Super Size Me (2004) - full transcript

Several legal suits have been brought against McDonald's Restaurants that they are knowingly selling food that is unhealthy. Some of the court decisions have stated that the plaintiffs would have a claim if they could prove that eating the food every day for every meal is dangerous. As such, documentarian Morgan Spurlock conducts an unscientific experiment using himself as the guinea pig: eat only McDonald's for thirty days, three meals a day. If he is asked by the clerk if he would like the meal super sized, he has to say yes. And by the end of the thirty days, he will have had to have eaten every single menu item at least once. Before starting the experiment, he is tested by three doctors - a general practitioner, a cardiologist and a gastroenterologist - who pronounce his general health to be outstanding. They will also monitor him over the thirty days to ensure that he is not placing his health into irreparable damage. He also consults with a dietitian/nutritionist and an exercise physiologist, the latter who also deems him to be above average fitness. As it mimics the lifestyle of those who eat fast food, he will also do no exercise for the thirty days, limiting himself to under 5,000 steps per day (the approximate equivalent of 2½ miles). These health and medical experts have some predictions about his general health and wellness by the end of the experiment. His vegan chef girlfriend also has some predictions about how this experiment will affect his mood and therefore their relationship. As he goes through the experiment, he speaks to a number of people - many experts in their respective fields - on the pros and cons of the fast food lifestyle. Just over halfway through the experiment, it is evident that even the experts can be wrong, and not in a good way.

[children singing]
♪ A Pizza Hut
A Pizza Hut ♪

♪ Kentucky Fried Chicken
And a Pizza Hut ♪

♪ A Pizza Hut
A Pizza Hut ♪

♪ Kentucky Fried Chicken
And a Pizza Hut ♪

♪ McDonalds, McDonalds

♪ Kentucky Fried Chicken
And a Pizza Hut ♪

♪ McDonalds, McDonalds

♪ Kentucky Fried Chicken
And a Pizza Hut ♪

♪ I like food
I like food ♪

♪ Kentucky Fried Chicken
And a Pizza Hut ♪

♪ You like food
You like food ♪

♪ Kentucky Fried Chicken
And a Pizza Hut ♪

[flute music playing]

[Morgan] Everything's
bigger in America,

we've got the biggest cars,

the biggest houses,
the biggest companies,

the biggest food,

and, finally,
the biggest people.

America has now become
the fattest nation
in the world.


Nearly 100 million Americans
are today, either overweight

or obese.

That's more than 60%
of all U.S. adults.

Since 1980,

the total number of overweight
and obese Americans
has doubled,

with twice as many
overweight children

and three times as many
overweight adolescents.

The fattest state in America?

Where one in four people
are obese.

I grew up in West Virginia,

currently the second fattest
state in America.

When I was growing up,
my mother cooked dinner
every single day.

Almost all my memories of her
are in the kitchen.

And we never ate out,

only on those few,
rare special occasions.

Today, families do it
all the time,

and they're paying for it,
not only with their wallets,

but with their waistlines.

Obesity is now
second only to smoking

as a major cause
of preventable death
in America,

with over 300,000
deaths per year

with related illnesses.

In 2002, a few Americans
got fed up
with being overweight

and did what we do best.

They sued the bastards.

taking aim
at the fast-food companies

and blaming them
for their obesity
and illnesses,

a lawsuit was filed in New York on behalf of two teenage girls,

one who was 14 years old,
4'10", and 170 pounds,

the other, 19 years old,
5'6", and 270 pounds.

The unthinkable
had suddenly become reality.

People were suing
the golden arches
for selling them food

that most of us know
isn't good for you
to begin with.

Yet each day,
one in four Americans

visits a fast-food restaurant.

And this hunger
for fast food
isn't just in America.

It's happening
on a global basis.

McDonald's alone operates
more than 30,000 joints

in over 100 countries
on 6 continents

and feeds more than
46 million people
worldwide every day.

That's more than
the entire
population of Spain.

In the United States alone,

McDonald's accounts
for 43 percent of the total
fast-food market.

They're everywhere...
Walmarts, airports,
rest stops,

gas stations, train stations,
shopping malls,

department stores,
amusement parts,
even hospitals.

That's right...hospitals.

At least you're close
when the coronary kicks in.

Lawyers for McDonald's
called the suits "frivolous",

stating that the dangers of
its food are universally known

and that these kids
can't show that
their weight problems

and health woes
were caused
solely by their McDiets.

The judge states, however,

that if lawyers
for the teens can show

that McDonald's intends
for people to eat its food

for every meal of every day

and that doing so would be
unreasonably dangerous,

they may be able
to state a claim.

Are the food companies solely
to blame for this epidemic?

Where does personal
responsibility stop

and corporate responsibility

Is fast food
really that bad for you?

I mean, what would happen
if I ate nothing but McDonald's

for 30 days straight?

Would I suddenly be
on the fast track

to becoming an obese American?

Would it be
unreasonably dangerous?

Let's find out.

I'm ready.

Super-size me.

[rock 'n' roll music playing]

I knew
if I was going to do this,

I would need some serious
medical supervision,

so I enlisted the help
of not one,
but three doctors,

a cardiologist,
a gastroenterologist,

and a general practitioner.

-You're feeling
quite well today, yes?
-Quite well.

In general, any fatigue
or weight loss, weight gain,

-any change in your vision?
-No, no.

No fever,
no earache, no cough

no shortness of breath,
no chest pain...

vomiting, heartburn?

[Dr. Isaacs] And
no hospitalizations
for illness?

Do you take
any medications
of any sort?

I don't.
I've just been
taking vitamins.

-Okay. Any food allergies
or anything?

There's no heart disease
or diabetes or blood pressure

or cancer
in the immediate family?

-My grandfather's had
a couple open-heart surgeries.

-One out of four
grandparents is dead.

Good genes.
That's the important thing.

-Any alcohol use?
-Now? None.

-You don't smoke?
-I used to, but I don't.

Any drug use at all?

Not for a long time.

-Are you sexually active
at present?

-A, a, a girlfriend?

Is there anything
we didn't cover?

Is there anything else
you need to tell me?

I don't think so.

"Patient is embarking
on a one-month
McDonald's binge."

Very good.

You might have something
called white coats...

140 over about 95.

130 over 105.

120 over 80.

-That's what it is?

The other guys
are stressing me out.

You're much more
relaxed, right?

-I tend to do that
to my patients.

Swallow, please.


Your reflexes are perfect.

Good. Back out.

-Say ah.

looks pretty normal here.

We'll skip
checking for hernias.

We're gonna
do a rectal exam.

I like to be more
thorough than that.

And I like doctors
to be thorough.

You're gonna go downstairs
and get your bloods drawn.

So, the reason
we have you fasting

is the true cholesterol
and glucose number is fasting.

So, if you had, like,
a bacon, egg, and cheese

your cholesterol
would be way high,

or if you had orange juice,
your glucose would be high.

Three down.

Your blood tests
are excellent.

Okay, your starting off with
a total cholesterol of 168

which is less than 200,
which is really superb

your blood level's fine.

-Your iron level
is good as well.

you have no evidence
of diabetes.

Your fasting blood sugar
is very low.

The other thing
that we looked at
were all your electrolytes

in terms of salts
in your blood,

your kidney function,
your liver function.

They were all perfect.

Your triglycerides, which is
your building blocks of fat...

basically, what you acquire
from eating fat...

is 43, which is low,
which is good.

Your general health,
you know...i-i-is outstanding.

-Your urinalysis is,
is great.

So, you're
starting off terrific.

Um, I think
the worst-case scenario

is that you increase
your triglycerides

and your cholesterol level,

and if you have
any heart disease
in the family,

or... any...
underlying heart disease,

you're putting
your heart at risk.

Uh, I expect to see
an increase
in your triglycerides,

uh, because that won't,
can be affected.

-You're at 87 now,
and I think that will change.

And I think that's the only
thing that will change.

-Out of everything?
-Out of everything.

I mean, you know,
there might be
some minor variations,

but the body
is extremely adaptable,

and the kidneys will handle
any extra salt you're taking in,

and your liver will be able
to metabolize additional fats.

Um, as far as
you gaining weight,
you probably will.

As far as your cholesterol
going up, it probably will.

Uh, um, as far as you
feeling miserable, may be.

I don't know.

Um, unless you start cheating
and just order the salads.

I also went to a fancy
new York wellness center

to meet a registered dietitian
who would help
track my progress.

Okay, let's start
with getting your
height and weight.

-Um, I'm 6'2".

I weight about 185.

For your height,
this is a healthy weight.

I can tell you that
right now.

Um, your BMI,
which is
the body mass index,

is within normal limits,
which means you're not obese.

You're actually
at the correct weight.

So, what I should do is,
I should keep a checklist
of the things that I eat

-for breakfast, lunch
and dinner?
-Keep a food log.

Your calorie needs
are gonna be averaging

about 2,500 calories a day.

As far as fat goes,
for 2,500 calories,

you're gonna want about
80 grams of total fat in a day.

The saturated fat,
which is a component
of total fat,

you want to have
less than 25 grams a day.

Don't try to overindulge
too much.

-Good luck, Morgan.

-Thank you.

Hi, there. I'm Eric Rowley,
our exercise physiologist.


