Boozlers on Hulu … Just What I Expected

      101 Comments on Boozlers on Hulu … Just What I Expected

When Fat Head was released, I knew it was controversial and expected a love-it-or-hate-it response. As it turned out, most people heard about the film through low-carb or paleo-diet blogs, so they were predisposed to like it. Ahhh, the good old days. Now that Fat Head is on Hulu and being viewed by people who thought Super Size Me was both truthful and brilliant, I’m seeing more of the angry reviews I always expected. 

A few of Spurlock’s fans have shown up previously to comment on my YouTube clips. I referred to them as boozlers in a previous post because they refuse to believe they were bamboozled by Spurlock, even though logic and simple math prove he couldn’t have followed his own rules. I replied to their comments on YouTube since it’s my channel and they took it upon themselves to show up there, but I’m not going to bother posting replies on Hulu. I’m not sure it’s even possible, and I don’t think it would be good idea anyway.

But just for a fun, I’ll post some quotes here with my replies.

Are you kidding me? Why in the world would you want to stand up in defense for the likes of McDonalds?

I have this crazy tendency to be annoyed when people are accused of crimes they didn’t commit. If someone produced a film blaming Anheuser-Busch for all the alcoholics in the country, I’d stand up and defend Anheuser-Busch as well.

Spurlock attended film school and was experienced and well-versed on how to create a documentary that spoke to a varied demographic. It is difficult to connect with Naughton’s attempt, which amounts to a lengthy, redundant, monotone rant.

I have no problem admitting that Morgan Spurlock is far more skilled at producing polished propaganda than I am. He sucks as a researcher, he’s clueless about science and nutrition, and simple math says he was dishonest about what he actually ate, but he’s an entertaining filmmaker. I didn’t attend film school, but I’m guessing they don’t offer a course titled It’s Not Ethical to Lie to Your Audience in a Documentary.

Super-size Me started an epidemic in the fast food industry, MacDonald & others was shaking in their boots when that film came out.

Yes, Old MacDonald was deeply shaken by Super Size Me. So was McDonald’s, especially when their sales continued going up every year after it was released. Newsflash: the people who swallowed the nonsense in Super Size Me weren’t eating at McDonald’s in the first place. The film had roughly the same economic impact as if the faculty at Yale boycotted NASCAR events.

Morgan is a great guy & don’t judge him base on Super Size me.

Good point. I shouldn’t judge him base on the film that made his career. From now on, I’ll judge him by how nicely he treats waitresses and taxi drivers.

clearly, morgan spurlock was attempting to point out that if you eat three square meals per day at a fast food restaurant your caloric intake will be staggering.

I guess the simple math I put on the screen wasn’t simple enough. To average more than 5,000 calories per day, he had to eat far more than even three large combos would provide — and since he promised to eat everything on the menu at least once, what the heck happened on the days he ordered a 400-calorie chicken salad? Of course, he could clear up this mystery by honoring the dozens of requests from journalists to publish his food log, but since he won’t, I’m going with the simple math for now.

Guess what, Supersize Me actually made a lot of change in the world.

Can’t argue with that. I’ve been amazed at the drop in obesity and diabetes since Super Size Me was released. I was delighted when Michelle Obama held a press conference recently and said, “I am terminating the government’s anti-obesity program. It turns out Super Size Me solved the crisis.”

He should REALLY be using a DEXA scan or something much more accurate to measure body fat. Bioelectrical impedance analysis is terribly inaccurate.

I didn’t know the doctor was going to measure my body fat until he handed me the device. But next time, I’ll call ahead and make sure he uses the brand you recommend.

Ok McJacka$…keep eating your burgers if that makes you happy, you are a big boy, and nobody can tell you what to put in you pie hole.

I’m delighted to know you share my libertarian views on freedom and personal responsibility.  Give me a fist-bump, my brother.

This guy is a joke. I can’t even list the number of arguments he made that were later contradicted by other arguments.

Pretty please, list them. I’d like to know.

Humans got shorter? No, humans evolved into taller humans.

If you believe human history began 12,000 years ago, you are correct. But it’s comforting to know that after switching to agriculture made us six inches shorter, it only took 10,000 years to regain our Paleolithic height.

And based on anthropological data, most of what we ate was plant based, with meat coming in when the tribe made a kill, which could be days or weeks apart. I’m calling a tool alert on this annoyingly voice-varying airhead.

Yes, my ancestors in Ireland no doubt lived exclusively on plants during the long, cold winters when nothing grows. Same for Inuits; they grow a lot of corn and beans up there in the Arctic. And of course, after the buffalo-hide hunters wiped out the buffalo population, the Plains Indians said to themselves, “No big deal. We only managed to kill one every few weeks anyway.”

jacka** is giving fat people hope that they can cling too their food (poison) and their terrible way of life.

That’s the main message of my documentary: Don’t change anything, cling too your food, keep eating all the sugar and starch you’re eating now, and you’ll magically begin to lose weight and regain your health.

There’s no way in hell eating high saturated fat, process carbs can be good for you.

I thought about toning down the pro-process-carb message, but in the end I decided it was important for people to understand how essential process carbs are for remaining healthy and lean.

What the creator fail to realize is the chemical composition of said fast food is addicting, which is the main reason why people continue to eat it.

