Should Insurance Companies Be Investing In Fast Food?

A new study in the American Journal of Public Health states that several of the biggest U.S. health insurers are heavily invested in fast food companies, to the tune of $2 billion. This news has caused some to ask whether or not the insurance companies’ vested interest in the growth of fast food stands in direct contrast to their interest in having healthy policy holders.

Among the companies named in the study is Prudential Financial Inc., which has a total of $355.5 million invested in a selection of fast food giants that includes McDonald’s, Burger King, Jack-in-the-Box and Yum! Brands.

Northwestern Mutual has an even bigger fast food portfolio, with $422.2 million tied up in fast food stock — $318.1 million of that invested in McDonald’s.

Says the Harvard doc who authored the study:

There’s a ton of irony in it… In order to generate profits, they will invest in any area they need to … to make money, even if what they invest in, in this case fast food, is an industry that is known to cause people to get sick and to die early.

What do you think?

Health Insurers’ Fast Food Holdings Raise Flag [CBS News]