The official weigh-in...

185 and a half.

We'll go through
the cardiovascular assessment,

and then I'll be able
to calculate

how much oxygen
your muscles can utilize,

and that's also an indicator

of what type of condition your
cardiovascular system is in.

All right, good work.

I'm gonna use
these skin-fold calipers

to estimate
your body density.

You're 11% body fat.
that's great.

We're gonna
measure your flexibility

of your hamstrings,
your hips,
and your lower back.

Good, good.
very nice.

38 centimeters
was your best.

And there's a basic
you know, old-school test

for muscular strength
and endurance.

36. Good job.

You're above average
above average fitness
for your age group,

definitely, I'd say.
So, you're at
a good spot right now.

More than 60% of Americans
get no form of exercise,

so for the next 30 days,
neither will I.

But I'll still have to walk.

How much does the average
American walk a day?

Uh, you know,
there's reason to believe

we have these pedometers
that we put on people,

step counters.

You could very roughly
estimate at about 2,000 steps,

because 2,000
would make a mile.

And we know that people
that work in office settings,

um, who drive a car
to and from work,

who take an elevator
up to that office,

may take as little
as 2,500 or 3,000 steps

in their entire day.

If you wanted to feel
physically like a lot
of Americans do,

then you'd kinda
limit yourself
to about 5,000 steps a day.

[Morgan] Us New Yorkers,
we walk everywhere.

We walk to work,
to the park, to the store.

Most of us don't even own cars.

The average New Yorker
will walk
four to five miles a day...

a day!

That's a lot of walking.

I'll also have the blessing of being close to a food source

almost everywhere I go.

I walk past three golden arches just on my way to the office,

three in just over a mile.

There are more
Mickey D's in Manhattan

than anywhere else
in the world.

This tiny little island
is less than 13 miles long

by 2 miles wide,
22.4 square miles,

and packed into that area
are 83 McDonald's,

nearly four per square mile.

There are twice as many
Mac Shacks

as there are Burger Kings,

and there are
more McDonald's than KFC,

Wendy's, Popeye's,
and Taco Bell combined.

That's a lot of burger.

I know he's
gonna do it for a month,

but I think after a week,
he's gonna be really irritated.

I think it's gonna
affect our relationship.

[man laughing]

You are a vegan chef?

Yes, I'm a vegan chef.

Ugh. I just don't
know if I can...

...of course I will.
I'll sit next to him
while he eats McDonald's.

Of course I will.

I'm just gonna be
rolling my eyes the whole time.

[dishes clanking]

I have a vegetable tart

and a quinoa
and roasted veggie salad

and a simple green salad,

all beautiful, organic,
fresh vegetables

that you're gonna
miss so much.

What am I gonna have
that's organic?

-In the next month?

You're only gonna have
genetically modified potatoes

I'm gonna eat as many
vegetables as I can tonight.

There's plenty
here for you.

That's really good.

-Have they improved
their cookies

in the last 10 years?

Last time I had them,
they were
like little hockey pucks.

I don't know.
We'll see.

It's uh,
it's the first day,

and uh,
I'm on my way
to breakfast.

Could I get uh,
an egg McMuffin
extra value meal?

Every 8-year-old's
dream right now

that I'm getting ready
to fulfill.

I got my egg McMuffin.

That's gonna be
the first thing right there.

[upbeat music playing]


This McDonald's
delivers for free.

All I did today
was leave my apartment,

walk down the stairs,
and walk to the McDonald's,

1,272 steps.

So, we got to go to the corner
and we got to get a cab.

The cabs are gonna
add up in this thing.

I can tell already.

I got my scorecard,

and in here,
I had one egg McMuffin.

I had one sausage biscuit.

Do you eat fast food?

Once in a while.

-Once in a while.
-Yeah? How often?

I'd say probably
once every two weeks.

Ah, three, four times
a week maybe.

-In France, yes.

But here, no.
I don't like here.

It doesn't sounds
very uh...clean.

And what's
your favorite place?

Uh, probably Wendy's.


Taco Bell.

Taco Bell.

McDonald's is pretty close.

Do you ever have
uh, super sized cokes?

-Uh, no, in France...

uh, the small size here,
it's a bigger size in France.

Even the small size here,
I can't drink.

There are rules
to what's going on here
in this whole process.

I will only super-size it
if they ask me.

I can only eat things
that are for sale
over the counter at McDonald's,

water included.

If McDonald's doesn't sell it,
I can't eat it.

I have to have
everything on the menu

at least once
over the next 30 days,

and I have to have
three squares a day...

breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

No excuses.

Oh, I love Big Macs.

See, this is probably
the first time in a long time

that I've seen a big Mac
that looks like the picture,

that actually almost
looks like the picture.

Look at that.

Big Macs never look this good.

You got to come to Chinatown
for the good big Macs.


You've heard about all
these people who are suing
these fast-food companies.

Yes, I've heard of them.

I think it's ridiculous,

but it's uh, it's uh,
the American way
to sue for everything.

I'd throw the lawsuit out
if I was a judge.

And like I was saying,
if these fast-food places
can put their signs up,

if I can walk by them
and just totally ignore them

and say, "I'm not hungry.
I don't need this,"

they can do it, too.

We don't have to go there.
We don't have
to shop with them.

We can easily go
in McDonald's
and grab a salad,

but we choose not to.

Now, if the McDonald's
refused them service,

they'd be in court again saying,
"we were refused service."

So you can't win
if you try
in this world.

I think there's a lot
of focus on
the fast-food companies

because they are mentioned more

than virtually
all the other causes

in most of the articles
and books and studies

about why it's
a sudden epidemic.

Again, it can't be
the neighborhood restaurant.

We've had
neighborhood restaurants
for hundreds of years.

It can't be the foods
we eat at home.

We've been eating at home
for hundreds of years.

Something is very different.

I think the figure is
we eat out something like
40% of our meals.

[Morgan] John Banzhaf
is currently spearheading

the attacks
against the food industry,

advising many of the lawyers
who are currently
going through the process.

People say he's crazy,

but that's what
they used to say about him

when he first sued
the tobacco companies...

until he won.

I think in terms
of responsibility,

it's fair to point
the big gun at McDonald's.

McDonald's is
one of the biggest

but, more importantly,
it is the one which,

far more than all the others,
lures in young children.

They have the playgrounds,
the closed,
indoor playgrounds.

Many places, there are
no other playgrounds.

You've got to
take your kid there.

So even at two
and three and four,

those kids are being
lured into there.

McDonald's is very heavy
on birthday parties.

They, of course,
pioneered the happy meals,

now the
mighty kids' meals also

with those little
"gotta have 'em" toys.

So they get the kids in.

And, of course,
the whole clown.
McDonald's has the clown.

A lot of those ads
appeal primarily to kids.

There's a cartoon on TV
which features him.

So they, more than others,
lure the kids in.

I think all of us are far more
concerned about the kids.

[Morgan] Another man
who is worried about the kids
is Samuel Hirsch.

He represents the two girls
who are suing McDonald's,

with much advisement
coming from
Professor Banzhaf.

Why are you suing
the fast-food

You mean motives besides
monetary recompensation?

You mean you want
to hear a noble cause?
Is that it?


I think that fast foods

are a major contributor
to this epidemic.

[Morgan] In 2000,
Dr. David Satcher

became the first
surgeon general

to draw attention
to the obesity crisis,

declaring it
a national epidemic.

Now, remember,
we're super-sizing everything.

Uh, you go
to any place to buy...

Go to any fast food store,

and they're trained to tell you to buy a bigger size.

For five cents more,
you can get the super size.

Federal government
will define a piece of meat,

three ounces of meat,
as a sensible portion,

and that looks like
a deck of cards.

Few people would be able
to find this deck of cards

if they were served
a piece of meat, a steak,
in a restaurant.

It would probably be about
four or five times this size.

One typical bagel
that one is eating

that looks something like this

is going to comprise
five servings of bread.

When fast food companies
first opened,

they generally
introduced one size.

For example,
one size French fries

when McDonald's
first opened,
called "fries."

that size fries
is now called "small."

Medium, large, and super size.

That original size
is still here.

It's got about 200 calories.

but the super size
is gonna pack in
over 600 calories.

When Burger King
first opened,

they had a 12-ounce small
and a 16-ounce large.

This 12-ounce is now kiddy.

The 16-ounce
is now the small...

the medium, the 32,
and the 42

and this is across the board
with all fast-food places.

Cars have introduced
larger cup holders

to accommodate those huge
7-eleven double gulps,

which are 64 ounces,
a half gallon,

and hold anywhere
from 600 to 800 calories,

depending on how much
ice you put in.

A half-gallon of soda?

A half-gallon of soda
for one person,

48 teaspoons of sugar.

Hello, may I help you?
-Yeah, could I get the uh...

the double quarter pounder
with cheese meal?

Large or super size?

I think I'm gonna
have to go super size.

[laughing] Look at that.
Look at that coke.

That barely fits in there.

Oh, shit!

I've got a...
Look at that.

Look at how big
that thing is.

Look how big
that French fry is.

That thing is,
like, four feet tall.

Double quarter pounder
with cheese.

More calories than anything.

There it is,
a little bit of heaven.


