Skip to main content

Tackle Diabetes With a Plant-Based Diet | Learn More

  1. News Release

  2. Jun 20, 2019

Doctor-Led Protest Confronts Burger King in University Hospital on June 18

Protesters Urge Hospital to Go #FastFoodFree

NEWARK, N.J.—New Jersey-based physician Saray Stancic, MD, will lead a protest with signs reading “Doctors’ Orders: University Hospital Should Be #FastFoodFree!” calling attention to the Burger King in University Hospital at 150 Bergen St. On Tuesday, June 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., representatives from the Physicians Committee—a nonprofit with 12,000 doctor members, including 478 in New Jersey—will join Dr. Stancic to protest unhealthful fast food served to visitors, patients, and staff.

Through the New Jersey Open Public Records Act, Dr. Stancic has obtained the contract between Burger King and the hospital. The contract likely ends in or around 2021 and the hospital could choose to change its food environment. Other hospitals have recently gone fast food free including Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, which closed its McDonald’s in 2016. For more information about the #FastFoodFree campaign, the protest signs direct people to www.MakeHospitalsHealthy.org.

“Many patients enter the hospital with diet-related diseases like diabetes, and greasy bacon burgers and other fast food items can worsen these conditions,” says Minh Nguyen, MS, RD, a registered dietitian at the Physicians Committee and the Barnard Medical Center. “University Hospital should provide and promote tasty, plant-based meals that can help people prevent and even reverse diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.”

Protest signs will also urge Burger King to #BreakUpWithBacon, because a recent study finds eating just one slice of bacon a day is linked to higher risk of colorectal cancer. The World Health Organization warns that processed meat, including bacon, is “carcinogenic to humans” and there is no amount safe for consumption.  Burger King’s online menu offers numerous items with bacon including the Bacon King and the Bacon and Cheese Whopper.

A study published in the journal Circulation found that people who eat fast food once a week increase their risk of dying from heart disease by 20 percent. Two to three fast-food meals a week increase the risk of premature death by 50 percent. Four or more fast-food meals a week increase the risk of dying from heart disease by nearly 80 percent.

Research from the Black Women’s Health Study found that eating two or more servings a week of restaurant hamburgers increases the risk of diabetes by 40 percent and that two or more servings of fried chicken a week increases the risk of diabetes by 68 percent.

Patients and health care providers are often concerned that healthful foods are more expensive, butSt. Joseph Health System in Sonoma County, Calif., reports, “Vegetarian entrées cost about 50 percent less than meat entrées.” The hospital projects saving $5,000 a year by serving more meat-free meals.

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 and medical training.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in education and research.

More on Healthy Hospitals