Think about this: The owner of a restaurant that encourages people to grossly overeat says he’s actually fighting against America’s obesity epidemic.

That’s right. Employers and healthcare professionals may rely on incentive-driven wellness programs to make people healthier, but Jon Basso insists it’s much more effective to weigh people using cattle scales and serve food that has literally caused heart attack deaths.

Basso, the owner of the Heart Attack Grill, says that in addition to serving amazingly unhealthy food like the Quadruple Bypass Burger, his restaurant and its gimmicks serve a much more noble purpose.

More to fight obesity than the Surgeon General

According to Basso, who used to own a fitness center, he’s actually doing more to combat the obesity epidemic than any other individual or group in the country. How? By spreading the message that obesity will kill you. The fact that Basso is making a very comfortable living selling products that offer virtually no redeeming health value is besides the point.

As the successful restaurateur put it:

I do more to combat the obesity epidemic than any other individual in the country, including the Surgeon General. If you’re a real fat guy, you’re not going to go to the gym, you’re not going to seek help. So I’m the first point of contract. And the first step to healing is awareness. Some of these people don’t even know how big they are.

So how exactly does Basso help these people? According to Yahoo Health’s Beth Greenfield, Basso’s methods include:

  • weighing customers (i.e., “Patients”) on a scale
  • punishing people who don’t finish their food with spankings by scantily clad nurses, and
  • rewarding patrons who are over 350 pounds with a free meal.

And Basso even said of his own restaurant:

I am probably the only restaurateur in the entire world who is unapologetically telling you that my food is bad for you, that it will kill you, and that you should stay away from it.

Despite the fact that a heart attack killed the Heart Attack Grill’s “best customer” John Alleman as he was leaving the restaurant, Basso swears this is the exception rather than the norm.

In fact, he claims he’s helped at least 30 Heart Attack Grill customers turn their lives around, and they’ve even sent him thank-you letters with before-and-after photos.

Despite Basso’s supposed success, we doubt many HR pros will be suggesting a fat-shaming wellness program to upper management any time soon.


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