Wednesday, 3 September 2008

All About the Kids

I once had a fight with someone I had known for a long time that caused the demise of our friendship. She was considering applying for a job in the marketing department of the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. I encouraged her, saying that when she gets in, the first thing she should do is get rid of the McDonald's that's attached to the building. She vehemently disagreed, saying the multinational donated a lot of money to medical research.

I have always been crap at maths. But I know what it means when I read that obesity rates in Australia have more than doubled over the past 20 years and that we have overtaken the US as the world's fattest nation.

In 2011, the Royal Children’s Hospital will be relocating, a date that also signals the end of the lease for the McDonald’s outlet there. Let's hope the hospital sees the figures – 26% of the Australian adult population are now obese (compared to an estimated 25% of Americans) – and doesn't renew the leasehold.

But but wait, there's definitely more! And I am not just talking about the centimeters around our waistlines. I am talking about the wondrous specimen of evolved humanity that is Premier John Brumby, who, we are told in today's paper, "...has not ruled out fast-food companies getting involved in school canteens or classroom programs in a revamp of the public education system."

Not only is Brumby deluded about the alleged benefits of GM crops, but he is also happy to turn a blind eye to the corporations who want to feed these so called foods to our children, denying companies would take advantage of their position to promote their commercial interests. 

"If you're asking if this is an opportunity for commercial promotion, it is not," he says. "This is where businesses and where industries want to do more for the children. It's not an opportunity for business to use this as an opportunity to lever their products."

Of course not, My Brumby. It's all about the kids.

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