That's a lot of food, man.

I'll tell you what...

You get
all that super sized stuff,

that stuff
gets super sized, man...

Look at that.

I just put a...

I'm not even halfway done
with those fries.

Not even halfway.


This is like a workout.


See, now's the time
of the meal

when you start getting
the McStomachache.

You start getting
the McTummy.

You get the McGurgles
in there.

You get the McBrick.

And then you get
the McStomachache.

Right now I got,
I got some McGas
that's rockin'.

Are you sweating there?

My arms... I feel like
I got some McSweats
going on.

My arms got the McTwitches
going in here

from all of the sugar that's
going in my body right now.

I'm feeling a little McCrazy.


Just give me a minute.

[man laughing]
I'm in pure McDonald's heaven.


[Alex] This is gonna be you,
like, after every meal.


I'm dying.

[man] Oh, God,
that looks so nasty.


It's making me puke.




[man] You all right?


I believe we live
in a toxic-food

and physical-inactivity

That is,
we live in an environment

that almost guarantees
that we become sick.

Not 100% of people
become sick, but the numbers
of people who do

are growing
and growing and growing.

I don't believe that "toxic"
is too strong a word, either,

because this...
An epidemic of obesity

where 60% of the population
is suffering

and record numbers
of children are having this

is a crisis by any standard.

The toxic environment
is constant access

to cheap, fat-laden foods.

It's gas stations
that sell more candy
and sodas than gas.

It's a nation where there
are more than 3 million

soda vending machines.

That's one
for every 97 Americans.

It's a world
where people depend
completely on their cars

for transportation

and where walking
has become such a chore

that we rely on machines
to do it for us.

My stomach feels horrible
this morning.

It doesn't feel good at all.

There we go.

I'm getting this really
weird feeling
right in my midsection,

basically in my penis
right now,
and it's just like this...

[makes whooshing noise]

It's really freaky.

-That is very odd.

It could be
from the caffeine,

but I'm not, you know,
I couldn't really
pinpoint that 100%.

I have a delivery
for Mr. Morgan.



I made it over
the three-day hump.

You know how
when you quit smoking...

I don't know how many of you
out there smoke cigarettes,
but you should stop.

I quit smoking.

And there's the,
it's the three-day hump.

[laughing] Three-day...
it's the three-day hump

when you quit
smoking cigarettes.

If you can make it
over those three days

without smoking one cigarette,

if you can make it past
day one, two, three,

if you can make it over
the hump, you're fine.

Same thing with this.
I made it past day three.

I'm all right.

Left unabated,
obesity would overtake

smoking as the leading
preventable cause
of death in this country.

I was at this meal,
and it came up

that one of the people
was a smoker,

and somebody else
at the table started hectoring
them about it.

"What's the matter with you?
Don't you know
how bad it is for you?

It'll do this, that,
and the other thing to you,
and you really should stop."

And the smoker,
rather than saying,
"Fuck you",

which you know,
is mind your own business.

Which, I think,
is the appropriate response,
was abashed and defensive.

And he's like "Oh,
I tried to quit," and,
"I'm gonna try again,"

and "you're right,
you're right,"
and so on.

At that same table,
there was
a quite large woman,

and I was wondering,
what if this guy,

instead of confronting
the smoker,

had said to the large woman,

"what's the matter with you,
you fat pig?

"don't you know how dangerous
it is to be so overweight?

"Stop eating, for god's sake.
And don't you dare get dessert,
and what's the matter with you?"

Uh, same logic.

I'd be hard-pressed
to find a distinction

between those two examples.

Okay, so, one is now
socially acceptable,

to hector smokers,

but the other one
isn't quite yet.

So the question is,
at what point
will it become acceptable

to publicly hector
fat people

uh, in, in the way
that smokers
are publicly hectored?

A secret study by one
of the tobacco companies

had the ominous title,
something like,

"brand imprinting
for later actuation in life."

They would buy
the little toy cigarettes,

and they'd start
play-smoking them
at 4 or 5 or 6.

Wouldn't even
notice the pack.

If you asked them
what pack it was,
they wouldn't notice it,

but the theory was
that somewhere,
it's buried in here,

and then when they get
to the age
where they're smoking,

without even realizing it,

they're going for that pack
that they recognize

because it had
those nice feelings for them
when they were little kids.

And the same way here,
young, they're satisfied,
it's nice,

they remember
the warm feelings

of playing
and getting the toy,

being with mom and dad.

It's gonna carry through.

That's why
when I have kids,

every time I drive
by a fast-food restaurant,

I'm gonna
punch my kid in the face

[both laughing]

Then we'll never
want to come.

[rock song playing]

One of the most disturbing
things uh, to me

is that in the last
20 to 25 years,

we've actually seen a doubling

of overweight
and obese children
and adolescents.

And this weight gain
has been linked

to countless health problems
later in life, such as...


In fact,
if current trends continue

one out of every three children born in the year 2000

will develop diabetes
in their lifetime.


At least 17 million Americans
now have type 2 diabetes,

about one out of
every 20 people.

If the diabetes starts
before the age of 15,

you lose somewhere between
17 and 27 years of life-span.

According to the new research,

the direct medical costs
associated with diabetes
have doubled.

The direct medical costs have
doubled in the past five years,

from $44 billion in 1997
to $92 billion in 2002.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of
about 20% of the obese children

have elevated abnormal
liver function tests,

and we have now
started a study

where we're
biopsying these children

to see what their livers
actually look like
under the microscope,

and half of them have evidence
of scarring of the liver,

fibrosis of the liver,
the early stages of cirrhosis.

So, when these children
end up being adults,

uh, they're going
to end up,

if they don't change
their uh, their eating
and exercise habits,

are gonna end up
with liver failure uh,

and, well,
either transplant or death.

Did you want lettuce
and mayonnaise
on all of them?

I think it's very,
very hard
for overweight teenagers

because you're always
going to see

the thin, pretty,
popular girls,

and you can't help
but look at them

and think, "I wish I was her,"
or, "I wish I could have that."

And it's depressing.
It makes you feel like crap.

I mean, that's just,
that's just how it is,

and, and of course
it's hard being a teenager

because you see all the girls
in the Cosmo girl

are teen people,
and they're all beautiful,

and you think, "Aren't I
supposed to look like that?"

And it's just not,
it's not realistic.

It's not a realistic
way to live.


So, without further ado,
let's welcome Jared Fogle.

[cheers and applause]

My, my good thing
was never smoking.

It was never drinking.

it wasn't doing drugs.

My big vice was food,

and before I knew it,
I wound up weighing 425 pounds.

I brought in
a present for you,

my old pants
that are now made famous
in all the subway commercials.


You're welcome.

[woman] This is
my daughter, Victoria.

She's an eighth-grade
honor student,

and you're a real
inspiration to the kids.

I really
appreciate that.

That's one of the greatest,
I mean, you know, as I said

I started putting my weight on
as you guys know,
about third or fourth grade.

And she was real tiny
when she was littler...

-...and it's been
in our family.

In fact,
I had a great-grandfather

that died
and was buried
in a piano box

years and years ago,
so it's a history...


And so, she's been trying
to maintain her weight.

It's tough.
it's always a challenge.

I know, and as you know
as a kid, it's awfully hard
these days--

And, and kids
are not always kind.

No, not at all.
And I know that firsthand.

And it's uh,
you know, the problem is,
the world's not gonna change

You have to change.

I guess it's kind of cool
to know somebody

or be able
to listen to somebody

talk about actually
being where I am right now,

and it's kind of hard

because I can't afford
to go there every single day

and buy a sandwich
two times a day,

and that's what
he's talking about,
like that's the only solution.

Like, that's what he said
worked the best,

but I can't do that.

And I've tried other ways,
and it's kind of hurt my body

from doing other ways
that I've tried to do.

And it's kind of hard
to, like, look at someone

who says,
"Hey, I've done it.
So, you can do it."

but it's not that easy.

I'd been sick as a kid.

I grew up eating
a lot of ice cream,

more than you can believe.

We had
an ice-cream-cone-shaped
swimming pool in our backyard.

We had a commercial freezer with
not only all 31 flavors in it,

but all experimental flavors
that were under development.

And I made myself
the official taster.

I had to approve
everything, in my mind.

And I loved it.
What kid wouldn't?

I mean, I literally
had unlimited ice cream.

I ate ice cream for breakfast.

But I was sick a lot.

And I wasn't very athletic.

You know,
I was really ill.

And I didn't feel good.

So I would kind of
appease that
by eating more ice cream.

You can see how the vicious
cycle would take place.

One of the triggering factors
for me was my uncle,

Burt Baskin, my dad's partner
and brother-in-law,

co-founder of the company,
died of a heart attack.
I think he was 51.

You know, my uncle weighed
about 240 pounds,

heavyset fellow.

And when he died,
as a young man,
I asked my dad,

"Do you think
there could be
a connection

between his fatal heart attack
and the amount
of ice cream he'd eat?"

My father said,
"No, his ticker
just got tired

and stopped working."

By this time, he had
manufactured and sold
more ice cream

than any human being
that had ever
lived on this planet.

He didn't want to think
that the product
was hurting anybody,

that it had contributed
to the death

of his brother-in-law
and partner, and,
in many ways, best friend.

