From the book jacket: Can man live on fast food alone? Morgan
Spurlock tried to do just that. For thirty days, he ate nothing but
three "squares" a day from McDonald's as part of an investigation into
the effects of fast food on American health. He gained twenty-five
pounds, his blood pressure skyrocketed, and his libido all but
But this story goes far beyond Spurlock's good-humored "Mc-Sickness." He traveled across the country - into schools, hospitals, and people's homes - to investigate school lunch programs, the marketing of fast food, and the declining emphasis on health and physical education. He looks at why fast food is so tasty, cheap, and ultimately seductive, and what Americans can do to turn the rising tide of obesity, hypertension, and diabetes that have accompanied its ever-growing popularity.
Comment: I didn't see the documentary on which this book is based (although my son did as part of his 6th grade curriculum last year), but I did enjoy, for want of a better word, the book. If you've read Fast Food Nation or Fat Land this offers very little new information but for the many who are still oblivious to the dangers of of eating what passes for food in places such as McDonalds, Spurlock's book or documentary will offer much food for thought. Actually, I doubt that anyone reading this will be 'oblivious' to the concerns about much (not all) fast food, it's simply that we are all fire-fighting so much incoming information that it's difficult to know what to prioritize.
On a personal note, as a family we haven't eaten at McDonalds for years. When the children were small it was hard work countering the pressure of 'free' toys and other goodies, so we'd give in occasionally; but by the time they were 5 they were old enough to understand that the toys were far from free, and the Happy Meals really didn't even taste that good. The final sucker punch came when a rat ran over my daughter's foot while we waited in line at McDonalds. The fact that a restaurant had a rat in it would not be world shattering. However what proved to be the lasting image for the children was when the staff shooed it out the door with a broom - straight into the children's play area where it ran into one of the big plastic tubes that they'd just been playing in!
This review was originally published in June 2005, and has been updated for the May 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.
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