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Super Size Me


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Heck, once it came out, I thought about contacting McD's and seeing if they would fund the same experiment for me.  I take in better than 3000 calories per day, and according to several physiology labs (based on respiration, heart rate, etc), I should weight about twice what I do. 

Some one just did this....

 

He followed the same diet rules as the SuperSize Me guy did but he began an exercise program at the same time.

 

He ended up losing like 17 lbs... I think it was a University prof out west... can't find a link but it was on the news last week. (Canada)

 

EDIT: found one! http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2...alds050301.html

(It was a school teacher not a prof)

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He followed the same diet rules as the SuperSize Me guy did but he began an exercise program at the same time.

 

He ended up losing like 17 lbs...  I think it was a University prof out west... can't find a link but it was on the news last week. (Canada)

But that's not the point. If you look at what I eat and how much I exercise, I should weigh significantly more than I do, but I don't. I'm steady at 175 and have been for about 15 years. This is not typical or average.

 

If you eat nothing but junk (like the average American) and get less than 30 minutes of good aerobic exercise a day (like the average American), you will likely start yourself on the road to ruin (like the average American). The movie even featured a guy who eats multiple Big Macs a day. As far as I know, he holds the world record for consumption of Big Macs. He is in good health. A little freaky, but in good health. He, however, is not normal. But this is not even the point of seeing this movie.

 

Morgan Spurlock didn't conduct a scientific experiment, nor did he ever claim to. He did make a neat movie at no small personal risk (as it turns out). I took it primarily as a critique of corporate responsibility within modern American culture. Where does corporate responsibility lie within a culture driven by media and advertising budgets? This is the main point of the movie. The McDonald's diet is a turning point for that discussion.

 

Super Size Me is a excellent use of a subjective medium. Watching the movie, the director sets up his message, and through the course of the film and his deft use of the form, the film communicates his ideas incredibly well in an interesting and evocative manner. If you're a fan of good film and good documentaries, then this is a film to see. And therein lies the point.

 

kit

Edited by Kit Pierce
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Actually, my wife and I do a similiar thing as Frosch and [email protected], but we don't split entrees. We buy a meal that we are willing to have the following day for lunch at work. ::D:

 

Love Macaroni Grill. Anyplace that gives adults crayons and a place to color (the whole table) rocks!!! Good food too, especially the loaves of bread ^_^

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Digital - true. If you want, you could eat McD's every meal for a month and be okay. The keys are (1) portion control, (2) sufficient exercise, and (3) choosing your meals carefully. Heck, once it came out, I thought about contacting McD's and seeing if they would fund the same experiment for me. I take in better than 3000 calories per day, and according to several physiology labs (based on respiration, heart rate, etc), I should weight about twice what I do.

 

(Yes, when they had their triple cheeseburger, I would go in and order 2. Plus fries. Supersized. I was also biking 15-20 miles per day, and keeping up with traffic when I did so.)

I'm pretty sure that lots of exercise will NOT save you from all of the ill effects of a fast food diet. Yes you'll not get fat if you burn the fat and sugar by exercising, But unless I'm ill informed then consuming vast amounts of sugar, fat and salt in a short amount of time (a McD meal for instance), is harmfull no matter how much you exercise.

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I'm pretty sure that lots of exercise will NOT save you from all of the ill effects of a fast food diet. Yes you'll not get fat if you burn the fat and sugar by exercising, But unless I'm ill informed then consuming vast amounts of sugar, fat and salt in a short amount of time (a McD meal for instance), is harmfull no matter how much you exercise.

Possibly. I did have the occasion to have some blood work done during that period, and everything was normal. Now, I have been refused when it came to donating blood, but that was due to the 4 or 5 cups of coffee I had in the hour before my appointment. :lol:

 

I'd be tempted to try it. The main thing that would stop me is the expense - eating fast food three times a day is much more than I pay for groceries now.

