Monday, January 26, 2004

Super-size Me!

It's the title of a documentary film directed by and starring Morgan Spurlock, who decided to chronicle the effects of eating nothing but fast food with a camera crew and team of doctors by his side.

The results weren't pretty.

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.


Lessons learned, eh?

Keith Burgess-Jackson also offers some wisdom on eating well and exercising in his post reprinting an American Cancer Society letter on the preventability of cancer:

The overwhelming majority of the world's cancer control professionals agree that prevention and early detection will save more lives from cancer than any other tool available.

Studies show that about 60 percent of the cancer deaths that will occur in 2004--more than 300,000--will be related to preventable behaviors like poor nutrition, physical inactivity, obesity and smoking.

Something to think about. Mind and body are not-two... my gut is a good clue that something's out of whack.


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