Doctors Protest McDonald’s in Local Hospital

Doctors Protest McDonald's in Local Hospital
Mcdonald's logo on blue sky background. | Image by Sampajano_Anizza, Shutterstock

A group of doctors and other medical professionals from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) picketed outside the John Peter Smith (JPS) Fort Worth Hospital in protest of a proposed McDonald’s opening inside.

The months-long battle between the hospital and physicians continued with the October 13 rally, which consisted of around 20 people with signs saying “#BanMcGreasyMeals,” and “JPS is setting a bad example.”

The core of the physicians’ argument is apparent — McDonald’s is not a healthy eating establishment that should be in hospitals.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a D.C.-based nonprofit that encourages low-fat, plant-based diets to speed up patient recovery.

“If John Peter Smith Hospital would like to be a place of wellness and healing, it should provide only affordable, plant-based options that can help people improve heart health, reduce high blood pressure and prevent diabetes, among other health benefits,” said Dr. Anna Herby, a nutrition expert with the PCRM, reports Dallas News.

After the protest, the PCRM testified at a board meeting against the McDonald’s storefront. A smaller group from the same organization spoke to the JPS Board of Managers in June as well.

The PCRM has said they also shut down two McDonald’s locations inside of hospitals, at the Ben Taub Hospital in Houston and Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

Both hospitals deny that the Physicians Committee led to the closing of the fast-food locations.

“This isn’t a way to attack hospitals; it’s presented as a rational statement based on peer-reviewed evidence,” stated Dallas-based cardiologist Dr. John Pippin.

He claims that it should be in the best interest of hospitals to provide healthier options to prevent more health issues in already vulnerable patients.

“It’s like trying to drain a bathtub without shutting off the water,” he said.

JPS responded by saying that the cafeteria inside the hospital is dedicated to providing healthy options to patients and their family members.

“JPS is in the process of partnering with a vendor to supply salads, wraps, and healthy breakfast options in vending machines throughout the hospital,” JPS Health spokesperson Jessamy Brown told local reporters.

The DFW population ranks as the 19th-most obese and overweight metro area in the nation, according to a study reported by The Dallas Express.

A sedentary lifestyle, lack of nutritional education, and reliance on restaurant and fast-food options instead of home-cooked meals were among the top three contributing factors to the obesity problem, as cited by local dietician Isabella Ferrari.

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  1. Zulia

    That’s ironic! Let’s first teach our patients to eat healthy and they go and buy bad food at the same place. Where is logic in that?

  2. Bigdog

    Here’s the thing. People of course can choose what they eat. But having a fast food restaurant inside this safety net hospital encourages food-related diseases that are being treated elsewhere in the hospital. Hospitals should allow only healthful food options, and not in vending machines but sit-down locations. The current McDonald’s site has room for two or three healthful food restaurants.


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