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Statins: Do They Make Fries Healthier?

Imagine if the next time you pulled into McDonald's, the drive-thru guy asked if you'd like a statin with your fries. It could happen. In fact, it just might protect you from a heart attack, according to researchers at the Imperial College London, who announced their findings in a paper to be published August 15 in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Dr. Darrel Francis and associates at the college's National Heart and Lung Institute calculated that popping a statin offsets the increased cardiovascular risk of eating a Quarter-Pounder with cheese and a small milkshake.

"Statins don't cut out all of the unhealthy effects of burgers and fries," explains Francis. "It's better to avoid fatty food altogether. But we've worked out that in terms of your likelihood of having a heart attack, taking a statin can reduce your risk to more or less the same degree as a fast food meal increases it."

What's more, because they have an impressive safety record and are relatively inexpensive, Francis suggests treating statins as condiments. Right next to the napkins and straws, you'd see packets of ketchup, mustard, salt, and individually wrapped cholesterol reducers. He estimates that making them available like this (with the proper cautions to consult your doctor before partaking, of course) would cost companies about the same per customer as providing the extra ketchup.

But why stop here? Stretching Francis's logic just a bit, here's what else I'd like to see:

>Diabetes medication with every Big Gulp.

>Gastric bypass discount-coupon with each Whopper.

>Free stem cells with every motorcycle purchase.

>Liver vitamins with every bottle of tequila.

>Cigarette vending machines that also provide a lung screening

Got any more? Post your suggestions in the comments field below.

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