Restaurant Rewards Gluttony -- This Is Why Everyone Is Fat

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All you can eat buffetWhile on vacation last week, my family ventured to an all-you-can-eat buffet. The woman we rented our vacation house from described the restaurant as a "local landmark." And indeed it was something to behold -- seating for over 1,200 people and 200 feet of "deliciously authentic Pennsylvania Dutch cooking."

Everywhere you looked there was food and fat. Fat in the food and fat people eating the food. For $14 you could eat and eat AND EAT and plenty of folks around us seemed to be taking full advantage.

But what made me really sick was this pricing policy on the menu board:

Gastric Bypass Surgery Policy
  Year #1 - 50% off base price.
  Year #2 - 10% off base price.
  Year #3 - 0% off base price.
To receive the reduced price you must provide Photo ID & Gastric Bypass Card!
Card must include, Patient Name, Date Of Original Surgery & Doctors Signature.
Without complete documentation on Gastric Bypass Card 0% off base price.

Note this policy is intended as a short-term price adjustment to accommodate a person whose intake is limited due to gastric bypass surgery.

Forgive me, but I'm going to go all judgmental on you here for a moment. But, if you just had gastric bypass surgery, should you really be hanging out at the ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT smorgasbord? Isn't that like an alcoholic hanging out at the brewery? Isn't this kind of food, in this kind of quantity, the polar opposite of what you should be eating?

It's almost as if this restaurant is offering a reward for obesity. Or, perhaps the discount is simply their way of apologizing for getting their patrons to the point of needing weight loss surgery in the first place. Either way, this backwards policy is another reminder of what's so wrong with the health of so many people in our country. There is no "Healthy Lifestyle Policy" pricing for those who only want to eat a moderate amount of food at the buffet. Just like my insurance company will pay for me to have gastric bypass surgery and go on diabetes medication, but won't pay for my gym membership.  

I wonder when we as a country will say "enough is enough" and demand that our government, our employers, our health insurance companies, our schools, our restaurants, our friends, and our families begin to change the course of our collective health. I want to be healthier and I'm pretty sure the diners at the buffet want to be healthier, too. But, it's really hard to change bad habits when they are reinforced and rewarded everywhere we go.


Photo via basykes/Flickr

bad habits, eating healthy, obesity, weight loss

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Cafe Amy Cafe Amy

ewwww..... "To receive the reduced price you must provide Photo ID & Gastric Bypass Card!"

Lokis... LokisMama

Why is that ewww?  It's not like you have a photo of the gastric bypass being done.  My DH has a similar card for his pacemaker, stating the doctor that implanted it, the date, and things like the model and model number of the pacemaker that he has.  I imagine a gastric bypass card would be similar to that.


Theoretically, I can see it being a good thing, as they're allowing people who have had the gastric bypass surgery to come out and to be with their friends, etc, without having to pay the full price for the food that they KNOW that they're not going to be able to eat all of.


When it comes down to it though, being healthy is a choice, and tons of people choose not to be.

jeann... jeannesager

I think most all-you-can-eat places are ewww. The food at them is very rarely healthy stuff.  And unlike a restaurant where a "too-large portion" can simply be wrapped up and taken home, you feel compelled to clean your plate.

mylov... myloveynK

Honestly, I don't think that all you can eat buffets are money saving anyway, because you pay like $14 for food that isn't going to give you anything nutrician wise and you would pay only a few more dollars and get better food for yourself without having to think "I want to get my moneys worth!"! And this is sad- it just encourages them!

toria... toriandgrace

I don't think the government, my employer, or my restaurants are responsible for my health. I will preach personal responsibility to the day I die. I have no intention of allowing myself or my family to become obese, as a result I rarely go out to eat, prepare homemade meals filled with veggies and fruit, avoid soda pop, and eat sweets and junk food in moderation. It's my personal responsibility to keep myself and my child healthy. It is not my responsibility to keep my neighbors or co-workers eating well.

Andrea Sopher Ullberg

So because I've had surgery and my mother/father/sister/husband/friends want to go here, I have to avoid said place?

I don't normally ask for a discount when I go places due to my surgery -- partially because I am 7 years out, but also because I don't feel like I have the right. But I applaud a location that does give a discount to those of us who do accompany our loved ones and can eat only 1oz at a time.

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