The video: The Heart Attack Grill — a deliberately unhealthy Arizona restaurant where waitresses dressed as sexy nurses serve up Quadruple Bypass Burgers — has been a subject of controversy since Jon Basso, a former nutritionist and Jenny Craig employee, opened it in 2005. But the criticism grew louder recently after the restaurant hired customer Blair River to serve as its 590-pound pitchman. River's 60-second spot (watch below) spoofs weight-loss ads and promises those who weigh over 350 pounds that they can eat for free.
The reaction: This "wannabe viral video" is "irresponsible," says Eric Forney at This Dish Is Veg. Obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure are no laughing matters." It's "obviously in jest," says Allie Townsend in Time, but given that more than 1.3 million Americans suffer a heart attack each year and $316.4 billion is spent annually to combat heart disease, this restaurant's gimmick is "an unbelievable affront against the human body." Yes, "to celebrate and promote unhealthy food is terrifying," says dietitian Joy Bauer, as quoted on MSNBC, but I will admit, there is something "hilarious and different" about their marketing. Watch the ad:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 8 secrets to steal from power networkers
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- Game of Thrones is making a huge mistake by cutting Lady Stoneheart
- The Nazi smart bomb that inspired China's most dangerous weapon
- The best places to find love — and lust — according to science
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- How to make classic pulled pork
- How The Killing survived two cancellations and ended on its own terms
Subscribe to the Week