South Florida’s three largest hospitals came under fire Tuesday for letting McDonald’ssell burgers and fries on their premises, a few floors from where they perform heart surgery and treat sick children.
The nonprofit consumer group Corporate Accountability International sent letters to Broward General Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Jackson Memorial in Miami and 19 others around the country, urging them to boot outMcDonald’s.
“It’s two-faced,” said Sriram Madhusoodanan, a spokesman for the group. “It doesn’t make sense to offer unhealthy fast food in the hospital. Not only will people eat more of it… [the location] sends parents and the public the wrong message. It makes them think this food is healthful.”
About 2,000 doctors, nurses and medical professionals – 17 in South Florida – have signed onto the group’s campaign to opposeMcDonald’sadvertising targeting children, including eateries in hospitals.
Officials at the three hospitals defended their long-standing leases with the fast food giant. Jackson has had aMcDonald’sin a parking garage since the 1980s, Broward General since 1989 and Memorial Regional since 1994.
The chain has added healthier items such as salads and grilled chicken to its menu, said a Broward General spokeswoman. Also, hospitals have healthier food choices in their own cafeterias, a Memorial spokeswoman said. Jackson has several restaurants on its campus offering “a variety of food options” 24 hours a day, a spokesman said.
None would discuss the length of their leases with McDonald’s or how much money they make from the company.