Healthy and Holy? Nuns Dig Into McDonald’s Over Childhood Obesity

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REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The Sisters of St. Francis in Philadelphia have answered a call, and it’s told them to go after Mickey D’s.—a site that uncovers the details that companies bury in their SEC filings—combed through McDonald’s preliminary proxy statement recently and discovered that Proposal No. 11 came from the group of Pennsylvania nuns. In their proposal, the sisters, who own about $2,000 worth of McDonald’s common stock, set out a clear link between obesity and fast-food chains like McDonald’s. They also ask the burger joint to explain its public policy response—a provocative request the company has thus far avoided.

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Here’s what the nuns said:

“WHEREAS, the contribution of the fast food industry to the global epidemic of childhood obesity and to diet-related diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease, have become a major public issue…[followed by lots of statistics]…

RESOLVED: Shareholders ask the Board of Directors to issue a report, at reasonable expense and excluding proprietary information, within six months of the 2011 annual meeting, assessing the company’s policy responses to public concerns regarding linkages of fast food to childhood obesity, diet-related diseases and other impacts on children’s health. Such report should include an assessment of the potential impacts of public concerns and evolving public policy on the company’s finances and operations.”

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