I mean, no way.

Ben Cohen, the Ben
of "Ben and Jerry's",

a couple years ago,
had a quintuple
bypass procedure

at the age of 49.

My uncle, Burt Baskin
of Baskin-Robbins,

dies at the age of 51
of a heart attack.

My father, Irv Robbins,
the other founder
of the company,

ended up with
very serious diabetes.

You can't deny these links.

You just can't.

Yeah, could I get
the two-cheeseburger meal?

Okay, super sized.

Second time.


Thank you, sir.

Thanks, man.

[Bennett] After five days
on the McDonald's diet,

what I did was I ran um,
three days' worth
of food analysis.

the needs for you to maintain
weight at the 185

that you were at
when you came in,
186 pounds

um, was approximately
2,500 calories. Okay?

-Right now you're getting
almost 5,000 calories a day,

the average being 4,986.

I would love for you
to take a multivitamin.

-McDonald's doesn't sell

here's my new advice,

is just kind of
minimize the meals.

A nice substitute
for the hot fudge sundae
would be the yogurt.

[Morgan] That is true,
if you get the snack size,

five ounces.

If you get the regular size
without granola,

it contains nearly
as many calories
as a strawberry sundae.

With granola,
it has more calories

than the hot fudge
or caramel sundae.

And if that doesn't make you think twice about the parfaits,

then how about this?

Hey, there's a big,
nappy hair in it!

That's disgusting.
I'm gonna show you
how we do it.

You go like this.
We go...

Oh, look, it's long, too!
Did you see that!

Oh, that's so gross!

Only the finest at McDonald's.

-Here we are at 190.
-It was 186 last week.

192, 193, 194.


We have to stop everything.
I don't believe it.

Hundred and ninety-five

-It can't be.
We have to redo this.

-That's zero.
-That thing is zeroed.

Second try.

Eighty-eight, 92, 94.

You've gained, actually,
about 5% of your body weight.

Losing and gaining weight
that fast is not healthy.

Do you eat fast food?

-Yes, I do.


Oh, yeah, oh, yeah.
love it, love it, love It!

Love fast food.

Yeah, how often
do you guys eat it?

Every week?

Oh, maybe once
or twice a week.

We're gonna go hit up
McDonald's in a little while.

At least two times today

you know we ain't had
no meal yet today.

We was just pointing
towards McDonald's.

I get the number two,
the cheeseburger

-um, with the super size coke
and fries.
-[Morgan speaking indistinctly]

Super-size it up!
Make it bacon, 69 cents.

That's what they say.
"Make it bacon."

-Make it bacon, baby.
-How often do you think
people should eat fast food?

I don't know
if they should eat it at all.

I don't know if I should,
I don't know about
what they should do.

Oh, that's baloney!

It's baloney!

What they need to do
is 25 minutes
on that treadmill,

work out a little,
do some push-ups.

If you do some push-ups
when you eat,

you'll keep
your weight down.
See, I keep my weight down.

-I hit them push-ups
and everything.
-It's baloney.

Keep myself cool.

Who has time to do that?
we have to work.

We have to take care of kids.
We have to clean.

So you exercise,
you run after your kids.

[trumpet fanfare plays]



These are the first
McNuggets I've had

in this whole exciting
tour of duty.

Look at that
glistening in the sun.


Boy, that is miserable.

I'm not sure what portion
of the chicken
that's shaped like that.

I'm guessing
this is the foot
n the chicken.

-[man laughing]
-[Morgan] In the lawsuit
against them,

McDonald's stated
in their own defense

that it's a matter
of common knowledge

that any processing
that its foods undergo

serve to make them
more harmful
than unprocessed foods.

Case in point, McNuggets.

Originally created
from old chickens

that could
no longer lay eggs,

McNuggets are now
made from chickens

with unusually large breasts.

They're stripped from the bone

and ground up
into a sort of chicken mash,

which is then combined
with all sorts of stabilizers
and preservatives,

pressed into familiar shapes,

breaded, deep-fried,

and then shipped
to a McDonald's near you.

Judge Robert Sweet
called them

"a McFrankenstein creation
of various elements

not utilized by the home cook."

[upbeat music playing]

So, for the past couple days,

which I haven't
shared with everybody,

it's been a new thing,
is I've started to have,
like, some chest...

not chest pains,
but, like, pressure.

You know, I feel like
I got pressure
on my chest.

So, uh, I figure
that's probably
not a good thing.

But neither's
eating all this, so...

I tell you.
I haven't smelled bad yet.

Yeah, you have.
-No, I haven't.

-You just don't know
how bad you smell.

Look at that fish fillet.

Look at this thing.

[man] Oh, God,
that looks nasty, man.

Isn't that horrible?

Obviously, that's been
sitting around all day.

That, the Filet-o-Fish.

[man] Ugh.


How can I help you?

Can I get the uh,
double quarter pounder
with cheese value meal?

Okay, thank you.

I don't feel good today.

Not that I feel sick,

but I just feel
really depressed,

and you know,
for no reason.

I mean,
things are going great.

I've had a good day.

I just feel really...


It's not real hard
eating this food all the time,

just because it tastes good,
it makes you feel good.

I really noticed
I'll eat some,

and just a little while later,
I'll be hungry again,

and I'll want more,
more, more, more.

I'm pretty bored
with their menu.

It only took me nine days.

But it's pretty good otherwise.

Nine days.

[upbeat music plays]

-[woman] How many?
-[Morgan laughing]

-[Morgan] How many's
the question.
-[speaking indistinctly]

We always ask how many,
and he holds up
how many fingers.

That's it.
It's always the, "How many"?

-It's just one,
one for now.
-[Morgan] Just one?

As soon as I got
my first car,

this is the first place
I came to.

Uh, I bought
three Big Macs,
ate them out there.

I enjoyed them so much,

and I came back
about 5:00 p.m. at night,
bought three more,

ate them out there,

came back around 11:00 p.m.
before they closed,

and ate three more,

so the first day I came here,
I ate nine Big Macs,

and it was like I couldn't get
enough hamburger at that time,

and Big Macs are so good,

so I ate 265
in the first month.

How many do you eat
a day, usually?

Usually it's two a day.

Okay, now, last year,
I ate 741 last year.

Okay, well, that's more
than two a day,

so that means
there's days I had three,

but that's because
they're getting smaller.

Probably 90% of my,
my uh, solid diet
is probably Big Macs.

That parking spot,
that's where I asked her
if she wanted to get married.

I mean, this place
is special
for a lot of reasons.

I had one whopper
in my life...


A guy gave me 5 bucks
to eat a whopper.

Once I won it
after I ate the whopper,

took my 5 bucks
over to McDonald's,
got some Big Macs.

-[all laughing]
-I always make fun
of people at work.

They say, "I'm gaining weight."
I say, "Well, you should try
the Gorske diet."


-They don't like that.
-They don't like that.

Man, this is
a perfect sandwich,
you know.

At least for me, it is.

-[Morgan] Mmm, there it is,
bite number 19,000.

The wife says
when she's got to put them
in a blender, it ends.

-You know,
that's what she told me.

[Morgan] Big Mac smoothies.

[Ron] America's
been McDonaldized,
you know.

It's been franchised out.

It's like one of those
"Flintstones" cartoons

where they had something
rolling in the background.

You kept seeing the same
buildings go by. It's like
K-Mart, Walmart, McDonald's,

K-Mart, Walmart,
Wendy's, K-Mart.

And it's like you have no sense
of where you're at anymore.

The way I look at it
is Cezanne was inspired

by the mountain he saw
out his window,

and when I look out my window,
I see no mountains.

I just see billboards
and advertisements,

so I use that as my inspiration.

The average American child

sees 10,000
food advertisements
per year on television.

Ninety-five percent of those
are for sugared cereals,

soft drinks,
fast foods, or candy.

A parent who eats
every meal every day

for the whole year
with their child

and at every meal gives a very
compelling nutrition message

and can bring in
cartoon characters
and Michael Jordan,

so instead
of selling McDonald's,

he sells oranges

and Britney spears,
instead of selling Pepsi

will, will sell radishes
or lettuce or something...

that parents will have
1,000 cracks at their child,

compared to 10,000
for the food industry.

So it's not a fair fight.

Now, by the time kids
are able to speak,

most of them can say

[Morgan] I'm gonna
show you some pictures,

and I want you
to tell me who they are.


Who's that?

You don't know?

George Washington.

Yeah, who is he?

He, he was
the fourth President.

He freed the slaves.

And he could
never tell a lie.

Who's that?

Don't know.

-I don't know.
-You don't know?


I don't know.

George W. Bush?

No. That's a good guess,

Who is this?

I don't know.


I forgot the name,
but I think I know.

Where have you seen her?

That picture
is on the sign.


Who's that?

Ronald McDonald.

-Who is it?

What does he do?

He was helping people
at the cash register.

He works at McDonald's.

I love their pancakes
and sausage.

He brings every,
all his friends
to McDonald's

for a happy meal.

-Where have you seen him?
-On television,
on the commercials.

He's the character
that made McDonald's,

and he does a lot
of funny stuff on TV.

Companies spend billions

making sure
you know their product.

