DEBUNK THE JUNK – July 25, 2004

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“What we did in making nutrition labeling mandatory did not help obesity.  In fact, some people would say it hurt.  The first thing we notice is this contradiction about the fact that we had mandatory nutrition labeling for ten years, and the situation got steadily worse during that time … Fifty percent of Americans now say that they never exercise.” – Acting FDA chief Lester Crawford to attendees of the World Obesity Congress and Expo noting that nutrition labels haven't helped Americans lose weight


I must apologize to my readers……..once I started my second month-long McDonald’s adventure in June, I found that much of the writing I did became proprietary to my film.  Nevertheless, I have been asked to update my “adventures” while I finish the final interviews and editing process and move towards completion of my response to “Super Size Me”.


First, I’m happy to announce that after the second round at McDonalds, I lost an additional 8 pounds—this in addition to the 10 I lost in April—for a total of 18 pounds!  Through moderate exercise and healthier eating habits, I have kept the weight off.  Although my overall cholesterol stayed at 197, my good cholesterol went up because of increased exercise. 


Given that my June Golden Arches adventure involved evaluating the practice of eating healthy, balanced portions, I did not adhere to my April requirements of eating everything at least once—which allowed me to indulge occasionally in a chocolate shake and some fries.  However, I attempted to stay within a 1,800 to 2,000 calorie-a-day range—a task made easier thanks to the nutritional information flyers (now found on the back of the tray liners).  I will be posting my dietary information for June shortly.


I must admit that I have thoroughly enjoyed this project.  It has been a study in both our agricultural practices and eating habits—not to mention cultural differences through the ages.  I’ve also spent time reading a few books about McDonald’s and can highly recommend McDonald’s, Behind the Golden Arches by John F. Love.  The restaurant allowed the author unprecedented access to the quick service giant, and, unlike Morgan Spurlock, Mr. Love actually seems to care about presenting a factual piece of work rather than succumbing to politically correct notions of good and bad food and promoting obesity law suits.  You can acquire a copy of the Love book over the Internet or check with your local library for a fascinating read.


Check in occasionally as I keep you posted on the progress of my film and answer some of the letters and e-mails I’ve been receiving.  Just keep in mind……..the best way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more…….one day at a time.