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Author Topic: Mcflick myth gobbled up
snopes
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Morgan Spurlock of documentary Supersize Me fame ate nothing but McDonald's food for a month, with gruesome results. Local teacher Les Sayer did the same - and lost 17 pounds.

The difference?

Spurlock parked his expanding butt on the couch, while Sayer worked his buns off on the treadmill, stair-climber and weight-bench five or six hours a week.

http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/EdmontonSun/News/2005/03/03/948447-sun.html

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Angry Snail
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Well, Duh!
What Mr Morgan was trying to demonstrate (albeit unscientifically) is that if you are eating it with the sedetary lifestyle that most of the western world lives with, you will give yourself severe problems. If you are exercising your butt off, you are gonna do fine no matter what you are eating (within reason of course).

AngrySnail

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Tarokaja
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Also, I suspect that had Mr. Spurlock eaten a healthier diet while doing the same exercise, he may well have lost even more weight (and also been healthier overall).

Edited to fix a typo.

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BlueStar
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I'd think if you're living the lifestyle of the type of person who eats macdonalds everyday, treadmills don't come into the equasion much.
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STF
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quote:
Originally posted by BlueStar:
I'd think if you're living the lifestyle of the type of person who eats macdonalds everyday, treadmills don't come into the equasion much.

I'm not so sure about that. Well actually you are right about that to a degree, but I know of people who do excercise to burn off all the junk they eat. Some people like to diet without excercise and some, I'd imagine, like to eat whatever they want and then kill it at the gym or at home.

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Joe Bentley
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Not to hijack too far but I do also wonder how much a difference how dramatic of a diet change you undergo makes a difference.

For instance. Let's say Bob and Phil both eat nothing but identical McDonald's meals for a month and do indentical exercise routines. The difference being that before Bob was a pretty healthy guy, you know ate well most of the time but would occasionly dig into a nice fat and salt laden meal while Phil ate nothing but healthy food. I'm betting Phil would pack on the lbs a lot quicker then Bob.

I have nothing to actually back this up but I just have a gut feeling that your body can adapt to a wide range of foods so if you've been eating an unhealthy diet all your life you are probably getting better nutrition out of it then a person who just started the unhealthy diet. I think your body adjusts over time to the diet its given.

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Priestley's Mouse
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I have to agree with Joe Bentley, even if just on a feeling. The Supersize Me guy seemed to be a bit of a health nut prior to his experiment. If he was accustomed to eating the sort of vegetarian fare his girlfriend prepared, it's no wonder that a month of McDonalds would be a shock to his system.

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lawguy
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Who is surprised that that eating only McDonald's and supersizing every time they ask would have bad health effects?

I heard "Supersize Me" was well made and entertaining, but the premise that people need to be educated that fast food isn't the best from a health standpoint would seem obvious.

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Jon Up North
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One should also note that it was a documentary. A documentary attempting to be entertaining. The rigors of scientific method are not going to draw people to the theatres.

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BlueByrd
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quote:
I heard "Supersize Me" was well made and entertaining, but the premise that people need to be educated that fast food isn't the best from a health standpoint would seem obvious.
Spurlock was the first to acknowledge that, and he wasn't trying to establish that eating junk food is "bad" for you, for some unknown value of "bad" - that'd be, as we say in Dutch, kicking in an open door. What he did set out to do was to try and establish exactly what happened to the body of someone who ate at McDonald's for thirty days, sampling everything on the menu, supersizing when asked, and not exercising any more than the average American citizen, IIRC.

Of course it's a given that eating nothing but junk food is bad for you, but as far as I know, no one had ever investigated just what the effects would be. Weight gain, yes, duh, but what else? Spurlock ended up with a number of symptoms that came as a bit of a surprise to both him and his supervising physicians.

Blue "Are those carrots low-carb?" Byrd

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ranran yousei
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quote:
Originally posted by Joe Bentley:
For instance. Let's say Bob and Phil both eat nothing but identical McDonald's meals for a month and do indentical exercise routines. The difference being that before Bob was a pretty healthy guy, you know ate well most of the time but would occasionly dig into a nice fat and salt laden meal while Phil ate nothing but healthy food. I'm betting Phil would pack on the lbs a lot quicker then Bob.

