According to documents obtained by the Physicians Committee through state open records laws, John Peter Smith Hospital in Texas and The Medical Center, Navicent Health, in Georgia have McDonald's contracts that end in 2019.
These hospitals could ban the burgers and instead provide and promote plant-based meals that can prevent and even reverse diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. In 2017, the American Medical Association (AMA) issued a resolution calling on hospitals to "…improve the health of patients, staff, and visitors by (1) providing a variety of healthful food, including plant-based meals and meals that are low in fat, sodium, and added sugars…"
Do you think that hospitals should make the AMA resolution a reality and ban the burgers? If so, please sign the letter below to hospital CEOs. The Physicians Committee will contact each CEO and let him or her know how many people have signed the letter. Or tweet the hospitals: “Provide more plant-based options to patients @NavicentHealth and @JPS_Health and go #FastFoodFree! MakeHospitalsHealthy.org!"
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#FastFoodFree Hospitals Petition
To: Hospital CEOs at John Peter Smith Hospital in Texas and The Medical Center, Navicent Health, in Georgia
Subject: Please Make Your Hospital Fast-Food Free
Dear Hospital CEO,
In 2019, when your hospital's contract with McDonald's ends, you will have the opportunity to change your hospital’s food environment. Would you consider banning the burgers and instead providing and promoting healthful, affordable, plant-based meals for visitors, patients, and staff?
In June 2017, the American Medical Association issued a resolution calling on hospitals to "…improve the health of patients, staff, and visitors by (1) providing a variety of healthful food, including plant-based meals and meals that are low in fat, sodium, and added sugars…" The resolution is based on scientific evidence that shows consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans can prevent and even reverse diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Several hospitals have recently closed on-site fast-food chains including Abbott Northwestern Hospital, which ended its McDonald’s lease 10 years early. "As an organization focused on health, it is our responsibility to model and encourage healthy choices," said Dr. Penny Wheeler, president and chief executive of Allina Health, the hospital’s parent organization.
In addition to often causing weight gain, consumption of cheeseburgers, chicken, and other fast food is linked to risk of heart disease—and the risk increases as people eat more fast food. A study published in the journal Circulation found that people who eat fast food once a week increase their risk of dying from heart disease by 20 percent. Two to three fast-food meals a week increases the risk of premature death by 50 percent. Four or more fast-food meals a week increases the risk of dying from heart disease by nearly 80 percent.
I understand costs are a concern, but a recent study shows that healthful, disease-fighting food can be inexpensive. Published in Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, the study finds that omnivores can save $750 a year by simply switching to a plant-based diet.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.