When you think of hospital food, usually thoughts of bland, microwavable dishes fill your head, reminding you of the worst school lunch programs ever. But when you visit a loved one in the hospital, there are times when you stay a little little longer than expected, and you need something convenient to hold you over. Consequently, a lot of hospitals have responded to this demand by allowing McDonald’s and other fast-food chains to serve visitors and staff on their campuses.

Considering the national awareness of obesity-related illnesses, many activists are demanding that fast-food restaurants cease and desist its operations on hospital grounds.

According to Fox News, Corporate Accountability International sent letters to 22 U.S. hospitals with McDonald’s franchises, urging them to “stop fostering a food environment that promotes harm, not health.”

Citing the grim facts on obesity in America, where almost two-thirds of the population are either obese or overweight, the watchdog group is putting the pressure on McDonald’s in particular because of what they call “predatory marketing to children.”

In a written response to the campaign against them, McDonald’s spokeswoman Danya Proud said the company is proud of its evolving menu, which offers a wide variety of options, including many that are low in fat, sodium, and calories. “It’s not about where you eat,” she claimed. It’s about “how much a person chooses to consume.”

But the Corporate Accountability is not buying what the Mickey-D’s spokeswoman is selling. Sara Deon, the project director, argues that fast-food is one reason so many kids are obese. So it’s indefensible, in her view, for hospitals to give aid and comfort to the biggest fast-food company of all. “It really runs counter to the goals of a health institution,” she said.

This seems like this will be a contentious issue for a long while, as many hospitals are indebted to the charitable donations from McDonald’s philanthropy wing, The Ronald McDonald House.

According to the Miami Herald, Broward Health in Weston, Florida depends heavily on McDonald’s Corp. for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, which according to Broward’s spokeswoman Jenny Mackie, “was instrumental in funding the opening.”

Meanwhile, in its letters to hospitals, Corporate Responsibility said: “It’s really no surprise McDonald’s sites stores in hospitals. After all, for decades, McDonald’s has attempted to co-opt the health community, to deflect blame for the epidemic of disease that it has helped drive, and to pose itself as part of the solution.”

It seems like this debate will force hospitals to make a choice, one way or another but one thing is for certain, this issue of obesity is not going anywhere, especially as America’s waistline continues to expand.

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3 Comments

  1. That’s a big nay. McDonald’s is much of the problem throughout the world when it CDs to harmful chemicals not obesity. Obesity can happen by a numer of ways not isolated to the cons piton of McDonald’s or fast food. the chemicals and hormones are much worse for kids but it takes a pretty irresponsible parent to feed his/her child fast-food nowadays

  2. JessicaMercedes

    This is a tough one. Before reading the article my answer would have been: Hospitals should not have McDonald’s on the premises. However, I wouldn’t want them to take away hospital funding because they can’t profit off of patients and hospital visitors anymore. McDonald’s should give without asking for anything in exchange. To them its probably an all around win. They get to expand the franchise, make a tax right off, and help sick kids all at once. However, it just seems wrong to me. People speak out all the time about schools having vending machines full of unhealthy snacks in them. I don’t really see how this is different. Either way people have to rely on personal responsibility, but those fries are hard to resist.

  3. We need to stop blaming the fast food franchises for our opoor eating habits. I agree with the McDonald’s spokesperson…it’s not their fault that you choose to over eat and not exercise properly. We are almost blind to personal accountability these days…we can’t keep blaming others for how we choose to live our lives. We can’t (and should not) ban everything but we can take control of our personal lives and those of our children.

    “Sara Deon, the project director, argues that fast-food is one reason so many kids are obese.”

    Again…no Sara. If the kids are fat because they eating to much McDonald’s…tell me who takes them there and pays for it or gives them the money to they can purchase it? McDonald’s isn’t. If 5 year year old’s are walking up to the counter with debit cards or cash that’s another whole conversation. And since when did Corporate Accountability mean anything? They have no problem taking money from McDonalds and letting McDonald’s build new medical facilities for them…we gonna ban that too? And who then picks up the cost? Just guess.

    That’s like blaming video games for your child being a couch potato. Or the I Phone because they text too much. Parents buy all this crap and then use it as a baby sitting device or they buy for the child because everyone else is doing it.

    Bad and almost non-exisitant parenting is what is at the heart of most childhood obesity. Good eating habits, dining manners and kitchen skills start in the home…or that is where it should be starting.

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