In 2001, on direct
media advertising,

that's radio,
television, and print,

McDonald's spent
$1.4 billion worldwide.

On direct media advertising,

Pepsi spent
more than $1 billion.

To advertise its candy,

Hershey foods spent
under a mere
$200 million internationally.

In its peak year,
the "5 a day" fruit
and vegetable campaign's

total advertising budget
in all media

was a lowly $2 million,

100 times less than
just the direct media budget

of one candy company.

Think about the way
food is marketed.

T-shirts, coupons,
toys for children,

in fast-food places,
place mats,

I mean, just all
of the different ways

in which food marketing
is ubiquitous.

The most heavily advertised
foods are consumed the most.

No surprise.

Thank you. Come again.

Welcome to McDonald's!

Tomato concentrate,
distilled vinegar,

high-fructose corn syrup,

high-fructose corn syrup
and corn syrup.

That means sugar.

I'm gonna move over
to my salad shaker.

I feel a little sick
to my stomach.

This is the best part
of the day,

when I get to be fat on the bed
with my quart of coke.


[ice rattling]

People eat out a lot,

and so if there aren't healthy
foods available at restaurants,

and there isn't
good nutrition information,

it makes eating out difficult.

[Morgan] McDonald's says
nutrition information

for all their products
is available on-line,

but according
to the 2000 U.S. census,

more than half
of all U.S. homes

still don't have
Internet access.

So, what are these people
supposed to do?

Go to the stores
for nutrition information?

Is that information
even there?

I went to find out.

[upbeat music playing]

[Morgan] Do you guys have
any nutrition fact sheets?

Do you guys have
one of those?

The things that fold out
and have nutrition info?

There aren't
any over there?

-Or where would they be?
Up front?
-Yeah, they should be.

But they got lots of info
about "Dora the explorer live!"

I don't have any in front.

-Let me check
in the back, okay?
-That's cool. Thank you.

-Just give me one second.
I can't find the booklet.

You can use the one
on the wall.

But you don't have ones
you can take with you?

-Do you guys have
one on the wall?

No sir, they only have
like, fliers now.

We had one before.
They don't put it up no more.

-They don't post this
any more? Why not?
-I don't know.

[Morgan] Only half
the McDonald's in Manhattan

had the nutrition info
posted on the wall,

some had
the takeaway nutrition charts,

and one in four
had no information whatsoever.

This nice manager brought me
the nutrition wall chart

from the basement.

Thank you... You don't
have one that I could
take with me, like a takeaway?

Do you know when
you'll have some
of the paper ones again?


[Morgan] John Banzhaf and I looked all over this McDonald's in Washington

for any
nutritional information.

And then we found it.

-Here we go.

Behind here.
You'd never see it.

It's right back there.

You can't argue
that people should exercise
personal responsibility

and then not give them
the information
on which to base it.

[Morgan] I got
my chicken group.

[Alex] There's no
chicken group.

-That's my cholesterol group.
-It's protein.

-I got my protein group.

I got my meat group.

You got meat, meat,
sugar, and fat.

I officially had to loosen
my belt the other day from...

-[both laugh]
-I had to go a notch lower.

-One notch?
-One notch.

It's scary.

-I'm an old pro at this now.

-You'll get sick of this,
too, though.
-[both laugh]

Your girlfriend
must be loving you.

-She hates me.
-[both laugh]

-All right, take care.
-Thank you. Bye-bye.

I averaged out
all the calories
for the last nine days,

and you're eating...
You're still eating

over 200%
of what your needs are.

I suggest you cut out
all the liquids

that you're drinking
from McDonald's,
except for water.

A lot of people
who lose 10%,
if they're obese,

and they lose 10%
of their body weight,
it's it's beneficial.

It can be beneficial
in terms of, you know,
blood pressure and so on,

Um, so gaining 10%
of your body weight

maybe could be
equally non-beneficial.

Here we go.
Second weigh-in.

What do you think, Eric?

-About 202, 203, yeah.

I think you almost got
10% of your
body weight gained,

so you've pretty much
gained 17 pounds

in 12 days.

-You look like it.
-You better slow down.

I'm telling you,
don't drink your calories.

I told him no more shakes,
no more coke,
no more double burgers.

The staff here's
calling you "burger boy."

It's starting to get dangerous now, man.

I'm getting nervous for you.

[Morgan] The one place
where the impact
of our fast-food world

has become more
and more evident
is in our nation's schools.

Can I get a shot
of your lunch
right there?

[indistinct chatter
in background]

[Morgan] This is where
schools turn a blind eye.

The student
with the french fries

probably brought a lunch
with real food.

The girl with the chips
is probably sharing them
with someone else.

Out of sight, out of mind.

[indistinct chatter
in background]

[children shouting
in background]

[Morgan] Barbara Brown
is the field representative
for Sodexo,

one of the countless
lowest bidders

that school districts have farmed outthe feeding of your children to.

Sodexho services more than
400 K-12 school districts
nationwide every day,

providing quality food like
little Debbie snack cakes,

Gatorade, and candy bars
to your children.

They also operate prisons

and feed thousands
of inmates worldwide.

[Brown] Part of our position
is that we're hoping

that through
nutrition education,

the students will learn
to make the right food choices

without restricting, uh,
what they can purchase.

[Morgan] At this middle school
in Beckley, West Virginia,

the school lunches don't have
the flair they do in Illinois.

This school does not outsource
their food service,

but they are on the federal
school lunch program,

providing USDA reimbursable
meals to the students,

most of which are reheated,
reconstituted packaged foods.

Some days
the amount of calories
in each meal tops 1,000.

So, the USDA sends this food
for you to prepare for kids.

[Glover] Right.
Well, not all of it, now.

You've got sloppy joe
bar-b-que sauce with pork.

From the government.

Whatever happened to cooks
actually cooking?

I don't know what happened.
Too many whiny people.


They don't want
to work hard.

It's easy to come in here.
This is the best tool
we got right here,

box opener.

-That's your chef's tool,
the box cutter.
-That's it.

-Open up a box, serve it,
give it to them.

-Let's look at the things
that are cooked.
-Uh, okay.

Here we go
Here's a menu.

-Mashed potatoes.

Chili will be homemade.

The chili
will be homemade.

And what about
the tomato soup?

Uh, Campbell's.


-Comes in--
-Comes in a box.
You heat it up.

Out of the course
of an entire month,

six out of 36.

-That's right.
-You're only cooking
six out of 36 meals?

[Morgan] Appleton Central
Alternative High School

is filled with students
who have truancy
and behavioral problems.

But they've turned
things around.

Not through discipline,
but through diet.

We were fortunate
to, uh,
kind of stumble across

this healthy program
as a result
of, uh, some contact

with Natural Oven
and Bakery
of Manitowoc, Wisconsin,

and they believe
in low-fat, low-sugar,

processed foods

that are free of dyes
and preservatives,

uh, full of,
uh, whole grains,

a lot of fresh fruits
and vegetables.

We do no beef here at all,

and then it's the method
of preparation,

where we don't fry.

A lot of baking
and then just
fresh preparation,

as opposed to opening cans
or thawing things out
from the box.

We got rid
of candy machines,
soda machines,

brought in bottled water,
and it was just a situation

where we saw
a major change in the kids.

You know, if you
walk through these halls,
and you're here,

these do not look
like at-risk,
out-of-control kids.

Their behaviors are better.

Uh, they seem
to be more focused.

Uh, teachers will tell you
that they get more
out of them in the class.

[Morgan] Keep in mind,
this is not a private school.

These are the "trouble kids"
of the public school system

in Appleton, Wisconsin,
that are eating so well.

and it costs about the same

as any other
school lunch program.

So my question is,
why isn't everyone doing this?

There's an awful lot
of resistance

from the junk food companies
that make huge profits off
schools at the present time.

They don't want to get kicked
out of the school system.

They want to be there to addict the children for life.

The soft drink companies,
especially, boast about

how they're contributing
to America's education,

but what they're doing

is draining money
from the community

rather than
contributing money
to the community

because the soft drink
companies aren't pumping

those dollars
into the machines.

It's the children
in the community

who are getting the money
from their parents,

and instead of that money
going directly to education,

the soft drink companies
are taking a cut of it

and walking away rich
as a consequence.

We just banned soda
in our school district,

and the sugar here
shows you how much sugar
a student will drink

in a week of just soda.

Um, forget about
the rest of the food they eat.

And some of these companies
are really opposing the ban

for reasons of
that we would lose revenue.

And it's not about money.

It's not about economics.
It's about health.

[peppy music playing]


The McDonald's
Texas home-style burger meal.

That's a, uh,
that's a local specialty.

So it's kind of like
a big 'n' tasty?

Yes, except the big 'n' tasty
comes with mayonnaise.

Comes with mayo...
Oh, then, you know what?

I need the McDonald's Texas
home-style burger meal, please.

-Would you like
to super-size it today?
-Oh, yes, I would.

-Do a lot of people
super-size it?

Yeah, say you
asked five people.

How many of
those five do it?

I get mostly all of them.

Mostly all of them?
So you're batting
about 100%?

I guess.

See that?
She's that good.

Deborah's that good.

First meal
inside the restaurant
that I went in to get,

and they asked me
to super-size it.

