Thursday, April 15, 2010
Insurance Companies Invested in Fast Food Stocks
A new article published today in the American Journal of Public Health shows that U.S., Canadian and European insurance firms hold $1.88 billion of investments in fast food companies like Jack in the Box, McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's/Arby's Groups. Both Health Insurers and Life Insurers have substantial holdings in these companies.
One just needs to read "Fast Food Nation" or watch the documentary "Food, Inc." to understand the negative impact of processed foods on the health of our country. The evidence is so compelling that the new Health Reform legislation is requiring fast food and chain restaurants to disclose calorie counts on their menus. Ironically, the new legislation will also add millions of customers to the health insurers.
The authors of the study write, "The health bill just enacted in the Washington will likely expand the reach of the insurance industry. Canada and Britain are also considering further privatization of health insurance. Our article highlights the tension between profit maximization and the public good these countries face in expanding the role of private health insurers. If insurers are to play a greater part in the health care delivery system they ought to be held to a higher standard of corporate responsibility."
It is going to be up to each of us, individually, to make choices about health. Don't expect corporations to do the right thing.
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 8:00 PM