Cleveland Clinic Says Bye-Bye to Big Macs
The nation’s top hospital for heart health is about to get healthier. Earlier this week, the Cleveland Clinic announced the termination of its decades-old contract with McDonald’s.
Come September, the hospital’s only fast-food restaurant will close its doors as part of an ongoing effort to promote health and wellness among patients and employees. No longer will we see doctors dining on Big Macs and patients chowing down on chicken nuggets within the hospital’s walls.
It’s another step in the right direction in a battle the Physicians Committee has been waging for years. All but 16 U.S. hospitals have given McDonald’s the boot, no longer willing to promote the foods that cause many of the diseases that land patients in hospital beds in the first place. Since the Physicians Committee released its 2015 Hospital Food Report, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
and Driscoll Children’s Hospital have also ended partnerships with the fast-food chain.
It’s a shift in thinking that’s long overdue. Chronic diseases of lifestyle now account for seven out of every 10 U.S. deaths and about 75 percent of our $3 trillion health care budget. More than 70 percent of Americans struggle with overweight or obesity, which have been linked to both type 2 diabetes and heart disease, which are two of the country’s leading causes of hospitalization.
Some hospitals have not only begun to move away from burgers and milkshakes, but they’ve taken it a step further to embrace food as medicine. In Connecticut, New Milford Hospital is serving up bright leafy green salads filled with vegetables grown in an aeroponic tower on the hospital’s rooftop garden. And at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center in Houston, Garth Davis, M.D., writes out prescriptions for fresh fruits and vegetables at the “Farmacy” stand in the hospital’s lobby.
By closing fast-food restaurants and prioritizing healthful foods, hospitals will reinforce their mission to heal, rather than harm.
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