That explains why both Spurlock and I couldn’t wait for our fast-food-diets to end.  We both fail to give in to the addiction.

Plus, Naughton ate fast foods at least 3 years after Spurlock’s movie, which meant that he was eating fast foods with lowered calories.

If the calories in a Double-Quarter Pounder were reduced after 2004, it’s news to me. McDonald’s stopped selling super-sized sodas and fries, but I didn’t drink sodas and only rarely ate fries. Meanwhile, if Spurlock actually followed his rules, he only consumed two super-sized meals per week.

As for the doctors in the movie, I wonder about their credibility. Doctors who are not educated in scientific studies and not know that there are such things as correlation in conjectures should really be fired.

I’d ask science wonks like Mike Eades, Gary Taubes, Malcolm Kendrick, Uffe Ravnskov and Mary Enig if they know or not know about correlation in conjectures, but I’m afraid they’d conclude I’ve turned stupid and stop talking to me.

This guy is a f__king idiot.

I’m defenseless in the face of such rhetorical skill.

Of course he chose quack doctors to support his claims but talk to any nutritionist and you’ll get the real information.

Can’t type … shaking with laughter.

Well, you get the idea. As I discovered when I first began writing for my college newspaper, you can’t put anything before the public without someone getting ticked off. As I once told my roommate, “I swear, if I write a column saying it was a beautiful day yesterday, I’ll get at least two letters informing me that it wasn’t a nice day for the people starving in Bangladesh, and if I wasn’t such a heartless son of a bitch who only thinks about himself, I’d realize that and stop talking about the weather, so I should do everyone a favor and kill myself.” I even received hate mail for a column I wrote making fun of stupid commercials — kid you not.

It goes with the territory …

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101 thoughts on “Boozlers on Hulu … Just What I Expected

  1. Galina L.

    Somehow, the staff on your blog I developed a habit to read ticks me in a good way.Please, forgive me all present and future grammar mistakes, my first language is Russian and I started to learn English after 30.

    Your English a whole lot better than my Russian. English is a difficult language, and I admire anyone who learns it as an adult.

    Reply
  2. Tuck

    Loved your movie, love you blog, keep up the good work. I’d love to see you do another movie based on all the stuff you’ve learned since.

    And I’ll not be watching Fat Head on Hulu, I own the DVD.

    If Fat Head pays for itself, I have other ideas in mind. If I started shooting it again today, it would be a different film.

    Reply
  3. TWV

    For those that think Spurlock in Super Size Me didn’t stuff himself, just look at his food log for day one (2/3rds of can be seen at 0:36:18 in the movie). He stuffed himself silly and had an afternoon snack as well. It makes his throwing up on his second day’s lunch look even more silly when you know that he had two big macs, two small fries, a chocolate shake, and a coke the day before for lunch.

    But you can tell some people the sky is blue, they see it is blue, and they will still deny it.

    So much for his “three square meals per day” rule.

    Reply
  4. Paul Eilers

    This reminds me of the old joke, “Don’t confuse me with the facts. My mind is made up!”

    By the way, I am curious as to the demographics of the people who posted the angry reviews.

    The demographic of the people I’ve known personally who really liked Super Size Me was young, urban, disproportionately vegetarian, disproportionately left-of-center politically and therefore predisposed to be hostile towards large, successful corporations. My conservative and/or libertarian friends thought it was basically a stunt masquerading as a documentary long before I produced Fat Head.

    Reply
  5. Sarah

    Hey Tom, is it true that you should eat within the hour that you get out of bed to speed up your metabolism for the rest of the day? Or is it ok to skip breakfast if you don’t wake up hungry? Also, do you know whether or not it’s a good idea to exercise in the morning when you’re running on your fat?

    That came up in a conversation I had with Gary Taubes. He said for many people, especially insulin-resistant people, morning is the one time of day their insulin is very low and they’re actually burning body fat … so if you’re not hungry in the morning, don’t eat.

    I know some people advocate working out in a fasted state. The logic of it makes sense, but I haven’t tried it.

    Reply
  6. Dave, RN

    “Spurlock attended film school and was experienced and well-versed on how to create a documentary that spoke to a varied demographic.”

    A typical “appeal to authority” argument. “Educated” doesn’t equate to “right”.

    His film was definitely higher budget and much more polished. I have no problem admitting that. But if the question is “how much useful information did you learn?” I believe I came out ahead.

    Reply
  7. Ailu

    “If Fat Head pays for itself, I have other ideas in mind. If I started shooting it again today, it would be a different film.”

    How so? It’d be great if you did a blog post detailing what you’d do different had you filmed it now.

    I may post about it sometime, but in the meantime: Less on Spurlock and the Food Evangelists, more on diet and health. I’ve learned a lot more since the film went in the can two years ago. I’d want to talk about the damage caused by lectins in grains, for example, and how fructose affects the liver. There have been very recent studies exonerating saturated fat as a cause of heart disease, or demonstrating that people on low-carb diets end up with better cardiovascular markers, so I’d highlight those. Plus I’ve met and/or corresponded with several doctors and researchers I didn’t know back then, so I’d ask them for interviews. A big, impressive team of white coats might sway a few more people.

