COMMENTARY | As reported by the Huffington Post, a woman in her 40s collapsed while she ate a double bypass burger, drank a margarita and smoked a cigarette at the infamous Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas. Her recovery continues while hopefully she reconsiders her culinary choices. Two months ago, another customer died after eating a triple bypass burger at the same restaurant.
You could make the argument these people chose to eat at this establishment and pretty much got what they deserved. But as a nurse, I beg to differ.
Americans are not healthy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of Americans are obese. What causes obesity? Mostly lack of exercise and poor diet, though heredity might have some influence. Obesity is the root cause of many health problems like hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.
If you think it's not your problem, think again. A study released this month by Cornell University found obesity accounts for 21 percent of all health care costs. This translates into $190 billion a year. Wouldn't you rather that money be used to lower your health insurance premiums than to pay for the bad habits of others?
The Heart Attack Grill does not force people to come in and dine on its murderous meals. But it does exploit this trend toward obesity to make a buck. It's basically dangling a carrot in front of a horse. We should be getting people to make better food choices. Instead, we see the Heart Attack Grill with horrifically unhealthy meals served to us by young women in sexy nurse uniforms. Sorry, I'm in the business of saving lives, not destroying them one bacon strip at a time.
I know this is America and this country is about spotting trends and capitalizing on them. But when are we going to realize our growing waistlines are a dangerous trend and not an opportunity to make a profit?
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