Heart Attack Grill Spokesman Dies At 29

News

By: GangStarr Girl / March 4, 2011

Blair River, the 575-pound spokesman for the Heart Attack Grill, an Arizona restaurant that serves shamelessly high-calorie burgers and fries, died Tuesday at the age of 29, following a bout of the flu.

At 6 feet 8 inches tall, River gained celebrity as the grill’s “Gentle Giant” when he became the face and advertising star of the medically themed restaurant, which was famous for its triple bypass burgers, flatliner lard fries and server “nurses” donning skimpy uniforms.

The fact that he was obese contributed to his flu related death.

Via ABC: “Obesity increases your risk for for just about every condition, and it can make nearly every acute health problem worse,” says Keith Ayoob, director of the nutrition clinic at Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Those who are morbidly obese have an increased risk for sudden cardiac death and heart attacks at a younger age, says Dr. Carl Lavie, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at the Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute. “All of this could be worsened with a flu or other respiratory illness.

And research during the H1N1 swine flue epidemic of 2009 suggested that extreme obesity did complicate recovery in flu patients. One study, published in the journal PloS One, found that among those requiring inpatient care for the flu, those with a body mass index of 40 or higher were almost three times more likely to die than those of normal body mass index.

While conditions associated with obesity, such as heart disease and diabetes, have been linked in the past to increased risk of flu complications, this study was the first to find that independent of any other health problems, obesity itself was increasing the risk of death for flu patients.

Be careful out there. Food is great but dying for it isn’t.