Well, actually this wouldn't be far off. Let's say Bob's diet, although reasonably healthy, contains more calories than Phil's, due to the extra fat (fat has 5 more calories a gram than either protein or carbohydrates), then switching both men to an even higher caloric diet would mean Phil would gain more weight faster.

Example: Let's say Bob was eating 2,200 calories on average and Phil was eating 1,900. Now both switch to a 2,700 diet, whether junk food or healthy, Bob is only consuming 500 extra calories and Phil is ingesting 800 extra. That's enough of a difference to create a faster weight gain.


The health effects, however, of a diet of only fast food is far more than just weight gain. Vital nutrients aren't being consumed regularly, and too much sodium and saturated fat are. Add extra weight to too much sodium and saturated fats, and the mess increases exponentially. Most of us are aware enough that eating only McDonalds and Burger King and the like everyday, every meal, is bad for us. It's common sense. However, people do exist where they don't realize this.


I've met and helped rearrange the diet of a young college student that was borderline diabetic, warned by his doctor that his heart was on the verge of "exploding" (scare tactic on the part of the doctor, the doctor meant the kid was in danger of serious cardiac troubles) and all kinds of health issues that a 20 year old shouldn't be facing, all because he was raised on and continued eating fast food, and other similar things (his favourite food, if he couldn't go to a burger joint was hotdogs at home).

Eating healthy scared him. "Does it taste good?" A dramatic change was vital, but not likely to stick, since he had limited time for preparing meals and even more limited knowledge. He was amazed to learn a burger wasn't good for him. He figured if it had lettuce on it, it would be ok. He honestly didn't know the food options out there. As amazed as he was to learn there's more than one type of lettuce, I was amazed to meet someone that never knew anything but fast food.

The plan of action was to slowly change his habits. Get out and walk a bit every day, starting with just around the block, and taking it slow. Smell the flowers, wave to the neighbors, get used to it and learn to enjoy it. Make it something you want to do. Then increase the distance, and eventually, once the heart is strong enough, add in more exercise routines. If a fast food place is a must, go to Subway (and order something veggie, or with limited meat and low sodium) or order a salad option, but this was to be transitional, not permanent (putting Subway on the list of recommendations is not something I'd normally do, but I was more scared of switching him too dramatically too fast, as it wouldn't stick and he'd revert). Meanwhile, enroll in cooking classes. Iron Chef isn't the goal, but learning food preperations and do-it-yourself meals was.


So, yeah, people exist that don't know a carrot from a hot dog, and it's rather unnerving to realize that sometimes.


ranran "late for work as usual... darned forums..." yousei

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BeachLife
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Bob and Phil's initial weight would make a big difference as well. If Bob was 100 pounds while Phil was 200 pounds Bob would gain much more weight than Phil. With the right caloric intake Bob could gain while Phil lost weight on the same diet.

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meanjelly
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I also wonder what affect soda played into all this. Everytime he ate I saw atleast one large soda and many times there was two. Therefore, how much was fast food and how much was 2000 calories worth of soda he drank a day?

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BlueByrd
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quote:
Therefore, how much was fast food and how much was 2000 calories worth of soda he drank a day?
But the soda would have been part of the meal, right? And isn't soda fast food, too? Or "fast drink", anyway?

Blue "In Cyberland we only drink Diet Coke" Byrd

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Rhiandmoi
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I thought the size of the soda was part of the McDiet. Since when you supersize you go from a large but reasonable soda to a huge swimming pool of soda. I think he was makin a point of something like 1000 extra calories for a mere $.39.

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Elkhound
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quote:
Originally posted by ranran yousei:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Joe Bentley:
[qb]


I've met and helped rearrange the diet of a young college student that was borderline diabetic, warned by his doctor that his heart was on the verge of "exploding" (scare tactic on the part of the doctor, the doctor meant the kid was in danger of serious cardiac troubles) and all kinds of health issues that a 20 year old shouldn't be facing, all because he was raised on and continued eating fast food, and other similar things (his favourite food, if he couldn't go to a burger joint was hotdogs at home).

This really gets me, when I hear of teenagers and young adults who are so ignorant about food. Don't they still teach nutrition in school?

