Activists call for McDonald's removal from Texas Children's, Ben Taub hospitals

HOUSTON – Doctors and community activists say they want Ben Taub and Texas Children's Hospital to take a stand for public health and cut ties with one of the most recognized restaurants.

“There are fewer than 14 hospitals left in the U.S. with a McDonalds and two of them are right here in Houston,” Taylor Billings, from Value the Meal with Corporate Accountability International, said. “These two hospitals have an opportunity to build a future where children and families can access healthcare that doesn't offer food that can make them sick.”

In a statement, Texas Children's Hospital said, “We agree that obesity is one of the gravest health problems facing children… On a daily basis, families are presented with many options - both at the hospital and off campus. At Texas Children's, we offer a variety of healthy meals and snacks. We believe it is important for children to learn that all types of foods can fit into a healthy diet when eaten in moderation."

“It makes no sense for children to be treated on one floor for diet-related diseases and see the world's most recognized junk food brand on another,” Billings argued.

Ben Taub defends its food service and reminds everyone McDonald’s meals are not served to patients.

“McDonald's has modified its offerings over the years to better meet the needs of our visitors and staff who require a low-fat diet or have other dietary restrictions, but it is a small part of the entire food service operation at the hospital and is important to note it is not part of the inpatient meal service,” said Bryan McLeod, Harris Health System.

McDonald’s is not the only fast-food restaurant in the Texas Medical Center or inside a hospital.