    Reply
  8. js290

    I’ve heard other people argue for “jump starting” one’s metabolism with a morning meal (breakfast). Not sure what that even means, really. Our metabolism doesn’t change that quickly. Eat when you’re hungry and when it’s convenient, not on some Pavlovian schedule.

    Fuel Metabolism in Starvation:

    Burn Fat, Not Sugar.

    I agree. I’m just not hungry when I first wake up, and I believe in listening to my body.

    Reply
  9. Walter

    Keep posting, keep poking holes in the vegan/vegetarian/low fat position. I think your approach/style (mix of humor, facts and logical arguments) makes you a unique voice that adds something important to the other blogs with a similar message.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  10. Keen

    I was really glad when it went up Hulu! I probably wouldn’t have been able to see it otherwise, since it isn’t available on NetFlix (yet?).

    I told my mom about this movie as soon as I heard about it, because I knew it was something she’d want to see. She’s not into low carb diets or anything, but she’s a college English teacher and she’s used ‘Supersize Me’ in her classes nearly every semester for the past several years. She shows the movie and has her students analyze the arguments he makes — and find the flaws and logical fallacies in said arguments.

    I don’t think anyone’s ever pointed out the math discrepancies, though. The most obvious problem her students usually find is the fact that he stopped exercising. You don’t have to be a scientist to know that adding a factor like that will change your results. Or to understand that McDonald’s doesn’t actively prevent anyone from exercising when not at their restaurants.

    Reply
  11. Keen

    Oh, and she is considering showing Fat Head in class alongside it now, but she hasn’t decided yet. (Available class time is a factor)

    I hope she does. I’ve heard from other teachers who showed Super Size Me, then Fat Head. They said showing both sparks some very energetic discussions.

    Reply
  12. Ailu

    “If Fat Head pays for itself, I have other ideas in mind. If I started shooting it again today, it would be a different film.”

    How so? It’d be great if you did a blog post detailing what you’d do different had you filmed it now.

    I may post about it sometime, but in the meantime: Less on Spurlock and the Food Evangelists, more on diet and health. I’ve learned a lot more since the film went in the can two years ago. I’d want to talk about the damage caused by lectins in grains, for example, and how fructose affects the liver. There have been very recent studies exonerating saturated fat as a cause of heart disease, or demonstrating that people on low-carb diets end up with better cardiovascular markers, so I’d highlight those. Plus I’ve met and/or corresponded with several doctors and researchers I didn’t know back then, so I’d ask them for interviews. A big, impressive team of white coats might sway a few more people.

    Reply
  13. js290

    I’ve heard other people argue for “jump starting” one’s metabolism with a morning meal (breakfast). Not sure what that even means, really. Our metabolism doesn’t change that quickly. Eat when you’re hungry and when it’s convenient, not on some Pavlovian schedule.

    Fuel Metabolism in Starvation:

    Burn Fat, Not Sugar.

    I agree. I’m just not hungry when I first wake up, and I believe in listening to my body.

    Reply
  14. Walter

    Keep posting, keep poking holes in the vegan/vegetarian/low fat position. I think your approach/style (mix of humor, facts and logical arguments) makes you a unique voice that adds something important to the other blogs with a similar message.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  15. Keen

    I was really glad when it went up Hulu! I probably wouldn’t have been able to see it otherwise, since it isn’t available on NetFlix (yet?).

    I told my mom about this movie as soon as I heard about it, because I knew it was something she’d want to see. She’s not into low carb diets or anything, but she’s a college English teacher and she’s used ‘Supersize Me’ in her classes nearly every semester for the past several years. She shows the movie and has her students analyze the arguments he makes — and find the flaws and logical fallacies in said arguments.

    I don’t think anyone’s ever pointed out the math discrepancies, though. The most obvious problem her students usually find is the fact that he stopped exercising. You don’t have to be a scientist to know that adding a factor like that will change your results. Or to understand that McDonald’s doesn’t actively prevent anyone from exercising when not at their restaurants.

    Reply
  16. Keen

    Oh, and she is considering showing Fat Head in class alongside it now, but she hasn’t decided yet. (Available class time is a factor)

    I hope she does. I’ve heard from other teachers who showed Super Size Me, then Fat Head. They said showing both sparks some very energetic discussions.

    Reply
  17. Matt

    The guy talking about the bodyfat measurement is actually correct, though it’s quite irrelevant. Bioelectrical impedance has the potential for problems when it comes to hydration, and can vary wildly throughout the day. Calipers are great, but they take a little longer and are more subject to user error. DEXA (Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), which is actually typically used to measure bone density, is the more accurate way to determine bodyfat apart from dissection, but it’s quite expensive.

    Again, not that it really matters, but that guy had a decent point, especially since your diet involved lowering your carbs, which would shed some water from you and throw the bioimpedance scanner off.

    I’m sure the DEXA devices are more accurate, but what a weird criticism for the reviewer to bring up. I used the device the doctor put in my hands.

    Reply
  18. Dave Wilson

    Tom,

    Maybe you could put up a meter to let us know how close you are to having Fat Head pay for itself. One of those big red thermometers with the goal at the top.

    Also, just like “The Perfect Human Diet” project:

    http://perfecthumandiet.us/

    They opened it up to private donations and received enough to shoot and finish the movie. Perhaps a collaborative effort between you, and the Eades, and Malcolm Kendrick, and Steven Guyenet, and Dr. Davis, and Chris Masterjohn (and the whole WPF group), etc. could make a movie without having to shoulder the entire financial burden by one person.

