The children’s hospital where I work recently announced it will be getting rid of its onsite McDonald’s. The restaurant will be out by the end of the year. It joins a long line of hospitals that have ejected their golden arches, including Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The Cleveland Clinic once tried to do so, but couldn’t get out of its contract.
Why would a hospital seek to evict McDonald’s from its premises?
In a nation confronting epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, healthcare facilities do not want to encourage fast-food eating patterns. No hospital wants to “send the wrong message.” A 2006 study showed that people who see a McDonald’s in a hospital tend to rate its food as healthier. Perhaps its mere presence smacks of endorsement.
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