Apr 27, 2016 03:24 AM EDT

McDonald's, Mars, Coke, Pepsi, Et Al Urge Customers To Eat Less

After convincing their customers to buy more of their products, large food companies are now advising consumers to eat less of them.

Today, food manufacturers and retailers are offering smaller food packages, thinner cookies, and shrinking burger sizes. One company is even advising its buyers to cut back on some of its most indulgent foods.

Mars, the producer of Uncle Ben's Rice and M&Ms, announced early this month that it would begin to label some of its products with words like they "should only be eaten occasionally due to their high sugar, fat and salt contents."

Here are some of the recent happenings in the food industry that shows this approach.

McDonald's announced a week ago that it is testing new sizes of its Big Mac, and is thinking of introducing a smaller "Mac Jr."

Coke and Pepsi are looking for a large audience for miniature soda cans while selling at the same time two litter guzzlers.

Mondeleze recently unveiled last year its "thin" Oreos, a smaller cookie in a smaller package size with fewer calories per serving.

Starbucks last summer sold frappuccinos in mini sizes.

In a related development, the government released new federal dietary guidelines in January urging Americans to cut back on sugar, specifically to limit their consumption of added sugars to 10 percent of daily calories.

These guidelines must have led to the changes in food nutrition labels. The Food and Drug Administration also proposed labels that would require food and beverage firms to disclose the quantity of added sugars in their products as a method of distinguishing them from the natural sugars in foods.

The World Health Organization has similarly echoed such measures when it cited the evidence that reducing added sugar could lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes, obesity, some types of cancer and heart disease.

The recent moves of the most popular brands in the food industry seem to show they are slowly latching on to this healthy bandwagon.

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