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Also, even if it is possible to be healthy despite eating lots of junk food, this still doesn't address the major problem obesity has become for western society. Sure we have the possibility to stay healthy, but a lot of people don't. I'm not sure what the solution is, but the present strategy of doing nothing and just watching more and more people get obese, just doesn't work for me. I certainly feel that the food industry should do atleast some of the work by not putting too much sugar and/or salt in every product they produce. Also lots of harmfull stuff is added artificially to food products without much thought to how this might hurt the human body.

 

Don't know about the US, but the EU allows Nitrite (is it called this in English?) in meat products. Experts verdict is that even tiny amounts can cause cancer, however because it makes the meat look more red and tasty it is still added.

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One thing that interests me - and that we can see demonstrated in this thread - is the number of people who, when told "junk food is bad", immediately react with "but I don't want to see/hear that", "but they didn't excercise more than average", "but it's just anti-corporate propaganda", "but...but...but...". <_<

 

Not one of those "points" serves to counter the original premise - that a diet filled with crud is bad for your health. They simply attempt to avoid, repress, and ignore it. In other words, making excuses to continue destructive behaviour and discourage change. This kind of behaviour is what has served, in part, to fuel the problem of rampant - and 99% of the time COMPLETELY AVOIDABLE - obesity in the population. Eating yourself to death has become so commonplace that attempting to stop people doing it is in part obstructed by law. Now THAT'S disgusting. :grr:

Um. I looked back over the thread, and the as one of the "dissenters" I said that it was bad (specifically, I said that anyone who actually thought that "a greasy burger smothered in plastic cheese is good for them was denied oxygen at crucial developmental moments."). But, again, no matter how bad it is, he did have a basic flaw in his program: he went from a healthful diet with moderate exercise to a very poor diet with little exercise. Both parts would play some role in the changes in his health.

 

Yes, a diet filled with crud is bad for you. I don't think anyone has said that a steady diet of Mc'D's was actually good for you. We just think that he had some basic flaws in an otherwise good premise, and believe that, in moderation, it's not bad for you, provided that you have an otherwise healthful diet and get sufficient exercise.

 

With that said, is it the fault of McD's (and other fast food establishments) that people are gaining so much weight? Or is it due to a reduction in home cooked meals (due in part to more women entering in the workforce)? Or is it also in conjunction with the decline in recess and mandatory physical activities at school*, coupled with the creation of the PC and console game market?

 

(Only 1 state in America mandates a daily period of physical activity each day for schoolchildren through grade 12 - Illinios. And even there, exceptions do exist.)

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I'll give you a real life example that I stumbled upon totally by mistake.

 

First off, I'm a big boy, no questions. 5'10, 235, and I always have been. Why? Cause I eat like crap! About 6 months ago our apartment got flooded, not once, but twice, and our landlord did nothing about it. Try though we might we couldn't get the mold smell out of the house, and soon we couldn't stnad to be there, let alone cook. Now being a gourmet of fast food, if you will, we fell into eating out ALL the time. Mixed it up a lot, but still fast food mostly. We finally bought a house, but then were busy moving in and finishing the basement and since we were in the habit, just stuck to eating out 4-5 times a week, and every day at lunch. Soon I was at 250.

 

Now the kicker? I'm a goalie. I play Ice hockey 3 nights a week and coach one night a week. I'm on the ice a total 10 hours a week, and if you don't think playing goalie is a work out, give it a shot. Even so I was still gaining weight.

 

Now the seaosn is over and I'm only playing twice a week. When we sat down to look at our finances I was appalled by the amount of money we spent eating out, so we quit, cold turkey. In one week, I've already dropped 5 pounds, just from eating no fast foods. And that's with a 50% drop in exercise.

 

Now remember, all our bodies handle things differently, but I can tell you from personal experience that eating fast food is not healthy. Of course moderation is the key, but MOST fast food has limited nutritional value. I agree though that fad diets aren't the way to go either.

