Story idea of the day

January 29, 2004

A filmmaker went on an all-McDonald’s diet and it made him sick as a dog.

Within a few days of beginning his drive-through diet, Spurlock, 33, was vomiting out the window of his car, and doctors who examined him were shocked at how rapidly Spurlock’s entire body deteriorated.

“It was really crazy – my body basically fell apart over the course of 30 days,” Spurlock told The Post.

His liver became toxic, his cholesterol shot up from a low 165 to 230, his libido flagged and he suffered headaches and depression.

And he got some doctors to go along with it:

Over the course of the film, Spurlock is regularly examined by a gastroenterologist, a cardiologist and SoHo-based general practitioner Dr. Daryl Isaacs.

“He was an extremely healthy person who got very sick eating this McDonald’s diet,” Dr. Isaacs told The Post.

“None of us imagined he could deteriorate this badly – he looked terrible. The liver test was the most shocking thing – it became very, very abnormal.”

Spurlock has since returned to normal health. “The treatment was to just stop doing what he was doing,” Dr. Isaacs says.

Update: the filmmaker was named best director in Sundance’s documentary category.

2 Responses to Story idea of the day

  1. Bill on February 2, 2004 at 11:24 pm

    I’m not quite sure what you’re implying, Tom. Do you think, as I do, that some entertaining but utterly dishonest Michael Moore-style shenanigans were involved?
    I mean, you might not want to live on McDonald’s food for an extended period of time, but, come on, the stuff isn’t instantly toxic. And I’ve never understood all the talk about the greazzzy hamburgers. If anything, the problem with McDonald’s hamburgers is that they’re dry as a bone — not nearly greasy enough.

  2. tom on February 3, 2004 at 7:13 am

    Bill: I’ve since learned that the experiment was in fact cooked to make things worse than they might’ve been.
    The guy was apparently in very good physical condition … I’m guessing he worked out regularly. One of the conditions of his “experiment” no exercise… not even walking more than a mile to get to a franchise.
    So, a guy who is physically active stops … automatically serum chlesterol rises as the body stores fat assuming physical activity will resume. (This happened to me … I gained 10 pounds this fall when I was spending all my time blogging and skipping my morning workouts). Then he goes on an all-cholesterol diet w/no exercise. Stacks the deck in favor of massive cholesterol spike.