Activists call for McDonald's to be booted from Texas Children's, Ben Taub Hospitals

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Activists are trying to give McDonald's the boot in two area hospitals

Doctors, parents and community members are calling on Texas Children's and Ben Hospitals to boot McDonald's from its premises due to health concerns.

There are fewer than 20 hospitals left in the country with a McDonald's inside.

At the press conference, Taylor Billings, of Corporate Accountability International, said, "McDonald's having stores in hospitals is high-impact marketing for the corporation. It serves as tacit endorsement of the junk food brand by the health institution, and it needs to stop."

Health professionals cited health concerns during the meeting, especially with one out three children born after the year 2000 expected to develop diabetes.

Texas Children's and Ben Taub would be the ninth and tenth hospitals to give the golden arches the boot.

McDonald's released a statement in response to this story. It reads:

    "McDonald's offers many wholesome choices and makes nutrition information available so customers may select menu options to best fit their individual needs. Currently, we have 14,000+ McDonald's restaurants across the country - approximately 15 in hospitals or on hospital campuses, which represents less than one percent of the total number of hospitals located in McDonald's USA restaurants. As always, we will continue to engage in dialogue with our customers and with experts to determine future opportunities to offer expanded menu choices and information that enable our customers to make the choices that are right for them.

    We are proud of our menu and the actions we have taken to evolve the variety of choices we offer our customers. In the U.S. our Happy Meals automatically include Apple Slices and a smaller portion, kids-size fry. McDonald's also offers oatmeal as a whole-grain choice that is available throughout the day.

    Additionally, we have diligently worked to become the industry leader through the evolution of our Happy Meals and related programs to promote produce, and low-fat dairy to children, as well as inclusion of nutrition or active play messages in all advertisements directed to children. The most recent example of this is the added choice of Cuties clementine in Happy Meals, a fresh, whole fruit offered again this year, after having served 38 million while in season a year ago. In 2016, we will achieve a key milestone of serving more than 2.0 billion sides packages of apple slices and low- fat, reduced sugar Go-GURT yogurt combined since 2012!

    As always, we will continue to engage in dialogue with our customers and with experts to determine future opportunities to offer expanded menu choices and information that enable our customers to make the choices that are right for them."
    Nelly Quijano, McDonald's Owner/Operator
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