While visiting his mother during a Thanksgiving holiday, Morgan Spurlock turned on the TV news. He watched a report about how two women were suing McDonald's, claiming that eating McDonald's food caused them to become obese. Spurlock at the time wanted to be a documentary filmmaker and the story about the two obese women suing the fast-food chain gave him an idea. Why not film a documentary about someone who consumes all their meals at only McDonald's and record the results of what happens. Thus, the idea for the Academy Award-nominated documentary, Super Size Me was born. Spurlock decided that he would be the star of this film. At the start of the film, Spurlock's health is evaluated by three physicians, a nutritionist, and a personal trainer, all of whom agree that the 32-year-old Spurlock is in better than average condition based on a number of lab and physical tests. When Spurlock tells them of his plans to live exclusively on McDonald's meals for 30 days, he is warned about possible negative health consequences, although one person tells him that his body would adapt to the fast-food fare. It turned out that the person who told him that was correct, but it was not a positive adaptation, to say the least. When he began his McDonald's diet, Spurlock stood 6 feet-2 and weighed 185 pounds.
The film, released in 2004, documented Spurlock's meals at McDonald's for 30 days, February 1 to March 2, 2003. Spurlock consumed three meals a day at McDonald's and made sure to consume everything on the McDonald's menu at least once. He claimed to consume an average of 5,000 calories a day, or about twice the amount recommended for someone of his size. This level of caloric intake caused him to gain 24 pounds within the month. In addition, his plasma cholesterol rose to 230, and he experienced numerous mood swings and even sexual problems. His liver showed extensive fat accumulation, a condition known as "Non-alcoholic fatty liver," which is now at epidemic levels in Americans. This fatty liver is closely linked to cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and type-2 diabetes onset. After getting off the fast-food diet, it took Spurlock 14 months to lose all the weight he had gained, and he did that by consuming a largely vegetarian diet. Much of the calories that Spurlock ingested during his tenure at McDonald's consisted of larger than usual meals called 'Super Size meals," hence the title of his film. He also consumed non-diet soda and milkshakes with the meals that were also "super-sized," containing 42 ounces of soda along with a massive amount of sugar. He gained nearly 10 pounds during the first five days of the diet and complained of lethargy, depression, and headaches that were relieved when he consumed another Super . . .