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Heart Attack Grill lives up (down?) to its name

Pedestrians pass by the Heart Attack Grill on Feb. 15, 2012, in Las Vegas. A man was wheeled out of the restaurant on a stretcher Saturday evening, Feb. 11, after a medical episode that restaurant employees say looked like a heart attack.

Julie Jacobson/Associated Press/Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

No one can accuse the Heart Attack Grill of false advertising.

On Saturday, a man suffered a heart attack while eating at the Las Vegas restaurant, Fox News reports.

The man was partway through a "triple bypass burger" when he began to complain of chest pains, a waitress said. "He was having the sweats and shaking."

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Restaurant owner Jon Basso called 911. In the meantime, tourists took photos of the man "as if it were some type of stunt," Mr. Basso said. "Even with our own morbid sense of humor, we would never pull a stunt like that."

Heart problems and obesity are a running joke at the diner, where customers who weigh more than 350 pounds eat free.

According to Fox News, a single meal at the Heart Attack Grill can easily exceed 8,000 calories, which makes KFC's Double Down, at 540 calories, seem like a light snack.

Restaurants gain free publicity by joining the lethal meal trend, leaving customers to dine at their risk. Jesters Diner in Great Yarmouth, Britain, made headlines for offering a 6,000-calorie breakfast free to anyone who could finish the nine-pound meal of 12 bacon rashers, 12 sausages, six eggs, four slices of black pudding, four slices of bread and butter, four slices of toast, four slices of fried bread, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, sauté potatoes and an eight-egg cheese and potato omelette.

Restaurant owners such as Mr. Basso are unapologetic about their outrageously fattening menus, The Globe and Mail reported. "Do I have concerns or moral conflicts with serving high-calories to people? No more than McDonald's. No more than Burger King, because the caloric content is equivalent," he said. "I'm simply doing so with an honest message."

The man who collapsed at his restaurant is reportedly alive and recuperating. No news on whether he'll be a repeat customer.

Is it time to put an end to the lethal meal trend?

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About the Author

Adriana Barton is based in The Globe and Mail’s Vancouver bureau. Her article on growing up with counterculture parents is published in a McGraw-Hill anthology, right after an essay by Margaret Atwood. She wishes her last name didn’t start with B. More

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