    That would be some Dream Team. I’m not sure if I’d want to look at that thermometer. Since we just received our first royalty check a couple of months ago, we’re still below freezing.

    Reply
  19. Sigi

    I’m torn between laughing with you at the idiots, and feeling sorry for you for having to put up with the idiots. Those who refuse to listen cannot hear.

    Keep up the good work, Tom – and your good spirits! I love how you can turn something which could have been disheartening (well, to a sensitive little poppet like me) into another amusing post. 🙂

    All the best,
    Sigi

    You don’t spend several years working as a standup comedian without developing a thick hide.

    Reply
  20. Linda Louis-VanReed

    Tom;

    My husband found your doc online by accident, watched it, and was so impressed he encouraged me to do the same, which I did (with great delight, I might add) two days ago.

    My husband and I are also people with a low tolerance for the lies and misinformation that is fed to us (no pun intended) in the name of science, philosophy, politics, you name it. We are also “amateur” documentary filmmakers who have spent the past four years pulling together a documentary about Dred and Harriet Scott — their lives and times, and the Dred Scott Decision. We, as human beings, must begin questioning authorities, learn to think critically and dare to continue to educate ourselves, because what happened to them happens to us, even now, 150 years later, every day. As some old dead guy once said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

    Being a historically-themed doc, this thing took lots of research, which fell to me. I became a chronic “sitter.” Snacking constantly replaced real meals and movement long ago. Now, the only muscle that bulges on my body is my fork muscle, which I excercised even as I was viewing your work.

    But as your final credits rolled, I had a personal epiphany. I put down the snacks, resumed meals and even walked a couple of miles yesterday. The muffin top is already shrinking! I will not go back, thanks to you.

    My husband, Bruce, and I want you to know you are appreciated. We know what it is to put life on hold to do a project of this magnitude. We know what it is to fight through “rights” trying to save a dime of your own hard-earned cash. I worked in legal at Disney and in marketing at CBS for a short time, myself. We also have a dear friend scoring us a score. The hardest thing will be dealing with the negative backlash and misunderstanding that comes with the territory when putting your opinions on film. You are able to handle it with panache and aplomb (and even if they weren’t in the room, you’d still do pretty well!). We are with you. Keep working.

    And know that yesterday afternoon, as I rolled through McDonald’s for the first time in about three years, I raised a McRib in your honor.

    Salut! and Merry Christmas!

    I’m very pleased you discovered the film online and wish you all the best in both your renewed commitment to health and your documentary project. I know full well how much work it will require. As you strive to complete the project and deal with all the inevitable criticisms, you may want to refer back to this quote from Theodore Roosevelt:

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

    Reply
  21. Dave Wilson

    Tom,

    Maybe you could put up a meter to let us know how close you are to having Fat Head pay for itself. One of those big red thermometers with the goal at the top.

    Also, just like “The Perfect Human Diet” project:

    http://perfecthumandiet.us/

    They opened it up to private donations and received enough to shoot and finish the movie. Perhaps a collaborative effort between you, and the Eades, and Malcolm Kendrick, and Steven Guyenet, and Dr. Davis, and Chris Masterjohn (and the whole WPF group), etc. could make a movie without having to shoulder the entire financial burden by one person.

    That would be some Dream Team. I’m not sure if I’d want to look at that thermometer. Since we just received our first royalty check a couple of months ago, we’re still below freezing.

    Reply
  22. Christine

    I must say, after accidentally stumbling across your site, I was finally interested enough to watch Supersize Me. I followed it up with Fat Head. And I agree, Spurlock is obviously exaggerating the effects of an all fast food diet.

    Nevertheless, I did find some of your criticisms a bit odd. You frequently criticize Spurlock’s food consumption, stating that he could not have reached an average of 5,000 calories with three meals a day. However, in his movie, meal shots often include a double dessert and consistently large combo meals. In fact, I believe towards the end he is regularly seen eating a McFlurry or sundae. But nor did he ever state that he was limiting himself to three reasonable meals a day, either, whereas you did limit your consumption.

    Furthermore, it seems logical that he would vomit shortly after beginning his “experiment”. After all, prior to gorging on McDonald’s, Spurlock was consuming what appears to be rather small portions of mostly vegetarian fare. Although he discusses his love of meat on camera with his girlfriend, at home he clearly eats vegan. So, despite his recommended daily amount of 2,500 calories, it seems likely that his normal consumption was below that amount (unless he was gorging at lunchtime). That being said, if his caloric input was consistently lower than necessary, his body would have adjusted to burning less energy. In that case, switching to an extreme fast food diet would not only lead to more fat gain–hence the 10ish pounds he gains in the first week–, it would also be seriously uncomfortable for him to shove that large amount of food into his system. Thus the vomiting. It wasn’t the fat, carbs, or “bad” junk he was eating; overeating in any manner would cause the same effect. (Think starving children who eat too much when presented with food….)

