More than 35 percent of the United States hospitals have fast food outlets, and some of them have more than one. Six of the sixteen American best hospitals were found to have fast food restaurants, as reported by research survey. The fast food company Subway operates on the territory of John Hopkins Hospital, McDonald's and Pizza Hut fast food can be purchased in Cleveland Clinic, Hardy's and Domino's are available in Duke University Medical Centre. Burger King and Sbarro are also among popular fast food in hospitals.
Almost every hospital for children has Ronald McDonald House. Taking into consideration the fact that 20 percent of all pre-school children are overweight and suffer from diseases, which were not observed among children till recently, we may state that fast food in hospitals further contributes to this problem.
Obesity has become the problem, which cannot be ignored, as nearly 19 percent of Americans are considered to be obese. By allowing to sell fast food on their premises, hospitals take the responsibility of the growing rates of obesity and diabetic diseases.
Many doctors, patients and consumer groups oppose the idea of fast food in hospitals, claiming that unhealthy eating habits lead to many health problems and diseases like atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes and strokes. At the same time it is emphasized that low-fat food can aid recovery from cancer and heart disease.
The director of Cleveland Clinic expressed his wish to remove the McDonald's restaurant from the territory of the hospital. McDonald's defends its position, arguing that its menu is something it is proud of. Most incredible is the fact that some of the staff members hope to keep McDonald's on the premises, as fast food in hospitals found its supporters among medical personnel.
In Texas the Sustainable Food Center is designing program, aimed at promoting healthy food in hospitals. Similar programs were started in the hospitals in North Carolina, Iowa and Vermont.
At present the hospitals are called to reconsider their position as to the involvement with fast food chains. They must protect their reputation of the establishments, which care for most seriously ill and serve as an example for conscious behavior. The first improvement from American Medical Center was prohibition of smoking. The second step must be encouraging consumption of healthy dietary food. The first and perhaps the most effective measure is to take fast food restaurants out of schools and hospitals. Many fast food restaurants have already started to introduce changes in the food and offer healthy options.
Not all the hospitals serve fast food. Among those having no fast food restaurants are Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General, UCSF Medical Center, Stanford University Hospital, University of Washington Medical Center, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago Hospitals. They see their major duty in preserving healthy conditions for their patients and promoting their fast recovery.