Doctors at the Nacivent Health center in Macon, Georgia, are furious over the prevalence of fast food in their hospital’s professional building’s food court. Thus far, they’ve sponsored five scathing bus advertisements flaunting the hashtag #FastFoodFree, but to no avail — the classic chain remains.
To incite change further, they’re escalating their attempts. Their passionate rebuke to fast food is building steam as the team of doctors reached out to the board of directors and filed a formal complaint.
“Artery-clogging cheeseburgers and chicken have no place inside a hospital,” Karen Smith, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator on the hospital’s Physicians Committee, exclaimed during the complaint. She’s not wrong. What prompted a hospital to enter into a contract agreement with a food chain that’s even been banned from entire countries due to its health risks is beyond us. McDonald’s food has been outed for more than a few nutritional taboos, including selling French fries with a chemical ingredients list, capitalizing on diabetes-causing sugary sodas, and serving some of the unhealthiest fast food meals on the market.
The advertisements themselves are hard to miss. Each is 24 square feet in size and was posted at a bus stop or other location frequented by hospital workers, and they’re designed to be witty and eye-catching. (“Your Heart’s Not Lovin’ Those Cheeseburgers,” one of the ads reads.) One of the ads even made its way to the emergency room entrance, as close as 100 feet from the medical center.
— Physicians Committee (@PCRM) April 24, 2017
For just how long is the hospital planning to keep on lovin’ McDonald’s blood-pressure-raising, sugar-crazed menu? As of now, the hospital is profiting off of McDonald’s sales, per their “percentage rent” agreement, which expires in 2019. Until then, the more health-destructive fast food is sold to the hospital’s staff, the more money the hospital makes.
There must be another way to make their profit without putting workers’ long-term health at risk. One study showed that two to three fast food meals a week could increase the risk of premature death by 50 percent. The risk is real — which is exactly what these doctors want you to know. Even if their attempts at pressuring Nacivent to end its contract with McDonald’s are a bust, we hope that their ads and attempts to increase awareness influence hospital workers to shy away from making such an imprudent choice for lunch.