McD’s Hones Healthier Image With New Hire

CHICAGO Continuing its efforts to present a healthier menu, McDonald’s Corp. Thursday appointed Cathy Kapica director of worldwide nutrition.

In the new post, Kapica, who has a Ph.D. and is a registered dietician, will work to help guide the Oak Brook, Ill., company’s nutritional and lifestyle initiatives. “Helping encourage our customers to eat smart and be active is an ongoing commitment that McDonald’s continues to make around the world,” said Ken Barun, McDonald’s corporate vice president, in a statement. “Adding someone with Cathy’s depth of experience in health science and nutrition is a great addition to the McDonald’s team.”

Kapica will report to Barun. Previously, she was director of nutrition education at the Quaker Oats Company in Chicago. Kapica was also on the faculty of Finch University of Health Sciences at the Chicago Medical School and the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine.

The move follows several initiatives by McDonald’s over the past year to offer healthier food initiatives. In addition to introducing a line of salads last April, the company has been market testing apple slices with its Happy Meals in Chicago and is promoting a Go Active combo, which includes a salad, bottle of water and a pedometer, for adults in Indianapolis.

McDonald’s was the subject of a lawsuit earlier this year in which two people charged that the company’s marketing programs led to their obesity. That suit was dismissed with prejudice by a federal judge in September.