Have you heard of Heart Attack Grill in Arizona? The founder and owner, Jon Basso, used to work for Jenny Craig, encouraging people to eat well and slim down. According to the interview he did with Nightline a couple of weeks ago (you can watch it here), he is completely in favor of Americans being healthy, but because we really aren't listening, he's decided to use a completely different strategy: encouraging us to kill ourselves with grease and sugar until we finally get the message that we should not be eating this way.
What way? The menu of the Heart Attack Grill is mostly burgers, fries and shakes. It's disgusting from what I can tell. But Basso seems to be telling us, in effect, something like, You want this crap? You want it? Here, eat it all and see how long you live. In fact, he even offers free meals to those who weigh more than 250 pounds. If you get on their scale, prove you're a heavyweight and stay that way, you eat free for the rest of your life.
But that's not the deal you might think it is. Heart Attack Grill's 29-year-old, 550-pound spokesperson died earlier this month. But at least he never paid for his Quadruple Bypass Burgers or Flatliner Fries.
I don't know if Basso is just a hypocritical businessman, making himself rich with this gimmick or if he seriously believes this reverse psychology will finally shift American eating habits. But I do think it's a fascinating approach: helping obese people stuff themselves with crap until we finally make the link between grease and heart failure and stop eating that way.
His next Heart Attack Grill will open in Texas.