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ranran yousei
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quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
Bob and Phil's initial weight would make a big difference as well. If Bob was 100 pounds while Phil was 200 pounds Bob would gain much more weight than Phil. With the right caloric intake Bob could gain while Phil lost weight on the same diet.

Good point.

We need a 'thumbs up' graemlin...


quote:
Originally posted by Elkhound:
This really gets me, when I hear of teenagers and young adults who are so ignorant about food. Don't they still teach nutrition in school?

I don't know when they ever did. I remember vaguely the food pyramid chart they showed us in third grade. I have a vague recollection (or maybe I'm just making up a memory brought on by this) that someone asked about fast food. Burger patty = protein group, bread = grains group, lettuce and tomato = veggie group, etc. I can't for the life of me recall the answer, although I'd hope it was something to the effect of "fast food is considered junk food, and not part of a healthy diet" or something.

So, other than the pyramid, I don't recall ever being taught nutrition in school.

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Joe Bentley
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What really scares me about this is sooner or later their is going to be a backlash and if America is good at anything its over compensating for something.

There is already talk of taxing junk food and banning it from schools, and not just elementary and middle schools but colleges and even military bases.

I'm afraid in a few years the people like me who just enjoy a good snack every now and then aren't going to be able to because a bunch of lazy dumb asses didn't know when to say when.

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Sara at home
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I have no doubt that I could eat nothing but McDonalds for a month and lose weight. There is nothing in the article in the OP that says that Sayer followed the same rules that Spurlock. I couldn't get over how much food Spurlock ordered for one meal. It wouldn't be hard, with selective ordering, to lose weight, even keeping the rule about eating everything on the menu at least once. Just don't order 3 sandwiches with a supersized fries and soda for your meals...... Walk back and forth every time you go, and you'll do even better.

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meanjelly
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quote:
Originally posted by Pear Trees:
I thought the size of the soda was part of the McDiet. Since when you supersize you go from a large but reasonable soda to a huge swimming pool of soda. I think he was makin a point of something like 1000 extra calories for a mere $.39.

Why I think you have a point. If you watch the movie again there is more than once when he had more then one drink per meal.

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The Rubber Chicken
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quote:
But the soda would have been part of the meal, right? And isn't soda fast food, too? Or "fast drink", anyway?
Well, you get a large drink with the meal. Doesn't have to be soda. Most people probably do drink soda, but I usually get water or fruit punch. So, there is no rule that says he had to drink a soda, per se. He could get diet soda also (which I personally find revolting).

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Elwood
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quote:
Burger patty = protein group, bread = grains group, lettuce and tomato = veggie group, etc.
And pizza covers the whole pyramid in one healthy snack by providing bread in the crust, cheese for dairy, sause of veggies/fruit and meat topings for protein! I don't think you're making it up. Teachers look for real world examples that kids kind relate to, such as Burger=Meat Group and kids infer that what they are eating is healthful.

El "Ketchup *is* my vegetable" wood

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trollface
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I think the fact that his liver was pureeing is probably of more concern than that he put on some weight.

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Rhiandmoi
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quote:
Originally posted by A rubber chicken, sans pully:
quote:
But the soda would have been part of the meal, right? And isn't soda fast food, too? Or "fast drink", anyway?
Well, you get a large drink with the meal. Doesn't have to be soda. Most people probably do drink soda, but I usually get water or fruit punch. So, there is no rule that says he had to drink a soda, per se. He could get diet soda also (which I personally find revolting).
IIRC He had to drink each drink once before he could repeat.

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Elkhound
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quote:
Originally posted by ranran yousei:


quote:
Originally posted by Elkhound:
This really gets me, when I hear of teenagers and young adults who are so ignorant about food. Don't they still teach nutrition in school?

I don't know when they ever did. I remember vaguely the food pyramid chart they showed us in third grade. I have a vague recollection (or maybe I'm just making up a memory brought on by this) that someone asked about fast food. Burger patty = protein group, bread = grains group, lettuce and tomato = veggie group, etc. I can't for the life of me recall the answer, although I'd hope it was something to the effect of "fast food is considered junk food, and not part of a healthy diet" or something.

