Gone are the days when smoking was not only allowed in hospitals, but cigarettes were often available at hospital gift shops–even pharmacies! While this practice has been long-since universally banned, perhaps it’s not shocking to discover that fast food companies continue to aggressively peddle their unhealthy fare to patients at dozens of hospitals around the US.
In its fifth Hospital Foods Report, the 150,000 member Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine found that dozens of medical centers, some of them leading institutions such as Baylor, Duke Medicine, MD Anderson and Baptist Health, continue to make fast food available to their patients. This despite long-established research that has irrefutably linked high fat, high-carb, calorie-dense “junk food” to increased risks for obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other life-threatening conditions.
Of the 200 hospitals surveyed, dozens of fast food operators were found to have long-term contracts with McDonalds, Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A and other vendors. In some hospitals, McDonald’s even offers a “McDelivery” service to patients’ wards.
Such medical misbehavior is true not only for hospitals in the United States; the renowned British Journal of Medicine recently reported a near-epidemic of fast-food service in hospitals throughout the UK. In fact hospitals all over the world continue to engage in contracts with McDonalds and other fast food corporations to provide meals to patients. There’s even a Thai version of Ronald McDonald in the lobby of Bangkok’s venerated Bumrungrad International Hospital!