T Nation

What happens when you eat Mcdonalds everyday for a month?

From the NewZealand Herald website.

Film records effects of eating only McDonald’s for a month

25.01.2004 12.00pm - By DAVID USBORNE
NEW YORK - Normally sane actors have been known to gain or lose huge amounts of weight for their art. Think of Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones’s Diary. Directors, of course, never have to undergo such torture. Or so it used to be, until Morgan Spurlock had a bright idea for a film project.

The first clue to his particular misery comes in the title of his documentary, which has become the darling of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It is called Super Size Me: A Film of Epic Portions and it is a sometimes comic but serious look at America’s addiction to fast food.

Spurlock, a tall New Yorker of usually cast-iron constitution, made himself the guinea pig in this dogged investigation into the effects of fast food on the body. He ate only at McDonald’s for a month - three meals, every day - and took a camera crew along to record it. If a server offered to super-size his order, he was obliged to accept - and to ingest everything, gherkins and all.

Neither Spurlock, 33, nor the three doctors who agreed to monitor his health during the experiment were prepared for the degree of ruin it would wreak on his body. Within days, he was vomiting up his burgers and battling with headaches and depression. And his sex drive vanished.

When Spurlock had finished, his liver, overwhelmed by saturated fats, had virtually turned to pate. “The liver test was the most shocking thing,” said Dr Daryl Isaacs, who joined the team to watch over him. “It became very, very abnormal.”

Spurlock put on nearly 12kg over the period and his cholesterol level leapt from a respectable 165 to 230. He told the New York Post: “I got desperately ill. My face was splotchy and I had this huge gut, which I’ve never had in my life … It was amazing - and really frightening.” And his girlfriend, a vegan chef? “She was completely disgusted by me,” he said.

Making the film over several months last year, Spurlock travelled through 20 states, interviewing everyone from fast-food junkies to the US Surgeon General and a lobbyist for the industry. McDonald’s, for whom the film can only be a public relations catastrophe, ignored his repeated entreaties for comment.

Spurlock had the idea for the film on Thanksgiving Day 2002, slumped on his mother’s couch after eating far too much. He saw a news item about two teenage girls in New York suing McDonald’s for making them obese. The company responded by saying their food was nutritious and good for people. Is that so, he wondered? To find out, he committed himself to his 30 days of Big Mac bingeing.

The film does not yet have a distributor and, given the advertising clout of McDonald’s, that may prove problematic. But the critics at Sundance seem to have been captivated. Certainly, the film is blessed by good timing. Obesity has in recent months captured headlines as America’s new health scourge. The humour of the approach - and Spurlock’s own suffering - obviously helps.

At the festival in Park City, Utah, he has had teams handing out “Unhappy Meal” bags on the streets with a few “Fat Fun Facts”. For instance, one in four Americans visits a fast-food restaurant every day. And did you know that McDonald’s feeds more people around the world every day than the population of Spain? The makers have self-rated the film “F” - for “fat audiences”.

McDonald’s has finally been forced to comment. “Consumers can achieve balance in their daily dining decisions by choosing from our array of quality offerings and range of portion sizes to meet their taste and nutrition goals,” it said in a statement last week.

Spurlock claims that the goal was not to attack McDonald’s as such. Among the issues he highlights is the willingness of schools to feed students nothing but burgers and pizza. “If there’s one thing we could accomplish with the film, it is that we make people think about what they put in their mouth,” he said. “So the next time you do go into a fast-food restaurant and they say, ‘Would you like to upsize that?’ you think about it and say, ‘Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll stick with the medium this time.’”

WOW!
The Michael Moore of the Fast Food world. Absolutely amazing. I’ll have to see it when it’s available.

THanks for the post.
dd

Thanks for the post. I hope it comes to the local film festival.

Wow. He put on around 26 lbs in a month? Amazing.

That’s a great idea for a documentary, but who here is really surprised? Everyone with half a brain can tell you that McDonalds is crap for you, but most people continue to eat it anyways. It’s quick and cheap, people are lazy and being fat is growing more widely accepted by the day.

The only way anything will ever change is if we stop accommodating obesity in our overly PC culture. Instead of building oversized plane seats and doorways, people should just be told, “Sorry, you’re too fat for that.” Too bad it’ll never happen.

totally agree travcolype, obesity is a real problem, not to mention the health costs to us all because these people are lazy slobs. And I don’t want to hear - genetics, metabolism blah blah blah, bullshit bullshit bullshit…obese people are lazy undisciplined disgraces, with proper diet and exercise they all can lose weight, there is no excuse.

There MUST be something in that food you don`t find elsewhere. And it must be a couple of couple of couple compounds.

After all, how could a Big Mac become the Wonder Meal on hangover day of all partygoers I know? Because it has anti-vomiting agents in it.

