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After Men's Fitness magazine named Houston, Texas the fattest city in the country for the third consecutive year, city leaders have instituted Get Lean Houston, a civic fitness program to promote better diet and exercise. In what those outside the industry may call ironic, McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) has been named the official restaurant sponsor.
According to Reuters, McDonald's will promote a special low-fat menu of salads, chicken sandwiches and a veggie burger in its 253 Houston restaurants. In addition, the burger chain will promote efforts to get fit, including offering customer pedometers to measure their walks.
"McDonald's is a restaurant giant. The positive impact we can have on the community...is, in short, huge," Lee Labrada, a former Mr. Universe who is running the Get Lean Houston program, told a news conference.
According to Reuters, Don Thompson, president of McDonald's West division, said, "I don't believe obesity is a McDonald's problem. I do believe it's going to take the McDonald's of the world to take a leadership role to move forward on this."
Reuters reported that McDonald's owners, operators, and employees will be encouraged to slim down as well.