Public Health

Hard Choices

Getting accustomed to one-stop dining


In Super Size Me, an exposé of McDonald's food, the filmmaker Morgan Spurlock eats nothing but fast food for a month in order to show the dangerous health effects of a McDonald's diet. Stacking the deck, Spurlock consumes 5,000 to 5,500 calories per day and avoids all exercise, even cutting down on walking, to get the desired effects.

Soso Whaley is now turning this experiment inside out, demonstrating that it's just as easy to skew the results of Spurlock's experiment in favor of the McDonald's diet. For the next month, she'll be limiting herself to McD's cuisine, but choosimg healthier menu items and exercising regularly. Will she got as thin as Spurlock got fat? This is Whaley's diary of her McDonald's month.

"A gentleman never eats. He breakfasts, he lunches, he dines, but he never eats."—Anonymous

Day 5. I've lost 3 pounds!!!!! Now, let's not get too excited, but I visited the doctor today for some more tests and, out of curiosity, stepped on the scale. Already, I am seeing positive changes! Yet, despite these early results, I caution my readers against severely restricting their diets; drastically limiting your food intake/choices for a long period of time is not a wise thing to do.

I'm surprised—but delighted—at these early results, as I am ignoring the fat and sodium contents of the foods and just counting calories. However, I must monitor how much beef and fried food I consume, because I'd like to lower my cholesterol during these 30 days (it came in at 232).

To be honest, I'm not bored with the menu yet, because I usually only eat certain items at McDonald's (as many people seem to do). However, while choosing a familiar favorite might be a safe choice, it does tend to keep one in a rut. For me, trying new items like the McGriddle Sandwich or the Yogurt Parfait has led to wonderful new taste discoveries—and new favorites. Go ahead be brave, try something new today at your favorite eatery.

For the most part, I am feeling energetic and alert. One problem I've encountered is ensuring that I maintain an accurate calorie count of the food I'm eating. I will use the McDonald's Web site's nutritional information page for this test, but may have to locate some calorie counts elsewhere, as they are not provided by McDonald's for some individual items, such as 2 strips of bacon which I had this morning with the pancakes.

My eating patterns are still off, as I'm eating later in the morning and afternoon because I'm just not hungry. Perhaps this is because of the different foods I've been consuming. Today, I chose a Big 'N Tasty with cheese for lunch and then had a hamburger for dinner—perhaps not the most nutritious of days. But, I can make wiser choices tomorrow. Meanwhile, I find it very stimulating to have to "think" about my food choices. Gives my brain something interesting to do.