Ronald McDonald: Healthy Food Adviser? Schools Can Get $1,000 for Allowing the Clown to Pitch to Students

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She confirmed, though, that the same group that did the Allentown show had additional in-school events planned for 2012 in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware. To the north, a different group of franchises has launched the McDonald's New York Metro Nutrition Network, whose goal, according to its website, is to help local nonprofit organizations provide nutrition guidance. Nonprofits, including schools, can apply for $5,000 grants, five of which will be awarded this year.

Tanya Zuckerbrot, a dietitian and author of "The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss," said she had partnered with the New York network to advise it on nutrition. In an earlier book, Zuckerbrot named McDonald's as one fast-food chain that offered healthy menu choices. She recently prepared tips for eating at McDonald's for the New York network, showing how the health-and-calorie conscious could eat three meals at day at the Golden Arches and still keep their calorie count to 1,180.

"I have always recommended to my patients that they can eat healthy while dining out," she told ABC News.

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