Heart Attack Grill: Celebrating Gluttony?

Last night, I caught a few minutes of the nightly news. In a segment, they featured a newly-opened Las Vegas restaurant called the Heart Attack Grill. The menu is loaded with ultra-high calorie options (a meal can contain upwards of 8,000 calories) and, in an effort to be tongue-in-cheek, the building is modeled after a hospital. Even the waitresses are dressed as nurses.

The owner of Heart Attack Grill, Jon Basso, talks about the restaurant as a celebration of gluttony but maintains that it’s all in good fun. Indeed, life is a lot more enjoyable with a sense of humor – but is our obesity epidemic really a laughing matter? With 1 in 4 deaths caused by heart disease, and with 785,000 Americans having their first heart attack each year, I’m having a tough time seeing the joke.

In fact, Blair River, a 575-pound man and spokesman for one of Basso’s previous restaurants, died last march of obesity-related illness. Making a joke out of such a serious – and deadly – issue is, at best, in poor taste. And if we want to laugh at ourselves, weight issues and the obesity problem in this country, let’s do it in way that illuminates solutions rather than celebrates the problem.

In a way, making intentionally and dramatically poor nutritional choices – like the “flatliner fries” cooked in pure lard or a milkshake made with butter – is a defilement of our human bodies. Our bodies crave nourishing foods – and a “quadruple bypass burger” with four patties and eight slices of cheese is far from that.

Lest we forget that we only get one body in this experience of life, it’s important to treat it with respect, honor and love – rather than cramming four-days worth of calories down our throat and flooding our system with artery-clogging fat. As anyone who has lost a loved one to heart disease can attest, that America is dying of obesity is an epidemic – and not a joke.

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  1. WereGrouch says:

    Don’t forget shows like “Man Vs. Food” and “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.” These are celebrations of gluttony televised as family entertainment.

    • John Boston says:

      I seriously hope your comment is in jest.

      “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” highlight local eatery establishments all across the US. Instead of focusing on high cuisine they focus on what are traditionally seen as comfort food locations found in Anytown, USA. Many of these are even historic locations having been in operation for many, many years.

      On the other hand, “Man v Food” does highlight “big food” offerings found in eateries all across the US with the host facing off against the “reigning champion” of each establishment.

      Neither are marketed as family entertainment and in “Man v Food” the host openly comments about how much he exercises to combat the increased calories and has also stated that after most eating events he’s on the treadmill for about an hour after the show.

      Neither are “celebrations of gluttony” as neither even remotely recommend that these meals should be eaten three times a day every day for life.

      I would have to say that the “Grouch” in your name is 100% correct.

  2. christopher says:

    this so-called restaurant in Vegas-should never been given a license to operate.opening a restaurant like this is criminal and sends the wrong message to society-thats its ok to indulge-it isnt.a quadruple bypass burger-how sick is that?

    • It’s not criminal at all. No one is forcing people to go there and eat. It’s just a resteraunt that decided to make extremely high calorie foods.I think it’s pathetic how Americans always seem to blame EVERYONE besides the person committing the action. Here’s a tip if you don’t want to get fat, don’t eat fattening foods, work out, and limit your calories. Don’t blame people for starting a successful business just because some people are too irresponsible to control what they eat. America’s obesity problem is only a problem because we tend to focus the blame on the fast food, and other restraunts when in actuality we should be focussing on the fat people who have no impulse control… It’s THEIR fault they got fat.

  3. A co worker took me to said place a couple years ago in Phoenix when he found out I love burgers. This place is awful, the fries are most definately fried, roasted, and bathed in lard. The burgers are just too big and buns soaked on butter. In an effort not to be that guy I ordered the smallest meal, got down as much as I could, and still barfed my guts out. This place should be shut down!

    • Only because you can’t handle it doesn’t mean that the place has to be shut down. If you have a problem with the place, then do not eat there. So many people whine and complain about fast food and obesity, yet everyone’s pointing their fingers at the wrong thing. It should be a person’s choice alone what they put in their bodies. If i chose to drink a bottle of poison, I’d hope to think that no one can stop me. We should be in more control of our own lives and stop trying to control what everyone else does with their lives. If someone wants to eat a 8000 calorie meal then so be it. Leave them alone and stick to your salad.

  4. While I agree that this sort of place shouldn’t exist(although it supplies jobs) the last time I checked pneumonia isn’t an obesity related illness as essentially anyone can get it young or old, overweight or thin. Sure I am fairly certain that Blair’s weight may have attributed to him not recovering but the illness itself isn’t again as far as I understand it related to his weight issues

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  1. […] the nightlife and shows, but also for the cuisine. Buffets and unhealthy options abound. In fact, I recently did a post featuring Heart Attack Grill and their quadruple bypass burger and french fries cooked in lard. You can even wash it down with a […]

  2. […] the nightlife and shows, but also for the cuisine. Buffets and unhealthy options abound. In fact, I recently did a post featuring Heart Attack Grill and their quadruple bypass burger and french fries cooked in lard. You can even wash it down with a […]

  3. […] Attack Grill Victim Collapses Mid-Meal. Added Apr 26, 2012, Under: Nutrition Back in October, I posted about the newly-opened Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas. The restaurant celebrates gluttony by featuring such menu items as the quadruple bypass burger, […]