Sunday, June 22, 2014

Cancer hospital approves free cigarette give away fundraising!

Somehow I doubt it.

I mean, accepting donations or funds raised by corporations whose very products contribute to the burden of disease in your hospital would be anathema to your responsibility as a hospital to promote public health and combat disease, wouldn't it?

But what if your hospital really, really needed the money?

Um, it's a tobacco company handing out free cigarettes and simultaneously asking for hospital donations.

Yeah, there's not too much debate there. It's not good, right?

So why do our hospitals, specifically our children's hospitals, regularly partner up with the purveyors of sugary treats to raise money in their names?

These photos, taken by an anonymous tipster from Toronto, show a recent Dairy Queen Guinness Book of World Records attempt at making the world's largest ice cream cake. Stamped right on the sign, "donations to Sick Kids Hospital will be accepted" in lieu of course of free ice cream cake.

And the same happens here in Ottawa where CHEO regularly partners up with Dairy Queen to raise funds.

I wonder what the HALO team at CHEO think about these partnerships - they're the folks who are busily researching means to try to help combat the rapid rise in childhood obesity in Canada.

Guessing they might think that children's hospitals probably shouldn't be in the brand polishing business for Dairy Queen.

That same tipster did some quick calculations.

The cake?

Through it, Dairy Queen distributed 5,000lbs worth of calories, 4,276.8lbs of added sugars and 44.5lbs of trans fat all with the blessing (they used Sick Kids' logo - they had their explicit blessing) of the Hospital for Sick Children.

These partnerships have got to stop.

I know, I know, fast food's not going away, and children definitely still need to enjoy cake from time to time, but that doesn't mean it's ethical or responsible for hospitals to help in its sale or promotion.

Hospitals used to sell cigarettes too you know.

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