The Times, 14/02/1995

Red Cross loses NHS cafe to McDonald's

By Gillian Bowditch, Scotland Correspondent

The fast-food chain McDonald's is considering opening it's first branch in a Scottish hospital. The company is in talks with the Southern General NHS Trust in Glasgow with a view to taking over a cafe run by the Red Cross in the hospital shopping mall.

When the Southern General became an NHS Trust last year the Red Cross was told it would have to put in a new tender for the site but it was outbid by McDonald's. A decision on the project will be made next week.

If it goes ahead, it is bound to cause controversy. Scots have one of the least healthy diets in Europe and one of the highest premature death rates. A high consumption of fats and junk food have been blamed for Scotland's high incidence of heart diseae and obesity.

McDonald's, which already has an outlet at Guy's Hospital in London, says that it's burgers should be eaten as part of a balanced diet and that it's food is nutritious. The restaurant would serve as a canteen for patients, staff and visitors.

A recent Scottish Office report into the nation's diet found that 20 per cent of men never eat green vegetables and a third of boys eat chips every day.