We're gonna keep
a little tabs,

see how many times they ask me
to super-size it here in Texas,

'cause Texas, out of the top 15
fattest cities in America,

Texas has five.

[peppy music playing]

Here we are, Houston, Texas,
fattest city in America,

getting my first breakfast.

[indistinct chatter]

Hi, can I help you, sir?

[Morgan] When it comes
to the topic of obesity,

many people are quick
to point the finger

at various foods
and food companies,

but the grocery manufacturers
of America,

a Washington, D.C.-based
lobby group,

whose mission
is to advance the interests

of the food, beverage, and consumer products industry,

are quick
to shift the focus away

from the companies
they represent

and to remind everyone
that there's more
at work here

than just eating poorly.

[Grabowski] We believe
very strongly in our industry,

and in other industries,
I think you'll find

there's a growing consensus

that the solution
lies in good education.

We have to get
good information to parents

so that they can
teach their children

better exercise
and nutrition habits

and so they can lead
the healthy lifestyles.

We don't teach
physical education
in schools anymore.

In the U.S., only one state

requires mandatory physical
education for grades K-12.

It's also one of
The fattest, Illinois.

Got enough for...
You got a heart rate?

[Morgan] Phil Lawler
is the phys ed teacher
at Madison Junior High School,

home of
the soaring war hawks,

the snack-ridden school lunches we saw earlier,

and one of the most

physical education programs
in the country.

Supported mostly
by fund-raising
and parent involvement,

Lawler has created a role model for instructors

and school districts nationwide.

[Lawler] When's the last time
you heard of a science class fund-raising to get their labs?

Eventually, society
has to step up to the plate

and say, "This is important.

We should have
daily physical education

and equip it properly."

We have to say,
"Our greatest strength

is the resource
of our young people."

That's our future,

and the way we're treating
our resources right now,

we're running into some
serious problems with that.

I've always said we've never
had healthcare in this country.

we've only had "sick care."

I think daily physical education is the only place out there

that's really offering a solution.

When I start the music,

you are gonna begin traveling
through general space.

You will go back to your spot,

and I will tell you
a body shape.

Watch out for other...

[children] People!

[upbeat music playing]

[Philips] Round!

Good job.

How many days a week
do the kids here at this school
get to go to gym?

-One day a week.

One day a week.
For 45 minutes.

-Is that enough?
-No. Nowhere close.

Not when the surgeon general
recommends that, at minimum,

you need 30 minutes
of physical activity a day

to maintain your weight
and a healthy well-being.

So, once a week
is nowhere close.

[Morgan] In 2001,
President Bush
announced his presidency

with sweeping
education reform.

The "no child left behind" act
would now
hold states accountable

for not having students
who met minimum
education requirements.

Apparently, we were
not only the fattest
nation in the world,

but we were quickly
becoming the stupid est.

It may be sending a very
difficult message for schools.

One of the reasons
recess is being cut back

in elementary schools,
as I said earlier...

That's being cut out so
they can prepare for the tests.

and something I've said
to a couple of groups,
it's interesting.

We could end up with youngsters
who can read, but who are fat.

So we have "fat readers."

The more we put mandates on the school,

to be very myopic in their focus,

we mitigate against
all of these other areas

where they should be
devoting time and energy,

including phys ed,
nutrition, health.

These are all the things
being cut out.

[Morgan] Who in here
can tell me
what a calorie is?

[indistinct talking]

you should watch.

[laughing] Something
you should watch.
You got that right.

Is it the fat
that goes through
your, um...

What's a calorie?

Oh, Jesus.

A calorie is
an increment of, um...


Um, that's a good question.

Most of us know
what a calorie actually is.

I don't know.
Oh, wait.

Is a calorie
some part of fat?
Like... I don't know.


It's something that builds
up the fat in your body.
Calories are not good.

It's the amount of...

-See, I don't know.
-[Morgan laughs]

I want to say it's the amount
of calories in a calorie.
Don't know.

I never pay no mind
to what calories are.

I just eat when I'm hungry,
and that's it.

If you can tell me
what a calorie is, go ahead.

A calorie is a measure
of the energy content of food,

and a calorie,
the kind that you usually see

when you see the caloric content
on food labels,

one calorie
is the amount of energy

that's needed to raise the
temperature of a liter of water

by one degree centigrade.

[Morgan] Well said.

Could I get a bacon,
egg, and cheese McGriddle?


Smells like a little pancake.

Tastes like a little pancake.

Look at that.

I haven't walked a half-mile
a day since we've been h ere.

No wonder
everything's bigger in Texas

[sombre music plays]

If you're inside, stay there.

The blizzard of 2003
isn't over yet.

I got my lunch.

I got my dinner.

Never have to leave the house.

I'm not gonna
completely become vegan

just because
you want me to.

I'm not saying
you should do it
because I want you to.

I'm saying you need
to think about

what you believe
is a system

that it is corrupt
and immoral
and wrong and hurtful,

but you're gonna
be a part of it.

Where is
the disconnect there?

Why don't you
make that choice?

Why don't I make the choice
to not eat meat?


-Because you like it.

-'Cause I like--
-'Cause it tastes good

I like bacon.
I love pork chops.

Ham is the greatest
thing ever.

I'm sure heroin is awesome.
I'm sure it's great.

Heroine and ham
are in completely
different categories.

I'm sorry, but ham and heroin
are not the same thing.

They're not.

They're not.

I could be
strung out on ham
for days and be okay.

-You are a little strung out.
-And I am strung out on ham.

It's hard for me
to watch him
go through this,

I got to tell you.

I worry about his health.

He's exhausted by the end
of the day, just so tired.

He gets home
really late from work...


and he gets all jacked up
on sugar and caffeine,

and then he crashes.

And then,
when we do have sex,
I got to tell you,

he's not quite as energetic
as he used to be.


I have to be on top.

Otherwise, he, uh...

You know
he gets tired easily.

I think the saturated fats

are starting to impede
the blood flow to his penis,

and he's having a hard time,
you know, getting it up.

He does, totally.

It's still good,
but it's definitely
a big difference.

There's definitely
a difference.

I can tell.


I feel horrible today.

My headache's
coming back again.

It feels like somebody's
yanking on the tendons
behind my eyes.

My body officially hates me.

All the vitamins
that you see here,

vitamin E, Thiamine,
Riboflavin, Riacin,
and so on,

are all under 50%
of what you need.

You're getting
a lot of carbohydrates,

and I know, clearly,
that those are all
refined carbohydrates

because those are coming
from the buns,
biscuits, hash browns. Okay?

And the sugar.

let's not forget
the most refined
carbohydrate of all,

which is coming from
your milkshakes
and your coke.

[Morgan] In fact,
there are only seven items

on the McDonald's menu
that contain
no sugar whatsoever.

French fries,
chicken McNuggets,
hash browns, sausage,

diet coke, coffee
and iced tea.

Everything else,
even the salads,
contain sugar.

I'm telling you, 202.

-[man] Yay, you lost weight!
-I lost a pound!

Oh, thank God.

Muscle weighs
more than fat.

You might have lost
some muscle mass
and gained some fat mass.

I lost a pound.
Let's go get something to eat.

I was feeling bad in the car,
feeling like shit, really.

I was feeling really, really
sick and unhappy.

I started eating.

I feel great.

I feel really good now.

I feel so good, it's crazy.

Isn't that right, baby?

Yeah, you're crazy,
all right.

One fifty over 90.

The headaches might even be
hypertensive headaches,
but they're probably not.

They're probably related
to you know, blood sugar.

You might be in
this hyperinsulinemic state.

One fifty over 110.

Your total cholesterol
was 165 before.

Now it's 225.

A liver that's inflamed
in any way
or sick in any way

will leak some of its enzymes
out to the blood.

So this
is very nonspecific,

but it means
the liver is sick,

and the most likely cause
of your liver sickness

is a fatty liver.

Your liver
is now like pate.

was originally 21.

-Now it's...
-One thirty.

And SGPT was originally 20.

Now it's 290,
a more than tenfold increase.

Not good,
not good, not good.

Anybody would say right now
that you're sick.

If you're
fatigued with this,

you'll feel
lethargic with this,

you'll feel
run-down with this.
If, you know...

If somebody were doing this
to their liver with alcohol,

they could theoretically
wipe out all the liver...
Wipe out their liver cells

and, and, and they'd be
in liver failure.

Now, I've never heard
of anybody doing this
to their liver

with a high-fat diet,
but I guess anything's poss...

I don't know.
I can't answer the question.

Never, never been
done before.

No one's ever
wiped out their liver
with a high-fat diet before.


And I won't
wipe out my liver
in two more weeks?

I would think
it would be unlikely.

I don't want to tell you
you wouldn't.

My advice to you is
to stop doing
what you're doing,

because it's hurting you.

You're sick, and you're
making yourself sick,

and you can
make yourself unsick

by stopping doing
what you're doing.

I'm just afraid there will be something that's totally irreversible.

You know, that there will be some damage done that...


Yeah. I don't know.

So, do they think that once you change your habits

that that's going to correct itself?

Yeah, they think that
everything should
get back on track

once this is done.

Your liver... I've been
doing some reading.

Your liver is very resilient,
and your liver heals itself.


