Chick-fil-A's ads famously feature cows looking to save themselves by urging you to eat more chicken. But a not-for-profit group wants you—and hospitals—to skip the chicken in favor of chickpeas.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine recently posted billboards, bus ads and signs near 20 hospitals across the country that house Chick-fil-A restaurants imploring people to ask their hospitals to go “#fastfoodfree.” The ads feature doctors holding signs that read “Eat More Chickpeas,” riffing on the fast-food restaurant's campaign.
“The goal is for hospitals to promote healthy environments, environments of wellness,” said Karen Smith, a senior dietitian with the group. “How can they do that if they are serving foods that are known to cause illness and disease?”
Chick-fil-A did not respond to requests for comment. The Physicians Committee promotes a whole food, plant-based diet and advocates against animal testing in medical education and research.
Champions of healthy eating have long suffered heartburn over fast-food restaurants in hospitals. According to the Physicians Committee, in addition to Chick-fil-A's hospital locations, at least 13 U.S. hospitals still have a McDonald's; at least four have a Tim Hortons; and at least five have a Wendy's.
Salty, paper-wrapped foods, however, may be slowly exiting America's hospitals. The Cleveland Clinic, for example, ended its long-term lease with McDonald's last year.
“We really wanted to walk the talk and focus on healthy food, exercise and keeping people out of the hospital,” said Eileen Sheil, a spokeswoman for the Cleveland Clinic.