Monday, February 9, 2004

Arch Enemy... McDonald's Diet

Morgan Spurlock's Results Highly Questionable

I came across this NY Post article, "Arch Enemy," from my friend Doug's blog. This guy, Morgan Spurlock, obviously was seeking publicity in general and for his "Super Size Me" documentary that he's trying to peddle off at this year's Sundance Film Festival. The film covers his 30-day McDonald's diet and the health consequences he suffers from.

I would like to know what his diet was before his 30-day trial and if he really only ate McDonald's during this time period. First, I assume his constitution and health was weak in the first place for him to get so sick and gain so much weight. It's a distinct possibility that he was a vegan like his girlfriend or close to it, especially since he actually vomited after a few days of eating McDonald's. If your body isn't use to eating meat and fat, it's logical that he would vomit after a few days but if he had a normal American diet I highly doubt he would have thrown up. Maybe he forced it for his film. Otherwise I really question the validity of this trial because I believe he had a diet that was the polar opposite of foods like McDonald's or Morgan Spurlock is just a weakass.

I might be coming from a slightly biased perspective since I grew up in Chicago (home of McDonald's, greasy hometown burgers, kickass hotdogs, center of the cattle industry, deep-dish pizza, buffets galore...), but my diet at times is worse than a McDonald's meal and I never suffered like Morgan did. I can confidently state that I could easily eat McDonald's (in my normal manner, such as two super value meals for each meal) and not suffer any of the symptoms or ill health effects that Morgan went through. I actually know a friend that ate McDonald's for almost every meal, without prompting, for a couple weeks and he was happy and healthy.

Second, if Morgan did have a "normal" American diet (my small world definition), then I question whether he only ate McDonald's. If he isn't a dietary whimp by my standards, I'm guessing he must have supplemented his McDonald's diet with more unhealthy foods, such as pork rinds (yum!), slim jims (yum!), and french silk pie (double yum!).

Anyway, in all seriousness, I really do question the validity of this trial. I don't question the results and effect on his body, but Morgan Spurlock set this up so the results would be dramatic, entertaining, and headline-grabbing to promote his film. Excerpt:

LAST February, Morgan Spurlock decided to become a gastronomical guinea pig.
His mission: To eat three meals a day for 30 days at McDonald's and document the impact on his health.

Scores of cheeseburgers, hundreds of fries and dozens of chocolate shakes later, the formerly strapping 6-foot-2 New Yorker - who started out at a healthy 185 pounds - had packed on 25 pounds.

But his supersized shape was the least of his problems.

Within a few days of beginning his drive-through diet, Spurlock, 33, was vomiting out the window of his car, and doctors who examined him were shocked at how rapidly Spurlock's entire body deteriorated.

"It was really crazy - my body basically fell apart over the course of 30 days," Spurlock told The Post.

His liver became toxic, his cholesterol shot up from a low 165 to 230, his libido flagged and he suffered headaches and depression.