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Insurance Companies Hold Billions In Fast Food Stock

You think these health insurance companies are investing in fast food to make it healthier? They invest in these products because it makes people sick. When you are ramming that HotPocket(tm) into your mouth please note that these health insurance providers are giddy like a school girl because they will be turning you over and robbing you blind. We buy health insurance and the very day we need said healthcare these bastards develop new methods of denying us the care that we paid for. Car, Life and Health Insurance companies are designed similar to Las Vegas casinos. The House Always Wins!! --MV

The fast-food industry has long been under fire for selling high-fat, high-calorie meals that have been linked to weight gain and diabetes, but the financial health of the industry continues to attract investors -- including some of the leading insurance companies in the U.S., a new study reports.

According to Harvard Medical School researchers, 11 large companies that offer life, disability, or health insurance owned about $1.9 billion in stock in the five largest fast-food companies as of June 2009.

The fast-food companies included McDonald's, Burger King, and Yum! Brands (the parent company of KFC and Taco Bell). Companies from both North America and Europe were among the insurers, including the U.S.-based Massachusetts Mutual, Northwestern Mutual, and Prudential Financial.

The researchers say insurance companies should sell their fast-food stock or use their influence as shareholders to make fast food healthier, by pressuring big restaurant chains to cut portion sizes or improve nutrition, for instance.

There's a "potential disconnect" between the mission of insurance companies and the often-unhealthy food churned out by companies like McDonald's, they write.

"The insurance industry cares about making money, and it doesn't really care how," says the senior author of the study, J. Wesley Boyd, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, in Boston. "They will invest in products that contribute to significant morbidity and mortality if doing so is going to make money."

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