    Nevertheless, it does irk me that he implies a McDonald’s addiction was to blame for his lethargy (well, that and his lack of sexual energy). Anyone who has seen a child eat candy knows what a sugar crash looks like. Besides, his claim that he could be addicted to McDonald’s food in less than 30 days is pure fantasy. While scientists do state that long-term, high consumption of sugar (and carbohydrates) will lead consumers to experience a drug-like addiction in their brains, never have they stated that this addiction is to fast food per se nor that it can occur within a week or two.

    I truly enjoyed your movie response, and I wish that the boozlers would learn some critical analysis skills. While I may not agree with all of your opinions, I definitely respect and appreciate the time and effort you have invested in disseminating important information. My takeaway message was not your endorsement of fast food; instead, I felt you emphasized personal responsibility in food choices and the effects of high sugar/carb consumption. Keep up the good work!

    Thank you for the comments. Here’s why I contend that Spurlock was dishonest: Super Size Me was promoted as “Look what happens when a guy eats three meals per day at McDonald’s.” In his rules, he stated he’d eat three square meals per day and only super-size a meal if they asked him. He also said he’d eat everything on the menu at least once. According to the credits, he was only asked to super-size nine times in 30 days.

    If he ordered two or three sandwiches instead of the one sandwich that comes with a combo meal, that’s super-sizing without being asked. If he ordered two desserts, that’s not a meal, it’s dessert. (I could become equally fat by eating two desserts per day at Ben & Jerry’s, then blame them for the rise in obesity.) If he truly ate everything on the menu, that would have to include chicken salads, which are about 400 calories, which means he either ordered more food with the chicken salad, or managed to consume more than 4600 calories in his other two meals — both of which constitute super-sizing without being asked. If he consumed four or five meals per day, that’s also super-sizing without being asked.

    Add it all up, and the core premise of Super Size Me, the premise that was stated in nearly every review — look what happens to a guy who eats three meals per day at McDonald’s — is a big fat lie.

    Reply
  23. Katy

    “Add it all up, and the core premise of Super Size Me, the premise that was stated in nearly every review — look what happens to a guy who eats three meals per day at McDonald’s — is a big fat lie.”

    Precisely! Spurlock failed to follow his own set guidelines by overeating just about everything and then blames McDonald’s food. If he gorged on my grandmother’s Sunday night dinners 3 meals per day, 7 days per week, including the desserts, he’d get fat as well. And everybody claims that her lemon meringue pie was addicting too, although I don’t recall any neighbors lined up outside to get their fix.

    If I ate 5,000 calories per day of his wife’s “purifying” vegan meals, I’d get fat and sick — without even enjoying the food.

    Reply
  24. Linda Louis-VanReed

    Tom;

    My husband found your doc online by accident, watched it, and was so impressed he encouraged me to do the same, which I did (with great delight, I might add) two days ago.

    My husband and I are also people with a low tolerance for the lies and misinformation that is fed to us (no pun intended) in the name of science, philosophy, politics, you name it. We are also “amateur” documentary filmmakers who have spent the past four years pulling together a documentary about Dred and Harriet Scott — their lives and times, and the Dred Scott Decision. We, as human beings, must begin questioning authorities, learn to think critically and dare to continue to educate ourselves, because what happened to them happens to us, even now, 150 years later, every day. As some old dead guy once said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

    Being a historically-themed doc, this thing took lots of research, which fell to me. I became a chronic “sitter.” Snacking constantly replaced real meals and movement long ago. Now, the only muscle that bulges on my body is my fork muscle, which I excercised even as I was viewing your work.

    But as your final credits rolled, I had a personal epiphany. I put down the snacks, resumed meals and even walked a couple of miles yesterday. The muffin top is already shrinking! I will not go back, thanks to you.

    My husband, Bruce, and I want you to know you are appreciated. We know what it is to put life on hold to do a project of this magnitude. We know what it is to fight through “rights” trying to save a dime of your own hard-earned cash. I worked in legal at Disney and in marketing at CBS for a short time, myself. We also have a dear friend scoring us a score. The hardest thing will be dealing with the negative backlash and misunderstanding that comes with the territory when putting your opinions on film. You are able to handle it with panache and aplomb (and even if they weren’t in the room, you’d still do pretty well!). We are with you. Keep working.

    And know that yesterday afternoon, as I rolled through McDonald’s for the first time in about three years, I raised a McRib in your honor.

    Salut! and Merry Christmas!

    I’m very pleased you discovered the film online and wish you all the best in both your renewed commitment to health and your documentary project. I know full well how much work it will require. As you strive to complete the project and deal with all the inevitable criticisms, you may want to refer back to this quote from Theodore Roosevelt:

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

    Reply
  25. Christine

    I must say, after accidentally stumbling across your site, I was finally interested enough to watch Supersize Me. I followed it up with Fat Head. And I agree, Spurlock is obviously exaggerating the effects of an all fast food diet.

    Nevertheless, I did find some of your criticisms a bit odd. You frequently criticize Spurlock’s food consumption, stating that he could not have reached an average of 5,000 calories with three meals a day. However, in his movie, meal shots often include a double dessert and consistently large combo meals. In fact, I believe towards the end he is regularly seen eating a McFlurry or sundae. But nor did he ever state that he was limiting himself to three reasonable meals a day, either, whereas you did limit your consumption.

