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December 30, 2013

Dec. 30, 2013: Weekly wrap

Riley made healthy decision on food

Let’s add together a few facts to understand why administrators at IU Health’s Riley Hospital for Children decided this week to sever their longtime relationship with McDonald’s.

Fact No. 1: Indiana has some of the worst rates in the nation for adult and child obesity. Fact No. 2: Hospitals have an obligation to promote healthy lifestyles, including good nutrition. Fact No. 3: Much of McDonald’s food, although admittedly popular, is loaded with calories, fat, cholesterol and salt.

Given that reality, it’s perfectly understandable why IU Health decided to close the fast-food giant’s outlet.

Still, some parents have objected to the decision, arguing that the McDonald’s at Riley has provided a welcome respite for exhausted adults and their frightened children.

The parents and patients certainly deserve to be heard. But healthy food, planned for the menu of a new cafe that will open at Riley early next year, need not be bland and boring.

What about providing a desperately sick child with the occasional treat? Families still can bring food into the hospital to comfort a patient with a cheeseburger or chicken nuggets. But Riley will provide healthier alternatives for patients and visitors without sending a mixed message about good nutrition.

Of all the places in our community where healthy lifestyles should be promoted, one of the nation’s great hospitals for children ought to be a leader. Riley’s administrators took the lead this week and made the right call.

— The Indianapolis Star

Backing away from discrimination

As the debate simmers over whether Indiana should place a same-sex marriage ban into its constitution, the focus has often been on the adverse effects such a ban might have on business and industry.

Indeed, business advocacy groups such as the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and corporations such as Eli Lilly & Co. and Cummins Engine have taken a strong stance against the amendment, known as HJR-6 (House Joint Resolution 6). They say it could make it difficult to recruit and hire top talent into a state that has such a provision in its constitution.

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