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Fast-Food Hospitals on the Hot Seat

At the same time some hospitals are starting to appreciate the value of nutrition in healing their patients and workers, I suspect other institutions will be on the hot seat soon, after this newest study appearing in Pediatrics.

Almost a third of the pediatric residency programs polled house fast-food restaurants, and 22 of them are mini-McDonald's franchises. Even worse, the site use for the study, unfortunately, is a hospital -- Children's Memorial Hospital -- in my hometown with a McDonald's location inside and a second across the street.

The news gets worse from here, as you probably expected. For one, the parents of kids who received outpatient treatments at the Chicago hospital far more often bought their young ones McDonald's food than did other parents treated at other area hospitals without a McDonald's. And, I was shocked to learn parents considered McDonald's fast food selections at hospitals as "relatively healthy."

Folks, there's no stopping the plague of McDonald's and other fast-food restaurants infiltrating our hospitals and surrounding your children's schools. That said, the obesity epidemic can be tamed if you understand this very simple concept: It's not an inability to distinguish the healthy from the unhealthy, rather it's your ability to make better lifestyle choices for you and your children that truly matters.

Set a good example and some limits.

Pediatrics, Vol. 188, No. 6, December 2006: 2290-2297

Yahoo News December 4, 2006