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Heart Attack Grill on Life Support, Physicians Wants Plug Pulled

By on January 26, 2013 in Featured, National Health News with 0 Comments

Heart Attack Grill restaurant’s wwner urged to declare moral bankruptcy after hospitalization of man eating ‘Triple Bypass Burger’ and death of 575-pound spokesman. Illustration: Heart Attack Grill

by Ed Lallo/Newsroom Ink

The “Heart Attack Grill” is on life support, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), wants the owner of the infamous Nevada restaurant to pull the plug.

The hospitalization of a patron eating a “Triple Bypass Burger” at the popular Las Vegas tourist attraction has drawn the scorn of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting preventive medicine, better nutrition and higher standards of research.

Heart Attack Grill’s closed Dallas location located in the West End. Photo: Ed Lallo/Newsroom Ink

In a letter to grill owner John Basso, Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., director of nutrition education at PCRM, declared the Vegas restaurant morally bankrupt and requested Basso to close the popular restaurant.

The PCRM says that dramatic video of a customer being wheeled out of the Las Vegas restaurant on a stretcher is one of the latest sign of the very real risks associated with celebrating high-fat diets.

In an effort to expand the chain to other cities, Basso opened a location in the “West End” section of Dallas in May of 2011 and closed it in the fall of the same year.  A similar scenario was played out in Chandler, AZ, a community located halfway between Phoenix and Tucson.

“The average American now eats more than 200 pounds of meat and 30 pounds of cheese a year—and these high-fat, high-cholesterol products take a terrible toll,” said Levin in the letter. “Two-thirds of the population is either overweight or obese. More than 80 million Americans have one or more forms of cardiovascular disease.

Blair River, a Heart Attack Grill spokesman, died in 2011 at the age of 29. River, who starred in commercials for the eatery, weighed 575 pounds at the end of his life and died of pneumonia

Hooters-like waitresses dress in sexy nurse attire. Photo: Heart Attack Grill/Wayne Parmam

“Bypass surgery is no joke to anyone who has lost a loved one to heart disease,” said Neal Barnard, M.D., PCRM’s president. “This latest emergency should be a wake-up call for the Heart Attack Grill. The restaurant should end its bizarre attempts to capitalize on obesity and clogged arteries and reopen with a new name and a new menu featuring heart-healthy vegan options.”

The Heart Attack Grill’s menu features “Single,” “Double,” “Triple,” and “Quadruple Bypass” burgers as well as “Flatliner Fries” cooked in lard. According to it’s website, “Over 350 Pounds? Eat For Free!”

Restraunt owner Jon Basso says that while the restaurant is tongue-in-cheek with its Hooters-like waitresses dressed in sexy nurse attire, the ill diner was upsetting to staff and diners.


The American Institute for Cancer Research has reported the danger of meat-heavy diets from dozens of studies Photo: Heart Attack Grill

“One of the nurses came back to me and said, ‘Dr. Jon, we’ve got a patient who’s in trouble,” explained Basso to journalists after the incident. “Tourists were taking photos of him as if it were some type of stunt. Even with our own morbid sense of humor, we would never pull a stunt like that.”

According to one of the waitresses, called nurses, “He was having the sweats and shaking. The man began to complain of chest pains in the midst of eating a ‘Triple Bypass Burger’.”

The American Institute for Cancer Research has reported the danger of meat-heavy diets from dozens of studies.  Evidence supported the association between red and processed meat intake and colorectal cancer risk. In 2009, researchers with the National Cancer Institute published a study of more than half a million people showing that red and processed meat intake is associated with a dangerous increase of cardiovascular activity, cancer and mortality.


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