By social media standards, this story is already yesterday’s news, but given my writing on obesity, and how I vilified the heart Attack Grill in the past, I would be remiss if I did not point out a news item that comes straight from the “It Was Bound to Happen Eventually” file. On Saturday, Feb. 11, a patron of the infamous Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas suffered a heart attack himself while having a meal. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he is reported to have survived, but his name has not yet been released to the public.
The Heart Attack Grill is a theme restaurant runing with the tagline “Taste…Worth Dying For!” It deliberately courts controversy as a marketing gimmick, and it serves up food so bad for you as to fall into the range of extreme eating. Their signature dish is the Quadruple Bypass burger, a monstrosity that weighs in around 8,000 calories, and was noted in my feature on obesity, “Fat of the Land.”
Obesity is no joke. Obesity-related healthcare costs in this country cost tens of billions of dollars every year, and the various knuckleheads who actually eat a place like the Heart Attack Grill should have such lunacy excluded from their policies. It’s like writing life insurance for skydivers; the claims history on that is going to be 100%, eventually…just one a shorter time frame than you’d like to admit.
There are calls for the Heart Attack Grill to shut down, noting that its whole theme is really nothing more than celebrating the various ways in which our unhealthy eating habits are causing us grievous harm. And while I find this restaurant, and its founder, John Basso, to be repugnant, shutting the business down isn’t the answer. You drop the hammer on a place like this, and it doesn’t do anything to address the fact that people willingly go there and pay to eat food they *know* is bad for them. The fact that the Heart Attack Grill lets patrons over 350 lbs. eat for free is a slightly different issue.