    Furthermore, it seems logical that he would vomit shortly after beginning his “experiment”. After all, prior to gorging on McDonald’s, Spurlock was consuming what appears to be rather small portions of mostly vegetarian fare. Although he discusses his love of meat on camera with his girlfriend, at home he clearly eats vegan. So, despite his recommended daily amount of 2,500 calories, it seems likely that his normal consumption was below that amount (unless he was gorging at lunchtime). That being said, if his caloric input was consistently lower than necessary, his body would have adjusted to burning less energy. In that case, switching to an extreme fast food diet would not only lead to more fat gain–hence the 10ish pounds he gains in the first week–, it would also be seriously uncomfortable for him to shove that large amount of food into his system. Thus the vomiting. It wasn’t the fat, carbs, or “bad” junk he was eating; overeating in any manner would cause the same effect. (Think starving children who eat too much when presented with food….)

    Nevertheless, it does irk me that he implies a McDonald’s addiction was to blame for his lethargy (well, that and his lack of sexual energy). Anyone who has seen a child eat candy knows what a sugar crash looks like. Besides, his claim that he could be addicted to McDonald’s food in less than 30 days is pure fantasy. While scientists do state that long-term, high consumption of sugar (and carbohydrates) will lead consumers to experience a drug-like addiction in their brains, never have they stated that this addiction is to fast food per se nor that it can occur within a week or two.

    I truly enjoyed your movie response, and I wish that the boozlers would learn some critical analysis skills. While I may not agree with all of your opinions, I definitely respect and appreciate the time and effort you have invested in disseminating important information. My takeaway message was not your endorsement of fast food; instead, I felt you emphasized personal responsibility in food choices and the effects of high sugar/carb consumption. Keep up the good work!

    Thank you for the comments. Here’s why I contend that Spurlock was dishonest: Super Size Me was promoted as “Look what happens when a guy eats three meals per day at McDonald’s.” In his rules, he stated he’d eat three square meals per day and only super-size a meal if they asked him. He also said he’d eat everything on the menu at least once. According to the credits, he was only asked to super-size nine times in 30 days.

    If he ordered two or three sandwiches instead of the one sandwich that comes with a combo meal, that’s super-sizing without being asked. If he ordered two desserts, that’s not a meal, it’s dessert. (I could become equally fat by eating two desserts per day at Ben & Jerry’s, then blame them for the rise in obesity.) If he truly ate everything on the menu, that would have to include chicken salads, which are about 400 calories, which means he either ordered more food with the chicken salad, or managed to consume more than 4600 calories in his other two meals — both of which constitute super-sizing without being asked. If he consumed four or five meals per day, that’s also super-sizing without being asked.

    Add it all up, and the core premise of Super Size Me, the premise that was stated in nearly every review — look what happens to a guy who eats three meals per day at McDonald’s — is a big fat lie.

    Reply
  26. Katy

    “Add it all up, and the core premise of Super Size Me, the premise that was stated in nearly every review — look what happens to a guy who eats three meals per day at McDonald’s — is a big fat lie.”

    Precisely! Spurlock failed to follow his own set guidelines by overeating just about everything and then blames McDonald’s food. If he gorged on my grandmother’s Sunday night dinners 3 meals per day, 7 days per week, including the desserts, he’d get fat as well. And everybody claims that her lemon meringue pie was addicting too, although I don’t recall any neighbors lined up outside to get their fix.

    If I ate 5,000 calories per day of his wife’s “purifying” vegan meals, I’d get fat and sick — without even enjoying the food.

    Reply
  27. Elenor

    …what you’d do different had you filmed it now.

    So, will your next film be called “Smart Head”?

    Look, everyone who loves Tom – buy copies of Fat Head for *at least* two people for xmas (or birthday, or cause you love ’em!) and let’s see if we can’t get him paid off so he can start all over again…. (See, Tom? Be careful what you ask for!! You might get it.)

    That would be a heck of a Christmas.

    Reply
  28. Dawn

    “If Fat Head pays for itself, I have other ideas in mind. If I started shooting it again today, it would be a different film.”

    In reading your reply- it sounds like grounds for a second film. My boys loved Fathead, especially the empty garage with sound effects. (It also changed how we consider food- haven’t had a bowl of cereal since…)

    As for the last guy’s (in the post) talk about a nutritionist, I lent it to a friend to watch and she lent it to a nutritionist who pretty much said “yeah, no kidding, I could have told you that already”

    Glad to know there are some nutritionists in the world who don’t just parrot the low-fat, high-carb dogma.

    Reply
  29. Auntie M

    Hey, Tom. Sorry about the haters. I got that reaction at school the other day when I told a fellow teacher that I used lard for cooking. Her startled, “But that’s loaded with saturated fat!” and the look of horror on her face made me sad. Surprisingly, she didn’t use the seemingly ubiquitous run-on phrase “artery-clogging-saturated fat”. I tried to explain, but I’m not sure she gets it. Or understands the word “ubiquitous”.

    I directed her to Hulu and your movie, and I hope she’ll watch. In the meantime, I just went there and gave you a 5-star rating. It should cancel out someone’s negative one. My blood pressure would go through the roof if I tried to deal with so many ignorant people at the same time.

    I appreciate the five-star rating. If I allowed my blood pressure to rise every time some ding-dong posted an uninformed comment on something related to Fat Head, my head would’ve burst months ago.

    Reply
  30. Elenor

    …what you’d do different had you filmed it now.

