It appears to be a first in Australia. In a move that may earn them worried admiration in the Australian health and corporate communities, a small-city hospital near Sydney, New South Wales, is considering turning down a $66,000 donation from two of the community’s good citizens. Shellharbour Hospital would make good use of the money being offered to fund new equipment for its emergency department. The hospital has gratefully received similar contributions from Glenn and Katia Dwarte before.
The problem is the hospital is having second thoughts about the source of the money. The Dwartes run the nearby Warilla McDonald’s, and Shellharbour Hospital officials are concerned that accepting the money sends the wrong message about fast food. Turning down the money from these two respected and caring people will send a message that may encourage other health agencies and cause concern in some corporate sectors.
Junk Food and Health Care
Corporate sponsorship of health-related programs is so common many do not stop to question it. After all, corporations have money. They make good-citizen points by being community supporters. Non-profits need the money to carry out their work.
The issue is hypocrisy. When I first moved to the town where I live now, I was startled to find pop, candy and chips in the vending machines at the door of the emergency room. With junk food implicated in obesity, diabetes, and other food-related health-care costs, the vending machines were a curious touch, as if the hospital wanted to make sure it never ran out of patients.
Since then British Columbia’s health system has made strides in demanding healthier choices from vendors. Still, junk food continues to be accessible in far more places in B.C. communities than are healthy options.
Read more: corporate influence, diet & nutrition, eating for health, fast food, health care, health policy, healthy diet, healthy food, healthy food choices, hospitals, nutrition, real food, whole food
Photo from npclark2k via morgueFile
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