 

For me, I've noticed that when I cut down my carb intake I lose weight for one simle reason. I'm a pasta junkie and this controls my pasta portion intake. I tried the almost no carb thing and while i lost some weight, I was absolutely useless after 10 minutes on the ice. My biggest success has been avoiding Fatty foods. You can get plenty of fats naturally to make your body function normally through low fat foods and lean meats. Too much fat simply supresses your metabolism. Especially the types of fats found in fast foods.

 

I don't mean sound preachy, but this is something I have researched extensively. You have to when you're a 30 year old who suddenly decides to play hockey. And as far as exercise goes, if you are like I used to be and sit in front of your computer all day, every day and do nothing, be prepared for your body to kick your butt! Think the exercise push is being over blown? I started playing hockey because I was basically told get some exercise or die, plain and simple. In the three years I've been playing regularly my blood pressure has gone from 210 over 150 to 120 over 78 with no dietary changes. Think exercise don't make a difference? Hockey litterally saved my life.

 

 

Well now that I hijacked this thread and turned it into a soap box, maybe i shoudl watch the movie eh? :lol:

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Food is not a narcotic. Salt is not nicotine. If I slash my wrists the razor company is not responsible. If I shoot myself the gun company is not responsible. If I drink myself to death with WATER - and it has been done, more than once - or eat myself to death with CARROTS - and it has been done, more than once - it is my fault. If I am stupid enough to let my kids eat fast food and not get exercise then it is my fault. Mine.

 

If anyone wants to believe themselves to be some sort of impulse driven, mindless drooling idiot who can be forced to buy something by advertising, then that is their problem. I guard jealously my right to make my own decisions, and be held responsible for them.

 

Finally, I'm not going to go watch someone destroy themselves for my entertainment. For some it may be thought provoking, but from my perspective just stated, were I to do so it would be deliberately ghoulish.

 

I can do better things with my allocated deliberately ghoulish time.

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But, again, no matter how bad it is, he did have a basic flaw in his program: he went from a healthful diet with moderate exercise to a very poor diet with little exercise.  Both parts would play some role in the changes in his health.

 

This here is getting close to what I was talking about. As Kit said, it misses the point. Yeh, that's precisely what he did. And that in itself was part of the point - if you eat a diet heavy in fast food (like the average schmoe), get almost no excercise (like the average schmoe), then you will get increasingly SICK (like an increasing number of average schmoes). One simple message to come out of the film was "if this stuff is potentially lethal (or at the VERY LEAST is harmful) when regularly consumed as a part of the lifestyle you, as an average schmoe, are likely to lead, why bother consuming it at all?" :huh:

I'd argue, however, that because he made changes, it lessens his point. If he had kept up with the walking, etc that he was normally doing, and still showed many of the same metabolic changes, then fast food would be the sole cause. But, since he did make some fairly radical changes to his behavior as well, it actually lessens the impact, because he cannot point to fast food (alone) and say "Ah-ha! Behold the villain which has stricken me with fat!"

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No salt is not nicotine, and neither is sugar, but these two substances are being artificially added to most food products to make them more tasty. Both substances have their place in a healthy diet, but it has gotten to the point where it is extremely difficult to make a diet without too much sugar/fat/salt.

 

I would argue that since food and candy with enhealthy levels of salt/fat/sugar sell far better than similar products with more reasonable levels, then yes to some extend the general public is impulse driven, mindless drooling idiots.

 

Examples from Denmark:

1) Milk mixed with fruit products marketed as healthy. Situated next to milk in the grocery store. On closer inspection these products have the sugar/fat contents of a coca cola.

 

2) Cereal products marketed as healthy, and the right thing to give you children. Most childrens cereal generally contains about 50% sugar in Denmark, and NO AMOUNT of fibres will change the fact that 50% sugar isn't healthy.

 

As I see it, the movie super size me more than anything tries to get the point across that we as a society have a huge health problem which needs to be solved. My personal view is that society is wasting a lot of resources when 20% of the population is overweight (Recent statistic from Denmark).

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