    So, will your next film be called “Smart Head”?

    Look, everyone who loves Tom – buy copies of Fat Head for *at least* two people for xmas (or birthday, or cause you love ’em!) and let’s see if we can’t get him paid off so he can start all over again…. (See, Tom? Be careful what you ask for!! You might get it.)

    That would be a heck of a Christmas.

    Reply
  31. Dawn

    “If Fat Head pays for itself, I have other ideas in mind. If I started shooting it again today, it would be a different film.”

    In reading your reply- it sounds like grounds for a second film. My boys loved Fathead, especially the empty garage with sound effects. (It also changed how we consider food- haven’t had a bowl of cereal since…)

    As for the last guy’s (in the post) talk about a nutritionist, I lent it to a friend to watch and she lent it to a nutritionist who pretty much said “yeah, no kidding, I could have told you that already”

    Glad to know there are some nutritionists in the world who don’t just parrot the low-fat, high-carb dogma.

    Reply
  32. Hector

    Hi Tom. I recommended some gym trainers the low carb paleo diets. To my great (but not surprising) shock they get angry saying you need carbs to build muscle. They go on and on saying that carbs are the primary fuel source for muscles etc etc etc. What can I say to them in this aspect?

    Carbs are the primary source of fuel for muscles if you’ve conditioned your body to burn glucose. Otherwise, muscles will happily burn fat and ketones, along with some glucose derived from protein.

    You might want to ask them how they explain the incredible endurance of the Inuits, who lived on nothing but fish, caribou and seal meat most of the year, as described in the book “Kabloona.” Or why people from the buffalo-hunting tribes were taller and stronger than the white settlers. Or how Neanderthals managed to become so muscular and strong on a diet that was 90% meat.

    Reply
  33. Auntie M

    Hey, Tom. Sorry about the haters. I got that reaction at school the other day when I told a fellow teacher that I used lard for cooking. Her startled, “But that’s loaded with saturated fat!” and the look of horror on her face made me sad. Surprisingly, she didn’t use the seemingly ubiquitous run-on phrase “artery-clogging-saturated fat”. I tried to explain, but I’m not sure she gets it. Or understands the word “ubiquitous”.

    I directed her to Hulu and your movie, and I hope she’ll watch. In the meantime, I just went there and gave you a 5-star rating. It should cancel out someone’s negative one. My blood pressure would go through the roof if I tried to deal with so many ignorant people at the same time.

    I appreciate the five-star rating. If I allowed my blood pressure to rise every time some ding-dong posted an uninformed comment on something related to Fat Head, my head would’ve burst months ago.

    Reply
  34. Pascal

    Good job with the movie. I was rather irritated by Spurlock when his movie came out, but didn’t do anything about it. Kudos to you. I’ll be sure to spread the word.

    Just one question: How do you manage to keep calm in spite of all the haters? I don’t think I would be able *not* to let it get to me. How did you grow such a thick skin?

    Well, for one, I spent years as a standup comedian, so you either develop thick skin or suffer. For another, I firmly believe that if you let them get to you, they win. I’m already instilling that belief in my girls.

    I knew a lot of people consider Spurlock a hero, so I expected some heated reactions.

    Reply
  35. Hector

    Hi Tom. I recommended some gym trainers the low carb paleo diets. To my great (but not surprising) shock they get angry saying you need carbs to build muscle. They go on and on saying that carbs are the primary fuel source for muscles etc etc etc. What can I say to them in this aspect?

    Carbs are the primary source of fuel for muscles if you’ve conditioned your body to burn glucose. Otherwise, muscles will happily burn fat and ketones, along with some glucose derived from protein.

    You might want to ask them how they explain the incredible endurance of the Inuits, who lived on nothing but fish, caribou and seal meat most of the year, as described in the book “Kabloona.” Or why people from the buffalo-hunting tribes were taller and stronger than the white settlers. Or how Neanderthals managed to become so muscular and strong on a diet that was 90% meat.

    Reply
  36. Pascal

    Good job with the movie. I was rather irritated by Spurlock when his movie came out, but didn’t do anything about it. Kudos to you. I’ll be sure to spread the word.

    Just one question: How do you manage to keep calm in spite of all the haters? I don’t think I would be able *not* to let it get to me. How did you grow such a thick skin?

    Well, for one, I spent years as a standup comedian, so you either develop thick skin or suffer. For another, I firmly believe that if you let them get to you, they win. I’m already instilling that belief in my girls.

    I knew a lot of people consider Spurlock a hero, so I expected some heated reactions.

    Reply
  37. Tammy

    Tom – I can’t believe some of those comments, they are just down right mean. I think people are just ignorant. If I read or see something that I just don’t or can’t believe, I go online to do research before I make up my mind. I can see where most people would be pretty surprised by the information in FatHead, but there just doesn’t seem to be a reason to be that mean in the comments. This makes me totally believe people who post like that have an alternative agenda.

    Spurlock’s film appealed far more to emotions than to logic or reason, so it doesn’t surprise me his fans reacted emotionally. Jacob Sullum (you saw him in Fat Head) told me he attended some event for Super Size Me, and someone actually asked Spurlock a bit of a challenging question, which Spurlock never bothered to answer because the crowd began booing and shouting down the questioner.

