New policy allows McDonald’s to stay on at Royal Children’s Hospital

Posted by Editorial on 30th July 2009

McDonald’s has been allowed to continue operating at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne despite calls from health groups to ban the fast food giant on the grounds that it sends a bad health message.

A compromise has been reached, according to the Herald Sun, which will see the fast food giant operate under new Australian-first conditions.

The chain will be required to ensure half of their menu is full of healthy food, which will be subjected to a traffic light system – with “green” signalling healthy products, “amber” highlighting foods which have health benefits but are not particularly good for you and “red” for foods that should be eaten in moderation, if at all. “Red” or unhealthy foods will only be able to make up 20 per cent of their menu.

There had been a split in opinion regarding the fast food chain’s presence at the hospital, with some claiming it contradicted the good health message the hospital attempted to portray while others contended it should stay as it put a smile on children’s faces.

The hospital will be allowing up to nine food outlets, with all retailers required to adhere to the traffic-light policy.

An audit will be carried out by the Royal Children’s Hospital on a biannual basis to ensure all food retailers are meeting their requirements.