That was the day a proposal was put forth in a scholarly medical journal to combat cardiovascular disease by changing the standard condiments of fast-food restaurants. If those places would stock free artery-opening statins alongside the complimentary packets of salt and ketchup, the article asserted, any ill effects of the food would be counterbalanced.
This smacked so much of a ruse that I tracked down an on-line abstract of the article, which is in the August 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology. A quick check of the journal’s website showed that it’s not an offshoot of The Onion, Mad magazine, or Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.
Here is exactly what the authors, each with a long string of degrees after his or her name, are proposing:
Routine accessibility of statins in establishments providing unhealthy food might be a rational modern means to offset the cardiovascular risk. Fast food outlets already offer free condiments to supplement meals. A free statin-containing accompaniment would offer cardiovascular benefits, opposite to the effects of equally available salt, sugar, and high-fat condiments.
Statins are drugs that lower cholesterol. Here in the United States, they have to be prescribed by a physician. Across the pond, they may someday be included in Happy Meals.
If this is indeed a joke, stuff me and mount me on a wall, because I’m falling for it hook, line and sinker.