    Reply
  38. Chris

    I was furious when I watched Fat Head the first time, but not at you. I was furious at all of the bad advice our government has foisted on us. People who attack your film on Hulu are either not smart enough to unlearn what they “know” to be true or they are too insecure to admit they have been wrong. These will be the people who turn to Big Pharma and lap band surgery to help them lose weight.

    Tonight’s post (in progress) about the people you just described.

    Reply
  39. Tammy

    Tom – I can’t believe some of those comments, they are just down right mean. I think people are just ignorant. If I read or see something that I just don’t or can’t believe, I go online to do research before I make up my mind. I can see where most people would be pretty surprised by the information in FatHead, but there just doesn’t seem to be a reason to be that mean in the comments. This makes me totally believe people who post like that have an alternative agenda.

    Spurlock’s film appealed far more to emotions than to logic or reason, so it doesn’t surprise me his fans reacted emotionally. Jacob Sullum (you saw him in Fat Head) told me he attended some event for Super Size Me, and someone actually asked Spurlock a bit of a challenging question, which Spurlock never bothered to answer because the crowd began booing and shouting down the questioner.

    Reply
  40. Pascal

    Well, I’m heartened to have seen a voice of reason. I am even more heartened to see that it is not easily intimidated. And I don’t even have a dog in this fight.
    Bravo.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  41. Chris

    I was furious when I watched Fat Head the first time, but not at you. I was furious at all of the bad advice our government has foisted on us. People who attack your film on Hulu are either not smart enough to unlearn what they “know” to be true or they are too insecure to admit they have been wrong. These will be the people who turn to Big Pharma and lap band surgery to help them lose weight.

    Tonight’s post (in progress) about the people you just described.

    Reply
  42. Pascal

    Well, I’m heartened to have seen a voice of reason. I am even more heartened to see that it is not easily intimidated. And I don’t even have a dog in this fight.
    Bravo.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  43. DiscoStew

    Tom, what do you think would happen in the following scenario re: a person’s weight:

    A person is eating a maintenance level of 2500cals a day. These 2500 cals, however, are mostly made up of high GI foods (ie this person eats a lot of crap).

    The person then switches to a low GI diet (ie all healthy primal foods, no grains, no sugar, etc) but maintains a caloric intake of 2500cals a day.

    What would happen to this person’s weight?
    What would happen to this person’s body composition?

    DS

    I’d expect body composition to change; more lean mass, less fat. Weight may or may not change, depending on whether there was some muscle gain, which extra protein would encourage.

    Reply
  44. DiscoStew

    Tom, what do you think would happen in the following scenario re: a person’s weight:

    A person is eating a maintenance level of 2500cals a day. These 2500 cals, however, are mostly made up of high GI foods (ie this person eats a lot of crap).

    The person then switches to a low GI diet (ie all healthy primal foods, no grains, no sugar, etc) but maintains a caloric intake of 2500cals a day.

    What would happen to this person’s weight?
    What would happen to this person’s body composition?

    DS

    I’d expect body composition to change; more lean mass, less fat. Weight may or may not change, depending on whether there was some muscle gain, which extra protein would encourage.

    Reply
  45. Trenton

    Don’t worry, Tom… I’ve been responding to some of the nonsense on there. Poking jabs at the ignorance. Funny thing though, more than half of the negative reviews on there are complaints about your tone with the film. People are too overly-sensitive to a little “look how stupid this is” to appreciate the factual information.

    I appreciate you defending my honor. I’m not at all surprised at some of the reactions. During my days as a standup, I learned pretty quickly that when comedians take sides on controversial issues, each audience member’s perception of whether or not the material is funny depends mostly on whether or not they agree with the comedian’s viewpoint. That’s why even though plenty of people think Bill Maher is hilarious, I find him annoying. So I knew ahead of time that people who love Spurlock and hate McDonald’s would be annoyed.

    Reply
  46. Trenton

    Don’t worry, Tom… I’ve been responding to some of the nonsense on there. Poking jabs at the ignorance. Funny thing though, more than half of the negative reviews on there are complaints about your tone with the film. People are too overly-sensitive to a little “look how stupid this is” to appreciate the factual information.

    I appreciate you defending my honor. I’m not at all surprised at some of the reactions. During my days as a standup, I learned pretty quickly that when comedians take sides on controversial issues, each audience member’s perception of whether or not the material is funny depends mostly on whether or not they agree with the comedian’s viewpoint. That’s why even though plenty of people think Bill Maher is hilarious, I find him annoying. So I knew ahead of time that people who love Spurlock and hate McDonald’s would be annoyed.

    Reply
  47. betty

    I noticed that you said in this post “I didn’t drink sodas”. You also said in your documentary, when talking about sodas, that you drank “zero” of it. Yet, there are clips that show you ordering Diet Coke in McDonalds. At the end visit with your doctor, when he asks what you drank, you said “Diet Coke, water, iced tea.” ??? So I’m really confused by the claims that you drank “zero” soda. Diet Coke is soda in my book. Or did you not count it because it contains sugar substitute and not real sugar?

    BTW I really enjoyed the film, but this one point stuck out at me.

    In the film, I stated that I drink zero sugary sodas. I still drank Diet Coke at the time. I’ve since given up sodas entirely.

    Reply

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