywhere with McDonald's, have you tried getting it banned? That's the key."

"The comment made by the Prince of Wales appears to be an off-the-cuff remark that, in our opinion, does not reflect either our menu or where we are at as a business," McDonald's said in a statement. "It is disappointing as he is clearly unaware of some of the moves we have made over time to improve choice and variety on our menu."

Aides said the prince is a long-time advocate of a balanced diet, especially for children.

The prince wanted to stress the need for children to eat a variety of food and not "any particular sort of food to excess," an aide said.

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