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Getting significant press attention in Ohio is the battle between fast food chain McDonald’s and Dr. Toby Cosgrove, a heart surgeon who is the new head of the Cleveland Clinic.

Upon taking the job, Cosgrove decided that it was inappropriate to have a McDonald’s and a Pizza Hut in the lobby of a hospital that specializes in cardiac care. So he said they had to go.

Pizza Hut reportedly left without much of a struggle. But McDonald’s, which is just halfway through a 20-year lease, apparently has no intention of giving up a location that sells burgers and fries to some 12,000 people a week.

"Our menu is something we're all proud of," Marty Ranft, a McDonald's spokesman, told the Washington Post. "We've got a great relationship with the Cleveland Clinic. We are not interested in closing" the restaurant.

But the pride seems to be one-sided. "We have to set an example with the food we serve our patients and employees," Cosgrove told the Post. "In a way, McDonald's was symbolic as much as anything else. It is not associated with heart-healthy food; neither is Pizza Hut."

Interestingly, Cosgrove’s plan to evict McDonald’s isn’t just meeting resistance from the fast food chain. Some employees at the clinic say that they want the burger giant to remain because it gives them an option, and because the healthier alternatives in the building tend to be too expensive.

And McDonald’s executives point to what they view as a bit of hypocrisy. "If Dr. Cosgrove wants to say McDonald's is inconsistent" with the health goals of the hospital, "he needs to take a look at the vending machines with candy bars and salty snacks, the cafeteria with deep-fried chicken, baked pies and slabs of ribs," William Whitman, director of U.S. media relations for McDonald's, told the Post.
KC's View:
Nice to see that McDonald’s puts the bar so high…

This is one of the problems in dealing with the obesity issue – there are plenty of people out there who still want to eat junk food.

We think that this is one of the areas in which supermarkets can make read headway – emphasizing to consumers that they are a place of choice, where one can buy both the healthiest food and the most self-indulgent food. That ought to be a central pitch made by food retailers, and we believe it is one that will have some resonance.

That said, we side with Cosgrove on this one. Now, all he has to do is work on reducing the prices on some of the better, healthier foods available.