Fathead is a documentary following comedian Tom Naughton as he embarks on a 30 day fast food diet. At first, Fathead starts off a little slow, as it appears to be a direct attack on Morgan Spurlock’s anti-fast food documentary, SuperSize Me. It even gets a little obnoxious at times in the beginning as he pulls apart Super Size Me, but I promise the end is worth it.
If you think fast food is to blame for Americans weight problem, you may want to think again. Naughton’s month long diet of hamburgers, fried chicken, and egg McMuffin’s allowed him to lose 12 lbs, improve several health parameters, and look noticeably healthier. He breaks down some common misconceptions about nutrition, and gives a great explanation of how he was able to achieve these results. If you haven’t seen the movie, you can watch it for free on Hulu. Or buy it for a friend and continue to spread good information about nutrition to the people you care about.
Here are 5 things you can learn from the movie…
1) The documentary Super Size Me was super exaggerated!
Morgan Spurlock was eating far more food than he claims. His doctor mentioned several times that he was eating over 5000 calories a day, but that’s just not possible based on a 3 meal-per-day diet. Most 3 meal combinations at McDonalds actually come out between 3500 and 4000 calories, even when supersized.
Spurlock tried to claim that Americans are too poor, too stupid, or simply uninformed enough to avoid McDonalds. Fathead proves this isn’t the case. Knowing that fast food is high-calorie is common sense. We can only blame ourselves for our poor choices.
2) Our eating habits have changed dramatically. That’s why we weigh more.
Americans eat out more than anybody in the world. We are letting other people control what we put in our bodies.
25% of our caloric intake comes between meals. We’re eating the equivalent of an extra meal, between meals.
We are consuming high calorie beverages more than ever before. Liquid calories add up fast and leave us hungry.
The largest growth in the food industry is packaged foods. Most foods we consume don’t even resemble their original state.
3) The hypothesis that high fat=high cholesterol=heart disease is simply not true. Saturated fat is healthy!
0 studies have proven that a high fat diet equals heart disease. Consider that one of the founding studies on saturated fat and heart disease performed by Ancel Keys conveniently failed to mention a bunch of countries that proved his theories wrong.
We used to eat 5-10 times the saturated fat that we do today. We have a natural taste for saturated fat and have thrived on it for millions of years.
The real epidemic is high blood sugar. High blood sugar leads to inflammation and oxidation, and these are the precursors to heart disease.
4) Drug companies and “health organizations” continue to skew the research to favor selfish results
In the 1980’s, it was suddenly made known that cholesterol levels under 200 were considered healthy even though most researchers knew cholesterol should be on average about 20 points higher. These standards were made based on studies directly funded by drug companies trying to promote statins and cholesterol lowering drugs.
In most cases, higher cholesterol means you live longer. Women have higher average cholesterol and higher average lifespans.
The American Heart Association makes millions of dollars to license their heart healthy logo on low fat products. There is a ton of economic pressure to continue to try to prove that a low fat diet works. The researchers are forced to go where the money is.
5) Carbohydrates and processed oils have had the biggest effect on our health.
Everyone used to know carbs were fattening until modern nutrition told us they were not. Think breads, pastas, and cereals that are now deemed as healthy.
Most whole grain products have just as high of a glycemic index as pure sugar. This means your blood sugar and insulin go up and you will likely store the excess carbohydrates as fat.
Corn/grains are used to fatten animals for human consumption, yet were told to eat them to lose weight. Animals do not thrive on these diets, why should we assume we will?
Fathead may seem like a way of promoting fast food, but it is really a way of promoting common sense in the world of nutrition. We may be fed a lot of crap about how to eat, but there is definitely good information out there as long as you are looking in the right places. As Naughton points out, YOU have the ultimate decision over what you eat and how you move.