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Hospital May Refuse McDonald’s “WeightWash” Donation

Hospital May Refuse McDonald’s “WeightWash” Donation
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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.

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Photo from npclark2k via morgueFile

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154 comments

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2:43PM PST on Nov 28, 2011

The last comment of the article summed up my position. Mc Donald's is going to keep making money, and kids are going get fat and unhealthy. What good does it do for the hospital not to take the money; they aren't stopping McDonald's or the kids. If they take the money, they can use it to help.

2:56PM PST on Nov 21, 2011

the owners of the McDonald's may very well be caring compassionate people, but their corporate bosses built their empire on the recipe for obesity and heart disease, and it does make a difference where it comes from. It would be nice if corporations did more to kindle kindness and good feelings. But here we go again, the corporate fat cats get rich on the backs and in the fat cells of the little person, and in the atmosphere of prejudice that obesity garners, it makes no sense.

3:53AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Good policy.

3:24AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

I'd say take the money and use it to re-stock their vending machines with healthy snacks.

2:24AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

I don't see a problem in taking the money and using it for good, except maybe the receiver of the money may feel "obligated" to the donor. Also, McD's may be doing this for "Good PR".
In that case, it's a self interest donation, and should be rejected. Heck, if the oil companies gave me millions of dollars, I'd use that money to fight pollution!!

12:33PM PST on Nov 20, 2011

I can understand the concern I wonder if the hospital would turn down money raised from taxes levied on tobacco or alcohol products! I think that they should take the money, what it is used to buy might save someone's life on day.

7:28AM PST on Nov 20, 2011

Interesting....:(
Thank you for posting!

6:48PM PST on Nov 19, 2011

Awesome.

2:33PM PST on Nov 19, 2011

Interesting. That's a tough one.

6:47AM PST on Nov 19, 2011

Silly, take the money and run. If the money stops. they will be where they are now, so what's the point?

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