So, other than the pyramid, I don't recall ever being taught nutrition in school. [/QB]

Well, it must be different in different parts of the country. I remember extensive discussions of foods and nutrition in Health class, in Biology & Chemistry, in Social Studies, and (of course) in Home Economics.

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Faeriefeet
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We just watched Supersize Me for my Personal Health class. I think as far as supersizing his items go when asked, he was trying to make a point that people in the fast food industry are trained to ask people to supersize. I know when I worked at McDonalds, not only were we checked on this when we had our reviews, but we also had secret customers that would come in and if we didn't ask them to upgrade their meal, we were in for a bad bitching out.

Therefore supersizing is one of the worst problems with fast food. You could eat damn near anything you wanted to so long as you eat moderately. If a single serving size of fries is what is equal to a small order, than that's all the fries one needs. But to supersize the fries, you're taking in five or six times more fries than you need, and the same goes to sodas. I think this point hit home when he (pardon the grossness) ordered his number 4 supersized and then puked it all up. No one needs that much food in one sitting, but workers are getting raises to tell people that they do.

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STF
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quote:
Originally posted by Faeriefeet:
We just watched Supersize Me for my Personal Health class. I think as far as supersizing his items go when asked, he was trying to make a point that people in the fast food industry are trained to ask people to supersize. I know when I worked at McDonalds, not only were we checked on this when we had our reviews, but we also had secret customers that would come in and if we didn't ask them to upgrade their meal, we were in for a bad bitching out.

Therefore supersizing is one of the worst problems with fast food. You could eat damn near anything you wanted to so long as you eat moderately. If a single serving size of fries is what is equal to a small order, than that's all the fries one needs. But to supersize the fries, you're taking in five or six times more fries than you need, and the same goes to sodas. I think this point hit home when he (pardon the grossness) ordered his number 4 supersized and then puked it all up. No one needs that much food in one sitting, but workers are getting raises to tell people that they do.

I know I don't need that much food, but if I want that much food then it's my business. Until one of those clerks points a gun or some other lethal object at my face and tells me I have to SuperSize I don't really care. It's up to the individual who is eating the food to decide how much they want to eat. The availabilty of SuperSizing isn't the problem. A lack of self-control, certain choices and other issues on the customer's side is the problem imho.

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Mistletoey Chloe
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Can we agree that supersizing _adds_ to the problem, STF?

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STF
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quote:
Originally posted by Chloe:
Can we agree that supersizing _adds_ to the problem, STF?

Eating more food than one needs adds to that individuals problem. I don't and won't blame fast food establishments for offering supersizing though.

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Mr. Furious
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I want a liter of cola.

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STF
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quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Furious:
I want a liter of cola.

Just order a large Farva.

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Mr. Furious
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I don't want a large Farva, I want a liter of cola!

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Mistletoey Chloe
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quote:
Originally posted by STF:
quote:
Originally posted by Chloe:
Can we agree that supersizing _adds_ to the problem, STF?

Eating more food than one needs adds to that individuals problem. I don't and won't blame fast food establishments for offering supersizing though.
Do you think that Americans in general are weaker-willed than the inhabitants of other countries, then? If not, how do you account for our particular obesity epidemic?

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STF
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quote:
Originally posted by Chloe:
quote:
Originally posted by STF:
quote:
Originally posted by Chloe:
Can we agree that supersizing _adds_ to the problem, STF?

Eating more food than one needs adds to that individuals problem. I don't and won't blame fast food establishments for offering supersizing though.
Do you think that Americans in general are weaker-willed than the inhabitants of other countries, then? If not, how do you account for our particular obesity epidemic?
I don't necessarily think they are. I just don't really care. I place the responsibility on each American to eat appropriately. If the don't then that's their problem. It's my problem and fault that I am currently fifteen pounds heavier than I want to be. I'm not going to push for McDonald's to get rid of supersizing because I can't help myself.

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Posts: 5186 | From: Coweta County, GA | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Mistletoey Chloe
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But what I'm getting at is that one of these two must be true (unless there's a third possibility I haven't thought of): either:
a) the availability, serving size, and/or marketing of food in this country contributes to our problem, or
b) Americans are just weaker-willed and lazier than other nationalities.
You don't want to agree to either, it seems. Do you have a third possibility in mind?

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Posts: 10111 | From: Oklahoma | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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