WASHINGTON—Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Ky., will close its McDonald’s, according to the Courier-Journal newspaper in Louisville.
“Going fast food free will benefit the health of visitors, patients, and staff at Kosair Children’s Hospital,” says Karen Smith, R.D., senior dietitian at the Physicians Committee. “The hospital should instead provide plant-based options that can prevent and even reverse deadly diseases—including type 2 diabetes which increasingly strikes young people.”
— Physicians Committee (@PCRM) September 26, 2016
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Kentucky’s childhood obesity rate is 19.7 percent. A study in Preventive Medicine Reports shows that fast food consumption—burgers, shakes, and nuggets--is linked to risk of obesity in adolescents. In response to skyrocketing rates of obesity, children and teens are developing type 2 diabetes and showing signs of heart disease—once thought of as diseases of adulthood—according to a paper published in the International Journal of Obesity.
In its report on food environments at children’s hospitals, the Physicians Committee—a nonprofit of 12,000 doctors—discussed the dangers of disease-inducing fast food at children’s hospitals, including Kosair Children’s Hospital.
Several other hospitals named in reports issued by the Physicians Committee have recently improved their food environments. These include Rady Children’s Hospital in California, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Texas, Riley Children’s Hospital in Indiana, Memorial Regional Hospital in Florida, Grady Memorial Hospital in Georgia, the Cleveland Clinic, and Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minnesota, all of which formerly hosted McDonald’s.
Children’s hospitals that still host McDonald’s restaurants include Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and the Children’s Hospital of Georgia in Augusta.
Patients and health care providers are often concerned that healthful foods are more expensive, 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.
For an interview with Karen Smith, R.D., or another expert, journalists please contact Jeanne McVey at 202-527-7316 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.