Imagine the rest…

Hey y’all:

I heard a while back that McDonald’s and Burger King are the world’s leading buyers of… Cow Brains. No shit, the brains go into the hamburger plants, and burgers come out. I’m not saying that the burgers are entirely made of brains, but there’s some brains in them, without a doubt. Makes sense, in a way. Think about it: a burger made of 100% cow brains is still 100% beef. You wouldn’t even have to lie in your advertising. And brains are cheap. REAL cheap. Now if we were brain-munching zombies like “Return of the Living Dead”, we would be just skippy. MMM… BRAINS!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Keep eating at McDonald’s and Burger King, and dying young, you fat bastards!! That leaves more women for ME!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!

i highly doubt they can do the whole brain thing cos of mad cow disease and stuff. Because, if I remember correctly, the disease is supposed to be transferred through the ingestion of brain and spinal tissue??

Ren:

No. That is theory only. They really don’t know. They’ve even taken brain material from mad cows and injected them into other cows and no disease was developed. But this is hijacking…still not a good idea to eat brains though.

Christ…even if its 10% brain material, I wouldnt wanna eat it…thank God I dont eat that shit anymore.

I recommend the book Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. It goes into depth regarding this issue. Very informative and a total eye-opener.

Arg, just the thought of eating McD’s for a month makes me want to hurl my cottage cheese!

I saw a guy on Jimmy Kimmel’s show(the one that sucks cock and is a real dissapointment) who said he eats basically, nothing but big macs. He usually eats two or three a day and drinks a coke with the dinner one. He said he has been doing it for years and he even saved the boxes. He said he just really likes them. He wasn’t fat, but pretty lean, and he said his cholesterol was normal. I think people go overboard both ways. You have the fat tubs of lard who eat tons of fast food, pop, twinkies, candy, tubs of crisco, whatever. And then you people make it sound like eating at mcdonals at all is taking your life in your hands and you should go do twenty hail marys and go eat some bean sprouts.

I ran the numbers, that guy would have to consume 6000 calories a day, every day, for that entire month to gain that much weight. That’s not reasonable. That movie is a fallacy. While McDonalds is ridiculously fattening and I haven’t eaten there in over a year, 6000 calories a day is UNREASONABLE.

P-LOGIC:

I think people go overboard both ways. You have the fat tubs of lard who eat tons of fast food, pop, twinkies, candy, tubs of crisco, whatever. And then you people make it sound like eating at mcdonals at all is taking your life in your hands and you should go do twenty hail marys and go eat some bean sprouts.

Sure is easier for the brain to have one only category of belief to sustain than…God!..two opposing beliefs.

Having two opposite beliefs in coexistence would mean… (gasp)… analytical thinking and… (double gasp)… effort to get rid of the feeling of uncertainty.

Getting rid of that Either/Or thinking is tough work. Getting to the Either/And thinking, I guess, is more mature.

Its very much like a cat that gets burnt on a stove. Youll never see him on a hot stovetop anymore. You`ll never see him on a cold one either.

Accepting the dualities of life is for grown-ups, I guess.

But rejoice, for every dumbass you find that quickly polarizes, congratulate yourself of the energies you will save yourself by never engaging lengthy and constructive debates with them…it will never happen.

  • I use constructive in quotes because, sadly, to only thing youll get by debating with them is further polarization of their own beliefs. Youre actually helping them to bullet-proof their wall of denial even more. So, in a sense, you are construction something. That`s what politicians do day in day out to keep people reactive instead of thinking. Brilliant.

Show me your reasoning knee-jerks, I`ll know who you are. Quickly. And keep you there too. Ehehehe. ;0)

Haha, this is some funny shizzle.
I guess I don’t need to really go on a cutting programme maybe just stop going to fast food that I do every so often, surely I will be able to get rid of a third of that fat he put on!!

lonelobo,
It is not only possible, I have experience.

I can eat 4000 to 6000 calories a day no problem. The average super-sized meal is 2000+ calories. A big mac with cheese is 720 calories, a super-sized fries is 510 calories, and a super-sized drink is 550 calories. I don’t know about you, but I can eat 2 big mac’s no problem, so that puts the meal at right about 2500 calories. Do that 3 times a day, not including snacks and additional sodas and I’m at 7500 calories a day without even breaking a sweat. Add 3 coke’s and it goes up to just above 8000 kcal’s in a day.

So he could do this no problem. Hell, when I was depressed a few years back I went from 200 lbs at a height of 5’11" to 240 lbs in 6 weeks, and ended up at 26% body fat.

err… i meant 5’10"

gave myself an extra inch there!

How can one do that 3times a day??
I have a hard time eating fast food twice a week.

I eat Mcdonalds or other fast food about 3 or 4 times a week.I fuckin love it.