Well, if you need a portion of my liver, honey,

you can have it.

[both laugh]

I'll give up part of my liver for you.

Thanks, mom.

There's a drug that is used
in emergency rooms,
called Naloxone.

It's used for heroin overdose.

A guy comes in
overdosed on heroin, comatose.

He's gonna die.

You inject him with this drug,

and it blocks the opiate
receptors in the brain.

Heroin doesn't work.
He wakes up.

If I give that same drug
to a real chocolate addict,

a person just shoveling it in,

You find
the most amazing thing.

They lose
much of their interest
in chocolate.

They take a bite,
they set it back down.

In other words,
it's not taste and mouth feel.

it's a drug effect of the food
within the brain

that keeps us coming back
again and again.

You're saying
that your mood goes up
once you start eating.

Yeah. Lately,
every time I eat,
I feel 100% better.

Ha! So it seems
like you're starting
to get addicted to it now.

[peppy music playing]

[Morgan] McDonald's calls
people who eat their food

at least once a week
"heavy users."

I'm not kidding.

Seventy-two percent of
the people who eat
at McDonald's are heavy users.

They also have
another category,

the "super heavy user."

These people eat their food

three, four, five times
a week and up.

Twenty-two percent
of the people
who eat at McDonald's

are super heavy users.

If you look at the menu
at a fast-food restaurant,

they use all of
the addicting components.

They'll take a slab of meat,
cover it with cheese,

cheese, of course, which is
filled with the casomorphins,

uh, the opiates that are found
in the cheese protein.

and then they serve it
with a sugary soda,

which has
the addictive powers of sugar

with plenty of added caffeine.

Now, you might be
a 12-year-old kid.

Your brain is no match
for that combination.

[Morgan] In 2002,
McDonald's France

took out a full-page ad
in a French magazine

in which a nutritionist stated, "There is no reason

to go to McDonald's
more than once a week."

McDonald's corporate
headquarters in the U.S.
freaked out,

saying that
this is only one opinion,

and that the vast majority
of nutrition professionals

say that McDonald's food
can be a part
of a healthy diet.

So, we thought we'd randomly call some nutritionists to see what their opinions were

when it came
to eating fast food.

How often do you think that
people should eat fast food?

[woman over phone] Ideally, never.

[woman 2]
Rare to never.

[woman 3]
The less, the better.
Zero is the best.

[woman 4]
Hopefully, no more often
than once a month.

If you were stranded
on a deserted island,

or if we get bombed
with anthrax,

and that's
the only food available,

that's the only time
you should eat fast food.

[Morgan] We called 100 nutritionists all over America,

and the results
were not on track

with the "vast majority"
McDonald's talked about.

Only two out of the 100

said you should eat fast food
two times a week or more.

Twenty-eight said once a week
to once or twice a month.

And 45 said
you should never eat it.

Ninety-five of them agreed
that it is a major contributor

to the obesity epidemic
sweeping America.

-Okay? Okay.

[telephone ringing]

[telephone beeps]

Hi, Morgan, how are you?
Bridget Bennett from Health.

I have to tell you

that Health is gonna have to
close its doors,
effective immediately.

I'm sorry to tell you that over the phone.

We're all sort of surprised,
but we will proceed as before,

just not at
the integrated Health center.

Okay, Morgan, thanks,
and I will talk to you soon.


[phone clicks]

[Morgan] Apparently,
we don't put much value
on health in America anymore.

In fact, each year,
we spend over $30 billion

on diet products
and weight-loss programs,

Two and a half times
what we spend
on fitness and health.

There are pills, drinks, bars.

You can lose weight while you
sleep, while you watch TV,

and while eating
everything you want,

always pushing the newest way
to stay thin without exercise.

Some people, however,
feel that they have
tried everything

and see
only one remaining option

as their last hope for health.

[Howlett] I'm diabetic.

Eighty percent of the people
don't have to take insulin
anymore after this.

-Plus, I have hypertension.

Hopefully, correct that, lose my weight, and lose my high blood pressure.


This is Bruce Howlett.

In a few minutes, his stomach
will be surgically reduced

to the size of a small apple
in a gastric bypass operation.

People with hypertension
who are obese,

about 75% of them

will get rid of
their hypertensive medications.

[Morgan] Doctors Adam Naaman
and Carl Geisler

will be performing
the operation.

Together, they have done
more than 500
gastric bypass surgeries,

and with their
tandem technique,

they are setting
the industry standard,

completing the procedure
in less than 30 minutes

and sending patients home
the following day.

We have established now
that the only procedure

that really cures diabetes
is obesity surgery.

I went blind for a week.

Just went complete...
One day out of the blue,
you went blind?

I went to work, got to work,
drove to work that night,

got to work,
couldn't read the charts,

and I had to
call my supervisor,
tell her I couldn't work

because I couldn't see
what I was doing,

and called my wife,
had to get her to ride to work

to pick me up
and take me home.

And then once I stopped
drinking the diet soda waters,

got my sugars back down.

I was fortunate enough,
my eyesight came back.

I didn't do that much damage
to them at that time.

I think it's human nature
to seek a drastic solution

only when you're faced
with a drastic problem.

I drank three or four
of those a day.

Three or four...
'Cause this is a half-gallon,

That means you were
drinking probably about
two gallons of soda a day.

It wasn't unusual,
for a two-week time,

we'd buy
50 two-liters of soda water.

-Fifty two-liters
every two weeks.

And I'd probably end up
having to pick him up
a couple extra.

-He drinks more than I do.

I'll go through
about one of those a day.

There's some days I go through
three or four two-liters.

A lot of us don't realize
the social stigma

that these people face
on a daily basis.

[violin music playing]

[indistinct chatter]

One, two, three.

[waltz music playing]

[Morgan] It's, um...

It's, like, 2:00 a.m.
in the morning
on February 21.

I, uh, woke up,
couldn't breathe.

I'm having
really difficulty breathing.

I'm very hot,

and, uh, um,

felt like I was having
heart palpitations.


Came up and, uh,
walked around the living room.

I was trying
to get my breath back.

and, uh...
I want to finish,

but I don't want anything
real bad to happen, either.

[printer whirring]

[Dr. Isaacs]
your EKG is normal.

Deep breath.

And out.

Now, listen, I don't have
a ready explanation

for your chest pain.

Would you at least consider
taking aspirin once a day

now that you're
on this ridiculous diet?

Uh, maybe.
I'll think about it.

Why would you even
think about it?
Why wouldn't you just do it?

This is really...
You know...

You saw
these numbers, right?

These numbers are
absolutely outrageous.

For the first time,
we're seeing
uric acid elevated,

so you're giving yourself

and the danger
of hyperuricemia
is gout, kidney stones.

The results for your liver
are obscene

beyond anything
I would have thought.


I mean... You know that movie
"Death in Las Vegas",

Nicolas Cage,
that pickled his liver

-during the course
of a few weeks in Las Vegas.

I would never have thought
you could do the same thing

-with a high-fat diet.

Uh, my advice to you,
as a physician,

is that you've got to stop
pickling your liver.

And you're kicking it
while it's down now.

Now it's down,
and you're kicking it further.

I mean, if you were
an alcoholic,
I'd say, "You're gonna die.

You keep drinking,
you'll die."

If the pain starts to radiate
to your jaw or down your arm,

-that's life-threatening,
and immediately so.

So I need to hear about that,
or you need to call 911.

-All right?

-[indistinct chatter]
-[telephone ringing]

-[Alex] Hello?
-[Morgan] Hello.

-Hi, sweetheart.
-How are you?

I'm good. I'm worried about you.


I had no idea this was gonna be such a dangerous experiment.


I don't think anybody did.

The doctor didn't even
think it was
gonna be this drastic.

-He's floored by it.

And, um, he doesn't know
what will happen.

He says,
"Listen, I have no idea."

But, you know,
he said that if I am feeling
bad or feeling anything,

to page him, and he'll
admit me immediately
wherever I am.

Oh, sweetheart.



I love you so much, and I don't want you to be hurt.

Yeah, me either.

Me either.

I'll tell you, if you start to get nauseous

and you start vomiting and your eyes turn yellow,

you have got to go to the emergency room.

-Okay. Okay.
-No matter where you are.

Uh, if you, you know... Again, if you're not keeping food down

or you're feeling sick to your stomach,

you know, it looks like your liver functions
are getting worse.

My suggestion would be to stop the diet.

-And go back to eating
a lower-fat diet,

rechecking the blood tests in a couple of weeks.

[Thompson] Nobody needs to be
partisan about this issue.

We need fixes,
we need remedies,
and we need support.

[Morgan] How much influence on government legislators

does the food
industry have?

The food industry
is an enormous business
in the United States.

it employs very expensive

and well-paid lobbyists,

and those lobbyists
are in Washington
for two purposes.

Number one, to make sure
that no government agency
ever says,

"Eat less
of the company's products."

Number two,

that the government
never passes legislation
that is unfavorable.

And I guess the third one
is to encourage
the government

to pass favorable legislation.

[Morgan] The GMA
is one of those lobbies.

You're going to see us do
what we do best,

and that is
market appropriately,

uh, uh, finance,
uh, education programs,

as we're doing
in a great abundance,

getting good information
out to parents
so we can solve the problem.

