August 13th, 2009
05:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Cafferty: Surgeon general pick a paid adviser to Burger King

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" President Obama has nominated a paid consultant for Burger King to be the nation's top doctor."]

In the midst of perhaps the most contentious national debate since the Vietnam War, President Obama has nominated a paid consultant for Burger King to be the nation's top doctor.

Can you spell tone-deaf?

Dr. Regina Benjamin has been paid 10-thousand dollars since last year to serve on a scientific advisory board for the company that brings us the Whopper and the B-K Triple Stacker.

According to the Washington Times, Burger King says the doctor was on the company's nutritional advisory panel... which is meant to "promote balanced diets and active lifestyle choices."

The Department of Health and Human Services says Benjamin was advocating for food that was lower in salt and recommending that nutritional information appear on packaging. They add that she will resign from Burger King once she's confirmed by the Senate as surgeon general and will "continue to promote healthy eating and exercise." You want fries with that?

But, many aren't buying it and see a conflict of interest. After all, Burger King is still a fast food joint. And, in a nation where one-third of adults are obese, fast food restaurants aren't helping any.

Since her nomination, Dr. Benjamin has won support from both sides of the aisle, particularly for running a health clinic for the poor after Hurricane Katrina – but there's also been criticism. As we reported in the Cafferty File last month, some believe that the president's selection of an overweight candidate for the nation's top doctor sent the wrong message. Now we find out she works for Burger King.

To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion, click here.

Filed under: Jack Cafferty
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