Fast Food America: Hospitals Serving Up McDonald’s to Patients

Natural Society

It is no surprise that fast food is extremely unhealthy. On one level, the processed junk food lacks essential vitamins and nutrients, while they are also concocted with numerous health-hazardous substances and chemicals which should not be found in food — let alone be eaten. Knowing this information, it is no wonder why you should avoid fast food at all costs. It is safe to say that no healthy individuals would or should be consuming fast food, and certainly no sick individuals who are depleted of nutrients (as a result of avoiding real food) should be consuming it either. So what in the world are fast food chains like McDonald’s doing in places like hospital cafeterias?

One common pun states that if you want to get sick you should go to a hospital, but the fact that fast food resides in these ‘health’ institutions lends even more truth to the humorous statement. It turns out that some hospitals, such as a hospital in Des Moines, think nothing of the fast food placement. Since 1988, the Des Moines hospital has been blessed by a McDonald’s fast food restaurant, and management seems to want no change.

As expected, the hospital has undergone much scrutiny for its decision to host a McDonald’s in its institution, with some of the disapproval coming from nation-wide junk food critic Corporate Accountability International. Asking the hospital to shut down the restaurant, the group said:

“Your hospital is being used as part of McDonald’s comprehensive marketing strategy, a strategy that is clearly inconsistent with your goals as a health institution”.

In response, hospital management said:

“[McDonald’s is] an alternative to visitors and family members to dine in a familiar environment that can be a comfort, particularly for children, during stressful times. McDonald’s offers a variety of choices, including healthy foods such as salads, and provides nutrition information for its patrons”.

McDonald’s salads, often pushed as a healthier alternative as portrayed above, contain two ingredients known as cilantro lime glaze and orange glaze. Within the glaze lies propylene glycol — a chemical that is not legal to use in cat food because its safety has not yet been proven to be safe. In addition, propylene glycol is also used ”as the killing and preserving agent in pitfall traps, usually used to capture ground beetles.” The salads also contain two ingredients that divulge the presence of MSG: disodium inosinate, and disodium guanylate.

Obesity in America: Are Factory Farms, Big Pharma and Big Food to Blame?

Huffington Post, Oct. 25, 2010

One third of our economy thrives on making people sick and fat. Big Farming grows 500 more calories per person per day than 25 years ago because they get paid to grow extra food even when it is not needed. The extra corn (sugar) and soy (fat) are turned into industrial processed food and sugar-sweetened beverages — combinations of fat, sugar and salt that are proven to be addictive. These subsidized ($288 billion) cheap, low-quality foods are heavily marketed ($30 billion) and consumed by our ever-widening population with an obesity rate approaching three out of four Americans. The more they eat, the fatter they become. The fatter they become the more they develop heart disease, diabetes, cancer and a myriad of other chronic ailments.

Today, one in 10 Americans have diabetes. By 2050 one in three Americans will have diabetes. The sicker our population, the more medications are sold for high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and many other lifestyle-driven diseases. The Toxic Triad of Big Farming, Big Food, and Big Pharma profits from creating a nation of sick and fat citizens.

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Despite 2006 “Pledge,” Fast Food Companies Targeting Kids More Than Ever

PRWatch.org, Nov. 8, 2010

Children as young as two years old are seeing more fast food ads than ever before. Researchers found that in 2009, preschoolers saw 56 percent more ads for Subway, 21 percent more ads for McDonalds and 9 percent more ads for Burger King than they did in 2007. Older kids saw even more fast food ads, and African-American youth were exposed to at least 50 percent more fast food ads than white youth.

Fast food companies have also moved beyond television ads in their advertising practices, and now use social media to reach kids. For example, McDonalds has 13 Web sites that get 365,000 unique child visitors between the ages of 2 and 11, and 294,000 unique visits from teens ages 12 to 18 every month. McDonalds starts targeting kids as young as age two with websites like Ronald.com. McDonalds and Burger King have even created sophisticated “advergames” and online “virtual worlds” that engage children, like HappyMeal.com, McWorld.com and ClubBK.com.

The Yale study confirms, yet again, that when an industry imposes a voluntary code of conduct on itself, it is time for real and effective regulation of harmful corporate behavior. Voluntary codes are smokescreens.

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