Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Super-Size this, bitch
Written by: Beck

Most of you have likely heard at least a word or two about the movie Super Size Me by Morgan Spurlock (warning: web site contains gratuitous displays of yellowish-orange and orangish-red). He's created quite a little stir by making a movie about obesity in America. As part of the movie, he eats nothing but McDonalds food for an entire month. He gained twenty-something pounds, and his health deteriorated in all sorts of ways. You can easily guess the point he's trying to make about all this, and you can just as easily guess how Big Mother nanny-state left has latched onto this (think: pit bull).

In a rather amusing coincidence, I heard an interview with the author while listening to 94.5 FM on my drive home from a tasty breakfast eaten at, you guessed it, McDonalds. In that interview he claims that he ate an average of 4800+ calories a day. So I decided to do a bit of research.

McDonald's website has a calorie calculator on it. My goal was to figure out just how much you would have to eat to get 4800 calories. To start with, I figured in a medium coke and a large coke, a medium and large fries, hash browns, and an egg mcmuffin (he said he drank coffee with breakfast). It came out to 1820 calories. From there, I could figure how much more he would need to eat to get to the 4800 total, measuring the necessary additional intake in terms of the scientific unit (metric system I believe) of Big Mac Units (BMUs). One Big Mac with everything on it is a whopping 600 calories. This means he would have needed to consume 5 BMUs of additional food on top of the drinks, potatoes, and breakfast.

Are you starting to see something of a problem here with this "experiment?" The guy would have needed to eat 2 Big Macs for lunch and 3 Big Macs for dinner to attain such a staggering daily calorie intake. Hardly representative of what a "normal" person would eat. I don't think most obese people would even eat that much.

Conclusion: Morgan Spurlock is a fraud willing to mislead people to make his point about Americans being too dumb to feed themselves.

In other news, McDonalds now offers Happy Meals for adults. Hell, maybe we ARE too dumb to feed ourselves.

Update: It turns out The Weekly Standard already made this exact point. What's worse, they did it a full week before I did. Not surprisingly, they reached the same conclusions I did, going so far as to point out that it was entirely possible to live well within the bounds of good health on McDonald's food alone. Money quote for ya:
Not that people go to McDonald's for water and salad. Spurlock himself expresses his love for the Big Mac, which may not be all that bad in and of itself: On his journeys, Spurlock encounters a tall, lanky man renowned for eating more than 700 Big Macs each year--more stunning, his cholesterol is under 200. (You might think it's genetics, but according to a recent Reuters report, "Two top French nutritionists are telling people to go for a Big Mac and keep their fingers off the traditional French quiche. . . . a new food guide praises the McDonald's burger for having a higher and healthier protein-to-fat ratio than France's Quiche Lorraine.")
For the record, it is NOT a sign of the pending apocalypse when the French start praising Big Macs. The Bible actually files that one under the "Hell Freezing Over" department.

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John Beck

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