Plant-Based Ad Campaign Challenges Hospitals Hosting Fast Food Franchises
The most mind-numbingly confusing thing about our medical system in the US could very well be the presence of fast food restaurants inside hospitals and medical centers. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is blowing the lid off of this problem through their investigation into franchises’ contracts with hospitals and an ad campaign meant to empower consumers to demand change.
PCRM obtained several contracts between fast food restaurants and the medical centers who host them. The University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jacksonville, for example, has a contract with Chick-fil-A wherein they are asked to “make every reasonable effort to increase the sales and business and maximize the Gross Receipts.” In other words, asking a medical center that, no doubt, treats people with heart disease to encourage patients to buy fried chicken sandwiches. Unbelievable.
Stephen Neabore, MD, from PCRM said to Healthcare Finance:
“We want the hospitals to set an example for people and say, ‘you’re coming here and this is the food that we’re giving you because it’s been shown to be the healthiest food you can eat.'”
A recent ad campaign launched by PCRM featured doctors carrying signage that read “Eat More Chickpeas” – a cheeky play on Chick-fil-A’s “Eat Mor Chickin” ads. Billboards over highways leading to hospitals with in-house Chick-fil-A restaurants and walls in bus shelters have all been adorned with the message. In Charleston, an entire fleet of buses were seen asking people to “Eat More Chickpeas.”
One of the doctors in the advertisement, Angie Eakin, MD, stated:
“Many of the hospitals that host Chick-fil-A are in states with high rates of diet-related diseases, making hospitals part of the overall toxic food environment. Hospitals should be fast-food-free, and patients should eat more chickpeas, vegetables, fruits, and other foods that can promote healing and prevent disease.”
Chief Medical Officer Angelo Sinopoli, MD, from the Greenville Memorial Hospital in South Carolina argued that Chick-fil-A menu items are not made available to patients there and signage encouraging visitors to make healthy choices is displayed. This does not change the fact that a hospital having a fast food restaurant under its roof is contradictory to its duty of promoting health. Hospitals can do better. Thanks to the PCRM consumers may feel more empowered to make their own food choices and to #eatmorechickpeas.
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