Hospitals are supposed to promote health, but are they actually sending mixed messages when it comes to human vice? Burgers, fries and soda have inundated North America even in the most unlikely places.
In fact, there’s always time to fuel your ‘Big Mac’, ‘large Coke’, or ‘Double Cream Double Sugar’ addictions, including inside hospitals. The irony is, fast-food outlets don’t force their way in. McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts (or Tim Horton’s in Canada) wouldn’t be there without hospital approval.
If you didn’t know you were in a hospital, you certainly wouldn’t be able to tell from the food court. Actually, you would probably think you were at the mall. Paradoxically, hospitals are where we go to get healthy; to conquer diseases like cancer, diabetes and obesity.
The food we eat plays an important role in our health. This is particularly true for children whose bodies are still developing. However, paediatric hospitals are among the worst offenders. Florida’s Shands Children’s Hospital has five fast-food restaurants.
Hospitals are often upsetting places, but don’t we have an obligation to behave more responsibly than this? Why are we comforting patients and their families with unhealthy comfort food that we know is directly linked to the diabetes and obesity epidemics plaguing our country?
Fast-food places keep hospitals in the black, but isn’t this a conflict of interest? It’s a very mixed message that you’re not supposed to eat Wendy’s or McDonalds, but when doing so helps your local hospital’s budget it’s okay. In other words, we want you to curb your unhealthy impulses, but we’ll look the other way when it’s good for the bottom line. Sometimes we’ll even endorse your vice if that’s the lesser of two evils.
There’s no place for fast-food in hospitals because these chains aren’t interested in health. They’re profit driven instead.
© 2021 Clea Machold. All Rights Reserved.