OAK BROOK, ILL. – The McDonald’s Corp. will add the choice of a side salad, fruit or vegetables as a replacement for french fries in its value meals in 20 of the company’s largest markets by 2020. The effort is part of a partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which was founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation.

The company also said it will promote and market only water, milk and juice as a beverage in Happy Meals on menu boards and in-store and external advertising. All components of the effort will be implemented in 30% to 50% of the 20 major markets within three years and 100% of the 20 markets by 2020.

“This commitment reflects McDonald’s progress regarding nutrition and well-being,” said Don Thompson, president and chief executive officer of McDonald’s. “Our partnership with the Clinton Foundation and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation is another important step in our journey. And we know there’s more to do. We will continue to use our size and scale around the world to help educate, empower and encourage our customers to make informed choices so they can live a balanced and healthy lifestyle.”

The 20 markets where McDonald’s will initiate the effort include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong), France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and the United States. The markets make up 85% of the company’s global sales.

“We’ve seen voluntary agreements with industry have profound impact, including our work with the beverage industry to limit the amount of calories shipped to schools,” said President Bill Clinton. “Those agreements resulted in a 90% reduction in total beverage calories shipped to schools between 2004 and 2010. If we want to curb the catastrophic economic and health implications of obesity across the world, we need more companies to follow McDonald’s lead and to step up to the plate and make meaningful changes. I applaud them for doing it.”