By: Robert Tanenberg
Have you seen the movie “Super Size Me”?
This documentary tells the story of oneman, documentary filmmaker MorganSpurlock, who ate all his meals for 30 days atMcDonalds.
I don’t want to reveal the amazing results ofhis experiment, but let’s take a look at whatactually happens to your body after eating avery fatty meal.
Endothelial Dysfunction: What Is It?
Type 2s are considered to have theequivalent of coronary artery disease andneed to reduce their risk with a healthy dietand lipid-lowering medications.
One of the most important new researchtests of circulation is a measurement ofendothelial dysfunction. The endotheliumis the lining of the arteries. Damage to theendothelium may lead to a blood clot,causing a heart attack or stroke.
Endothelial Function and the Fast-Food Diet
A few years ago, several prominentcardiologists at the University of Marylandmeasured endothelial dysfunction in healthysubjects after eating a standard McDonald’sbreakfast.
The study participants ate an Egg McMuffinwith sausages and hash browns (900 calorieswith 50 grams of fat). The researchers foundthat the endothelium became abnormal onehour after the meal and worsened over thenext three hours.
It took up to five hours for the endothelium toreturn to normal after just one fast-food meal.
This finding suggests that eating this typeof diet may deposit lipid-containing plaqueson the innermost layer of the wall of anartery—independent of any increase inblood cholesterol levels.
Fast Food and Erectile Dysfunction
Another interesting note is that erectiledysfunction is associated with endothelialdysfunction.
In “Super Size Me,” Morgan Spurlocknotes a marked decrease in his sexualfunction, despite his otherwise good healthand normal sexual function prior to theexperiment. It is clear to me why his all-McDonald’s diet was bad for his sex life:The high-fat diet clearly caused endothelialdysfunction. Fortunately, the problem wascompletely reversible when he resumed anormal diet.
Dr. Tanenberg Gives a Thumbs-Up
In addition to seeing the movie, I stronglyrecommend that you consider healthyalternatives to eating fast food. It really willmake a difference.
Did you see ‘Super Size Me’ and decidethat Morgan Spurlock’s movie was a bunch of baloney?
Well, research has confirmed the underlying message of the documentary: Fast-foodconsumption does increase the risk of obesity and type 2, plain and simple.
In a study starting in 1985, 3,031 black and white adults between the ages of 18 and 30 were followed for 15 years. Participants volunteered information on physical activity and on how often they ate fast food at establishments such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Pizza Hut.
The researchers reported that the frequency of consumption of fast food was lowestfor white women, at about 1.3 times per week, compared with that of the othergroups, which was about twice weekly. They added that the frequency of fast-foodconsumption was directly associated with changes in body weight in both black andwhite participants.
The researchers also found that changes in frequency of fast-food consumption weredirectly associated with insulin resistance in both groups. In addition, those consumingfast food at least twice a week gained an extra 10 pounds of body weight and had atwo-fold greater increase of insulin resistance than those who ate fast food less thanonce a week.
—The Lancet, January 1, 2005