That's what we do
in the food industry.

We are... We think that is
a responsible,
important role to play.

We are not police.
We are not regulators.

We provide a safe,
affordable abundance of food

like the world
has never seen.

The food industry
and the broadcasters

are extremely
powerful lobbies,

and ... they out-gun us.

The industry has
stepped up to the plate.

We're going to do more.
we want to do more.

We recognize
we have a role to play.

We're part of the solution.

We're part of the problem,

and we also are part
of the solution.

[Morgan] Did everyone hear
what he just said?

"We're part of the problem."

The lobbyist for Coke, Heinz,
Smucker's, Kellogg's, Nestle,

Kraft, Hershey's, Sara Lee,
Cadbury, General Mills,

Seagram, Welch's, Wise,
Anheuser-Busch, Birds Eye,

Lance, Campbell's,
Carvel, Mars,

Ocean Spray, Hormel,
Dannon, and Pepsi

said, "We're part
of the problem."

I think we're making
some headway.

[telephone rings]

[woman] Good afternoon. Media Line.

Yeah, I wanted
to speak to somebody

about scheduling an interview
with Jim Cantalupo.

I can take the information

and have somebody get back to you.

[telephone ringing]

Good morning.
Media Line.

Uh, good morning.
I wanted to speak to someone
about scheduling an interview.

I can take the information and have somebody get back to you.

I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the united states of America,

for which it stands, one nation,
under God, indivisible,

with liberty
and justice for all.

-[Morgan] One more time.
-Yeah, what did you do?

I said it.
What were you doing?

I pledge allegiance
to the flag

of the united states
of America, one nation...

[Morgan] And to the republic
for which it stands.

You got me
all freaked out!

I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the united states of America,

and to the republic,
for which it stands,

one nation, under God,

and justice for all.

-[all laugh]
-Liberty. Where's the liberty?

-The liberty. Say it.
-I'm so sorry.

Do you want us
to keep walking?

What's the Big Mac slogan?

You know,
"Two all-beef patties..."

"Special sauce, lettuce,
cheese, pickles, onions
on a sesame-seed bun."

Yeah, you know that.
You know that!

That is a shame!
That is a shame!


Welcome to McDonald's.
We're glad you're here.

[acoustic music playing]

Hi, can I help you?

Could I get a large
vanilla shake, please?

I'm sorry, sir. We don't
have any shakes right now.

-No shakes?

When will you have shakes,
do you think?

[woman speaks indistinctly]

Guess that's a never.

At the end of this month,

I'll have eaten
as much McDonald's

as most nutritionists say
you're supposed to eat
in eight years.

[telephone rings]

Media Line. This is Sheila.

Sheila, it's
Morgan Spurlock calling.

I'm trying
to reach Lisa Howard.

Okay, Morgan, I will let her know.

[telephone rings]

Hi, this is Lisa Howard. I'm not able to take your call right now.

If you'll leave a message, I'll get back...

Hey, Lisa.
Morgan Spurlock calling.

I wanted to follow up
on the e-mail I sent you...

...close to the end of the day,
I didn't know when
she was taking off.

Sure. I'll put another message on her desk.

-[telephone rings]
-Lisa Howard.

Hi, Lisa.
Morgan Spurlock calling.

-Hi. How are you?
-I'm good. How are you?

-I'm okay.
-Good. So you got my e-mail.

-Yes, I got your e-mail.

And I'm circulating it around.


I don't have an answer for you.

Any idea when
you think you might?

Probably in the next day or two.

Oh, man!

Walking up the stairs
has gotten...

It's starting
to get really difficult.

By the time I get to the top,
it's really pathetic.

[exhales deeply]

Oh, man!

[keyboard keys clacking]

[Alex] I've got Morgan's
detox diet all ready to go.

the biggest thing
is taking the crap out

and putting good stuff in.

I'm really focusing
on nutrient-dense food,

organic, seasonal, fresh food,

making sure that I'm
getting as much...
As many cleansing vegetables

into his diet as possible.

[disco music playing]


Now, after you read what he eats everyday,

and the nutritional information,
'cause I go through it all...



-We're sharing a portion.
-We're splittin'.


-Extra calories.
-[woman] Extra calories.

I love you dearly,
but you are a demented man.
You're sick.

-[woman] Bye-bye.
-See you tomorrow?


[Morgan] I can't believe
that tomorrow
I'm gonna get up

and not have to go
eat McDonald's.

[train rumbling]

That's it.

-[woman laughs]

[man] Whoo-hoo!

[laughing] Okay.


It just
keeps getting bigger.


Oh, yeah.

-Oh, boy.
-Two hundred and ten pounds.

[Bennett] I'm gonna say 210,
right on the money.

We went from 185.5
to 194...

a week later to 203,
then down to 202,

and now eight pounds
during the last week for 210.

I think we know
the damage that can be done.

Lisa Howard,
it's Morgan Spurlock calling.

I don't know how many times
we've called her now,

but this has got to be
the 15th time.

Lisa Howard, Morgan Spurlock
calling from New York.

Uh, please call me
when you get this

and let's talk
about what's possible.

You'll not talk to anybody,

and you'll like it that way.

[Morgan] After six months
of deliberation,

Judge Robert Sweet
dismissed the lawsuit
against McDonald's.

The big reason?

The two girls failed to show

that eating McDonald's food was what caused their injuries.


In only 30 days of eating
nothing but McDonald's,

I gained 24 and half pounds,
my liver turned to fat,

and my cholesterol
shot up 65 points.

My body-fat percentage
went from 11% to 18%,

still below
the national average

of 22% for men
and 30% for women.

I nearly doubled my risk
of coronary heart disease,

making myself twice as likely
to have heart failure.

I felt depressed
and exhausted
most of the time.

My moods swung on a dime,
and my sex life
was nonexistent.

I craved this food
more and more
when I ate it

and got massive headaches
when I didn't.

And in my final blood test,

many of my body functions
showed signs of improvement,

but the doctors
were less than optimistic.

I would very,
very much doubt

that these numbers
will return to normal.

Although it did drop,
it was a small drop.

If you kept on the diet,
you'd definitely...

Um, I know that you'd
probably develop
coronary artery disease.

and hardening of the liver.

Should people
eat fast food?

Uh, no.

You know, the answer's no.

It certainly needs
to be very restricted

and balanced with,
overall, a healthy diet

and, overall, a lot of exercise.

And there's no reason whatsoever

why fast food
has to be so disgusting.

Uh, the food...
Fast food can be nutritious.

It's a cheap form of food,

and it does keep you
full for a while,

so you get your money's worth.

But unfortunately,
you cause some major
harm to your heart,

your liver, your blood.

I wouldn't suggest
you continue the diet
for a year to check this out.

I don't think
it's appropriate
or healthy,

especially with
what showed up
with your liver.

-[Morgan] For a year?

-So I shouldn't eat
this food for a year?
-No, I don't think so.

You know, we see people
who, like, go
on an alcohol binge,

and their numbers
go up like crazy,

but to go on,
you know, a Mac attack...

and they've got numbers
to show that your,
it attacks your liver, too.

I would never...
Honestly, I wouldn't have
even thought about this.

But it makes sense.

Now that we have the data,
it definitely makes sense.

[Morgan] Still, the impact
of this initial lawsuit

is being seen far and wide.

School districts in New York,
Texas, and San Francisco

have banned
sugary soft drinks
in schools,

and all-natural,
healthy options
are popping up everywhere.

McDonald's joined right in,

sponsoring events that showed
how health-conscious
they'd become

and creating a new line
of premium salads.

At the same time, however,
they also masterminded

one of their fattest
sandwiches to date,

the McGriddle,
a pancake-wrapped creation

that won my heart in Texas

but can pack as much fat
as a Big Mac

and have more sugar than a pack of McDonaldland cookies.

in fact, their new
premium ranch
chicken salad with dressing

delivers more calories
than a Big Mac

and 51 grams of fat,

79% of your daily fat intake.

Over the course of my McDiet,

I consumed 30 pounds
of sugar from their food.

That's a pound a day.

On top of that,
I also took in
12 pounds of fat.

Now, I know
what you're saying.

You're saying, "Nobody's
supposed to eat this food
three times a day.

No wonder all this stuff
happened to you."

But the scary part is,

there are people
who eat this food regularly.

Some people
even eat it every day.

So while my experiment may have been a little extreme,

it's not that crazy.

But here is a crazy idea,

why not do away
with your super size options?

Who needs 42 ounces of coke,
a half-pound of fries?

And why not give me a choice

besides French fries
or French fries?

That would be a great start.

But why should these companies
want to change?

Their loyalty isn't to you.
It's to the stockholders.

The bottom line,
they're a business,

no matter what they say.

And by getting you
to supersize,
they make millions,

and no company
wants to stop doing that.

If this ever-growing paradigm
is going to shift,

it's up to you.

But if you decide to keep
living this way, go ahead.

Over time,
you may find yourself
getting as sick as I did,

and you may wind up here...

or here.

I guess the big question is,

who do you want
to see go first,
you or them?

Right now,
you have the urge
to eat something.

When it's through,
if you still want to eat,

then you're probably
really hungry.

Think about what I'm saying.

[upbeat music playing]