The Truman Medical Centers' main campus in Kansas City has closed down their McDonalds, making it the fifth Big Mac dealer to be shut down due to being located in a health facility, reports NPR. The battle between hospital officials and the fast-food company reported has lasted through two decades.
The ironic situation of having a cafeteria that offers healthy food options alongside a McDonalds was pointed out by hospital CEO John Bluford.
“When you come in, you could be - very well be on the way to your diabetic clinic appointment or going to see the bariatric surgeon for your weight problem, and you're passing a McDonald's on the way,” Bluford said during an NPR interview in July. “That's an inconsistent message.”
The American Diabetes Association assesses that 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3 percent of the population—has diabetes, according to a study released in December 2011. Approximately one in every 400 children and adolescents has diabetes.
The most common form of diabetes is Type 2, and 80 percent of people suffering from the deadly disorder are overweight, according to Obesity In America. Obesity can also result in heart disease, hypertension, reproductive and sexual issues, among other conditions.
Before the United States became the most obese country in the world, hospitals across America signed on leases with McDonalds, agreeing to conditions reaching up to 30 years, claims NPR. T
Now that more is known about the health issues related to being overweight and fast food specifically, hospitals are trying to boot restaurants like McDonalds from their premises, but those long-term leases are making it difficult.
For Truman Medical Center, "This was a mutually agreed upon decision between two businesses," Bluford said about ending the McDonalds lease in a statement from October, NPR reports.
Other hospitals have cut their ties to the highest earning fast food chain in the U.S. – boasting $34 billion in sales for 2011, according to Huffington Post – by other means.
NPR claims that when Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago moved to a new location, they left the company behind.
"We chose McDonald's many years ago as a special treat for sick kids going through difficult treatments," Julie Pesch, a spokeswoman for Lurie said. But "everything needs to be in moderation. We were not trying to break our lease with the McDonald's."