Letter writer: Linking doughnuts to children’s clinic sets society up to fail

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I appreciated the thoughtfully written YES! letter bringing up the issue of having a medical center being named after an event that involves a doughnut company [“Rethink the Krispy Kreme Hospital’s Name,” Nov. 11, Xpress]. And then I read the letter to the editor defending the idea to name a UNC children’s medical center after a doughnut company [“Krispy Kreme Hospital Naming Reflects Thanks,” Nov. 25, Xpress].

I understand that the the Krispy Kreme Challenge event has raised $1 millon dollars and has pledged another million to the clinic. That is great for the medical clinic, the children being served there and their families. I would think that any nonprofit or medical center in these tough economic times would have to do some serious soul-searching if presented with this dilemma, but I personally believe this is a terrible idea.

The most painful/ironic situation I could envision as a parent is to bring my child who has developed Type 2 diabetes to the Ronald McDonald house or to the doughnut medical center. If you do not understand this connection, please put the Xpress down and research Type 2 diabetes and doughnuts.

The tag line for the Krispy Kreme Challenge is: 2,400 calories, 12 doughnuts, 5 miles, one hour. That seems like fun: Asheville has Race to the Taps, and the world record-holder in the Beer Mile just signed a shoe deal. All kind of cool, except the proceeds from these races do not result in the Beer Mile Car Seat or the Race to the Taps Alcoholics Anonymous Club. It is noble that the race organizers donate all proceeds to the medical clinic, but unconsciously or consciously linking doughnuts to a children’s clinic is setting society up to fail and is bordering on morally/ethically irresponsible at best.

Doughnuts and Mickey D’s fried foods taste good. They are not healthy and are calorically dense for the most part. Anyone who does not understand this probably still thinks that three out of four doctors recommend smoking for a healthy lifestyle. I really hope someone writes a rebuttal about the McSalad to counter this letter, because I bet that person could also speak knowledgably about how safe it is to have your infant child sit in the front of the car without a car seat.

If, as a society we are OK with doughnuts and burger companies profiting enough to pay for or donate enough money for the naming rights (millions of dollars, mind you) of nonprofits and places trying to help the less fortunate out, our culture is backward in my mind. Businesses that consciously provide nutritionally void food and market it to the youth are diabolical. Think about this.

Why does the burger joint sponsor the Ronald McDonald house, which houses families for free while the child is being treated at the hospital? Who is the target audience by that company? Where does that company get the money to pay for this? Why does this company market “kiddie meals” or have indoor playgrounds? Why does this doughnut company advertise fundraisers at schools? Why do Frosted Flakes, Smacks, Froot Loops, Fruity Pebbles and Count Chocula mostly advertise on Saturday morning and have cartoon characters as their mascot? If you cannot make this connection between marketing, foods and business, please talk to your doctor about the health benefits of not exercising.

This letter is to help make knowledgeable folks make the connection between marketing, business, and health and physical education. Marketing and business is a science. Why would a doughnut company and burger joint market to kids? If you are having trouble with this connection, maybe think about why beer and car companies advertise during the Super Bowl. I want a community that thinks deeper and questions appropriately [the] motivations of big business.

I mean really, the best name they could find for a children’s medical clinic involved doughnuts. I guess Homer Simpson was on their board of directors.

— Mark Strazzer


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3 thoughts on “Letter writer: Linking doughnuts to children’s clinic sets society up to fail

  1. Lulz

    LOL, linking women to single motherhood and men as worthless buffoons sets up children in perpetual poverty and society for fail lulz.

  2. Scotty_Mack

    Why not name the children’s hospital after an entity that helps to put so many children in the hospital? Maybe it’s a good warning:

    “Don’t eat donuts, kids, or you’ll wind up sick and in the kreme ward!”

    Giving sugar to kids is child abuse, anyways. It lowers their IQ, inhibits memory and learning, and is more addictive than cocaine. Krispy Kreme can rot in hell.

  3. Stewart

    Great letter. If Krispy Kreme donuts has its name on a hospital, what’s next, the Marlboro Lung Cancer Center? Hey, by the logic of some, if a corporation makes a large enough donation, they deserve naming rights. Who cares what message it sends, and who dies as a result? Our other (and more serious, IMHO) national deficit really is, as the bumper sticker says, “Critical Thinking.”

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