Hospitals & Fast Food Restaurants Create a Rather Unsavory Partnership

burgers in hospitals
Most people would agree that hospitals aren't known for their cuisine, but you probably don't expect them to be promoting milkshakes and greasy burgers either, right? But, as it turns out, some hospitals are actually renting space to fast food franchises (meaning you can get fries with that blood work!) and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is none too pleased about it.


In its recent report on hospital food, the PCRM revealed that of the 208 hospitals it investigated, 43 were home to McDonald's, Wendy's, or Chick-fil-A. 

Now, of course, no one is saying that just because you're a patient or a visitor, you're obligated to patronize these hamburger havens, but it certainly does put temptation in your path, doesn't it? And in the most unlikely of places! 

It really seems like a contradiction when many health problems are related to high blood pressure, obesity, and cholesterol issues, which are exacerbated by a diet high in sodium and fat. Ugh. Are these hospitals just trying to make sure the beds stay full? 

If that's the case, what's next, a cigarette vending machine? Maybe a cocktail lounge? Hot dog stands on every floor? Yes, hospital food can be abysmal -- sometimes even unidentifiable -- but it would be nice to have some healthy choices too. Because, let's face it: They know they've got you. If you're visiting a sick relative, are you really going to walk back to your car, pay for your parking, and then travel to a Whole Foods where you can build a hearty salad? Probably not.

And if you're a patient given the choice between eating something that looks like pot roast prepared a decade ago smothered by a limp pile of green beans OR a breaded chicken cutlet and a loaded baked potato, I think we know which one most folks would choose.

One hospital in Georgia even boasts bedside delivery, making getting your hands on a Big Mac even easier.  

PCRM staff dietitian Cameron Wells told Mother Jones that some of these chains even have contracts whereby they're required to turn over a certain percentage of their profits to the hospitals that house them. So the more they sell, the better for the hospital. Kind of makes you sick, right?

Do you think hospitals should offer fast food? 


Image © Elena Shashkina /
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