Heart Attack Grill Model Blair River Dead -- Who's Laughing Now?


Blair River
Blair River
Everything about a restaurant called Chandler's Heart Attack Grill screams wrong to me. It's poking fun at something that's not in the least bit funny. And now the company is realizing how serious it is to joke about eating yourself to death. Blair River, their 29-year-old "model," is dead.

It's horrible and tragic. So why didn't someone think of that before naming a restaurant after the leading cause of death of Americans and encouraging a 572-pound model to stay that way?

If you've heard of the Arizona-based franchise, you know River was the perfect person to work at a place where one meal can exceed 8,000 calories. With his sizable girth, he was the star of the Grill's commercials, poking fun at the healthcare law, stating he would have to pay for his medical bills anyway ... so why not keep on eating?

River's death of as yet undisclosed causes is being called "ironic" today. I'd say it's tragic -- he was just 29 and left behind a young child -- but after watching that, it's not ironic. It was what happens when you take caring for your body and turn it into a joke. When it's too funny to care about your body, bad things happen. Like heart attacks, diabetes, stroke, cancer, death.

The Heart Attack Grill isn't just a place where people can stop in and exceed the limit of their daily recommended calories once in awhile. That happens. We all do it. Even the healthiest of the bunch like to indulge sometimes.

But with its crass commercials, its insistence that it's running a "diet program," and assurances that people who already weigh over 350 pounds can "eat for free," the Heart Attack Grill stepped over the line into being enablers of Americans' worst habits. It's one thing to sell unhealthy food, it's another to specifically tell customers that there's nothing wrong with eating it, and to specifically comment on their health in doing so.

The Heart Attack Grill loved having Blair River on staff because he was morbidly obese, not despite it. And they make a case for the unhealthy lifestyle by taking advantage of medical issues. They play on the idea that yo-yo dieting is bad, stating on their website: "That's why our program is focused upon keeping your weight in an extremely stable, gradual, and constant upward slope." They specifically advertise that they're "treating America's anorexia since 2005," as though eating disorders are a silly, ha, ha, not something 11 million Americans struggle with every single day.

People with unhealthy lifestyles don't need to be made fun of. They need help. I can't say enough times that it's sad to see Blair River's passing. He was a human being, a dad. He did not deserve to die. But if people continue joking about being unhealthy, and their friends and family keep on laughing, what's going to happen? People are going to die.

Are you still laughing at the Heart Attack Grill shtick?


Image via Heart Attack Grill®

bad habits, eating healthy


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Gigan... GigantaursMommy

What makes this even more disgusting to me is that I'm pretty sure the founders used to be nutritionists. How do you go from helping people get healthy to killing people (including your employees) slowly with your "diet" food. I'd never eat at this restaurant anyway I only eat places I can get meals for 1000 calories (my indulgence maximum) or less, doesn't sound like its possible here. I wish Mr.Rivers family the best.

Shanin22 Shanin22

His death is very sad and my condolences to the family. But it was his choice. The restaurant is a business who found a good angle and gave the CHOICE for people to indulge in unhealthy food (while blatantly advertising the fact that it was unhealthy unlike many other restaurants and chains in our country). People get sick of the constant media attention given to the health food and diet industry... and that's what makes these commercials funny. I thank the restaurant for their honesty and for giving people the choice to indulge. I think I'll stop by the next time I'm through Chandler.

tazdvl tazdvl

I've never heard of the place before. I may not agree with what they are doing but like Shanin said, people have a choice. Blair chose to do this, he chose not to lose weight. As for your way of thinking, I hate to tell you but not every fat person is unhealthy and not every skinny person is healthy. There are many skinny people who exercise daily that have heart attacks.

nonmember avatar JahfreFireEater

We're all going to die. Don't take it so seriously. Have a hamburger. Enjoy life.

Peajewel Peajewel

I have never heard of this place but I would not eat at a place called Heart Attack.  To the non member above, you are right, life is short and you should not take it too serioulsy however, you should be kind too.  I think this is insane.

nonmember avatar SonjiaK

I think we should outlaw ice cream, candy, and driving faster than 35 mph (unless you're a professional driver - you know, transport goods).. and redefine "freedom" to mean "what is allowed by people who can't control their own lives"

Kimberly Soucy

Unless they held a gun to his head and forced him into this lifestyle, there is no one to blame except Blair.

nonmember avatar david

He died of pneumonia. he did not have a heart attack. Its called a JOKE for a reason. they sell hamburgers. and fries and shakes. it is NO different than THOUSANDS of other places. Eat your rabbit food, guess what you STILL WILL DIE ! my aunt lived to 103 years old and lived life the way SHE wanted to, and that diet included hamburgers, pizza and all the horrible items you all seem to loathe. You act as his life was horrible, how do you know? he may have enjoyed his life far more than you ever will, you have no idea. Live YOUR life for YOU, and leave other people alone.

Rick Moss

Nobody is killing anyone. If you dont like it, Dont go there. I love what this company is doing. Gives a place for fatasses to go kill themselves. More room on the plane for me! Yeah!

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