McDonald's halves fries in children's Happy Meals

McDonald's stores in the US have announced plans to halve the amount of French fries served in their Happy Meals in an attempt to make children's meals healthier.

The new-look food boxes will contain 1.1 ounces of French fries instead of the current 2.4 ounces, and children will be able to replace the chips with a side dish of fruit or vegetables depending on what is in season.

The Illinois-based fast food chain has been criticised for serving children's meals with high sugar and fat contents. It is thought these changes could prevent American children from ingesting 49 billion calories annually.

The new meals will be served in 14,000 US outlets by April next year.