The numbers are hard to argue. What I found interesting wasn’t just the different lives these two men lived, but that healthy living is somehow a partisan issue. As long as that’s the case, there are going to be a lot of people who think living an unhealthy life is a exercise in political freedom.
It’s always sad when someone dies at an early age. It’s particularly tragic when that person slowly kills himself while promoting his unhealthy lifestyle.
No, I’m not talking about Charlie Sheen.
The Heart Attack Grill is a restaurant in Phoenix that “glorifies obesity” according to founder, Jon Basso. The unhealthy menu includes a Quadruple Bypass Burger stacked with two pounds of beef and Flatliner Fries cooked in “pure lard.” They also serve “full sugar” Coca-Cola and no-filter cigarettes. If you weigh over 350 pounds, you eat for free.
Check out one of their ads:
“Mild death may occur,” might sound funny in the commercial. Sadly, though, death did occur. The man eating the burger in that ad was Blair River. The 6-foot-8, 575-pound River died last week at the age of 29. His friends think it was complications from pneumonia, but it’s hard not to wonder if obesity contributed to poor health that, in turn, led to his death.
River’s death is reminiscent of the two Marlboro Men, David McLean and Wayne McLaren, who died of lung cancer in the 1990s. In both the Marlboro ads and possibly the Heart Attack Grill ads, these men were paid to promote unhealthy activities, then died as a result of those activities. Both cases are incredibly ironic. By joking about death, the Heart Attack Grill ad is beyond ironic and just brutal.
So, did River’s death cause Basso to make any changes at the Heart Attack Grill?