A Court Fight Over Who Was “Unhealthy First,” Really?

The owner of The Heart Attack Grill in Chandler, Arizona is suing in federal court the owners of the Heart Stoppers Sports Grill in Delray Beach, Florida for copying his ideas for a heart-attack stimulating menu with unhealthy, cholesterol-raising fare.

This lawsuit has called attention to a weird, bizarre and shameful aspect of the American palate. As a nutritionist and health educator I am shocked and ashamed that anyone would offer this kind of food foolery to the public. 

Both of these eateries feature gigantic burgers packing up to 8,000 calories each, served with fries made in pure lard, unfiltered cigarettes, and sugar-laden extra-caffiene soft drinks–along with many other truly heart-stopping menu items to satisfy a depraved appetite. Waitresses in both restaurants dress as nurses, with a decorative motif of a medical institution complete with EKG devices, defibrillators, and wheel chairs, etc.

Strangest of all is that each establishment offers free food to patrons who weigh more than 350 pounds. That’s right, more food capable of killing you quicker is offered to the most obese patrons for free! In the midst of America’s worst epidemic of obesity, these eateries are adding fuel to the fire of rising healthcare costs by offering unhealthy food free to those who already overeat tremendously.

Of course, this could “just” be a marketing ploy to offer a menu with incredible calorie counts that is amazingly similar to fast food joints around the country. Ultimately, these outrageously extravagant places, along with all the other run-of-the-mill high-calorie joints wouldn’t be in business if they were not patronized.

Collectively, we are responsible for the success of unhealthy food establishments. If we stayed away they would go away–or change their menus to healthier fare. Fortunately, many prevention-minded organizations, including the American Heart Association, provide helpful guidelines for dining out and heart health for the thoughtful consumer.

Perhaps this dispute is just a tempest in a teapot. Jesus said, “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 24:37-39 NLT).