Briefly Noted: Downsize Me


“I don’t like what you’re proving here,” Tom Naughton’s doctor tells him toward the end of Fat Head, his sharp, funny rejoinder to Morgan Spurlock’s 2004 fast food exposé Super Size Me. Naughton has just spent a month eating nothing but fast food, mostly at McDonald’s, and emerged 12 pounds slimmer, with his cholesterol counts essentially unchanged.

Spurlock’s month-long McDonald’s diet, by contrast, left him with 25 extra pounds and alarming blood test results. Naughton did not skimp on the sausages, cheeseburgers, or fried chicken, but he eschewed sugary beverages, consumed about 2,000 calories a day (compared to Spurlock’s 5,000), and started walking for exercise six days a week instead of three.

Naughton refutes the thesis that fast food per se, rather than people’s choices, is responsible for the “obesity epidemic.” He interviews several critics of the government-led War on Fat (including me) and highlights the weaknesses in the theory that saturated fat and cholesterol contribute to heart disease.

NEXT: Brickbats

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  1. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets.

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