Don't Eat This Book

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Overview

The literary debut of the funniest and most incisive new voice to come along since Michael Moore-and the acclaimed director of the film phenomenon of the year.

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. The resulting documentary won him resounding applause and a worldwide release that broke box-office...

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Overview

The literary debut of the funniest and most incisive new voice to come along since Michael Moore-and the acclaimed director of the film phenomenon of the year.

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. The resulting documentary won him resounding applause and a worldwide release that broke box-office records. Audiences were captivated by Spurlock's experiment, during which he gained twenty-five pounds, his blood pressure skyrocketed, and his libido all but disappeared.

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. He interviewed experts in twenty U.S. cities-from surgeon generals and kids to lawmakers and marketing gurus-who share their research, opinions, and "gut feelings" on our ever-expanding girth and what we can all do to offset a health crisis of supersized proportions.

In this groundbreaking, hilarious book, "benevolent muckraker" Morgan Spurlock debuts a wry investigative voice that will appeal to anyone interested in the health of our country, our children, and ourselves.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
By now, the entire Western world knows the story of Morgan Spurlock's McExperiment: To test the health effects of fast food consumption, the young filmmaker indulged himself with an all-McDonald's diet for 30 days. By the end of the month, the results were painfully apparent: Spurlock had gained 25 pounds; his blood pressure had skyrocketed; and his libido had all but evaporated. His documentary Super Size Me captured his ballooning condition in award-winning fashion. Don't Eat This Book takes his fast food addiction out on the road. Spurlock travels across the country, visiting schools, hospitals, and private homes to investigate how our sleazy eating habits and the declining emphasis on health and physical education are undermining our well-being. He interviews surgeon-generals, lawmakers, health researchers, and physicians on our girth-expanding diets and even queries pint-sized kids on their eating preferences. A muckraking main course.
Publishers Weekly
Though he wasn't much of an activist before his monthlong, McDonald's-eating experiment (documented in his film Super Size Me), Spurlock has since become a crusader for healthy eating. His passion is obvious in his reading of this audiobook, which delves more deeply into the issues his film raised, focusing in particular on food industry lobbyists and youth-oriented advertising. His undisguised indignation at their manipulative tactics and his contempt for the often slothful modern American lifestyle rise inexorably as he reels off statistics about calorie content, chemical additives, lack of exercise and so on. Frequently, his enthusiasm leads him to read too quickly and, without visuals showing portion sizes or unhealthy trends, the audio loses some of its impact. Spurlock also announces "sidebar" every time he begins reading what in the book are separate boxes, which is unnecessary and somewhat irritating since the information always relates to what he has been discussing. But the sincerity of Spurlock's quest and his mockery of the people behind what he sees as a national threat-he humorously mimics the voices of advertising executives and food industry honchos when reading their claims-makes this audio easy to consume. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 28). (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In his Academy Award-nominated documentary, Super Size Me, Spurlock gave us a firsthand look at the effects of a McDonald's diet, using himself as a guinea pig. Here, he describes that experience and takes to task McDonald's in particular and the fast food industry in general for their shameless advertising, lobbying, and public relations tactics; he also exposes organizations supporting the fast food industry that claim to know what constitutes a healthy diet. In his view, the expansion of McDonald's into Asia, Europe, and Africa is causing the breakdown of traditional diets and the rise of obesity and related illnesses in countries where it was formerly minimal or nonexistent. In discussing the widespread use of fast food in schools, he points to the differences in student health and performance when the schools replace these foods with healthy fare. Sidebars throughout complement the text with facts and figures placing the fast food dilemma in a broader perspective. Readers interested in a comprehensive look at the fast food industry's influence on our eating habits and fans of Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation and Marion Nestle's Food Politics will eagerly digest this book. Recommended for public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/04.]-Irwin Weintraub, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399152603
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/19/2005
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Morgan Spurlock is a writer, director, and producer, and in 2004 he was awarded the Best Director prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2006

    reveals horrors of american lifestyles

    not just a book on fast food in america but shows the overall nasty health habits of the average U.S. citizen. horrifying eye opener that not just people concerned about their health, but everybody should read. perhaps this and other books similar to it will open the eyes of the unhealthy citizens of America. perhaps if you blow this off then you are aware that you are not going to like the truths stated in this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2006

    You won't want to eat at McDonald's ever again!

    Find out the real truth of fast-food restaurants, and you will soon discover why you should never eat it again. I give lots of credit to Morgan for doing this experiment to show the world the horrible effects of eating McDonalds. Keep up the work!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2006

    This IS a must read book if ever one was made

    I was skeptical when a few of my friends and I decided to watch Super-Size Me. Everyone was talking about it, and we wanted to see what the fuss was about. We bought McDonalds before we popped the DVD in, and settled down with our burgers and fries to watch away. It was the last time I ever ate McDonalds. The same way Spurlock has of making his information accessible, interesting, and horrifying in Super-Size Me, he carries over into Don¿t Eat This Book. Fans of Spurlock¿s will of course love this book, but you don¿t need to be a fan of his to enjoy this. You don¿t need to be a `food nazi¿ or an activist. Everyone should read this book and I think the vast majority will enjoy it, but also appreciate it and its information. For instance, while the movie focused on McDonald¿s, no one is safe from scrutiny in this book, not even Subway. And, the information uncovered about America¿s cafeteria will shock and horrify you. Is the whole book one shock after another? No, it¿s information that will help you make the best possible choices for you and those you love. But is it both compelling and interesting? Absolutely. Buy a copy for yourself, then read it and give it to a friend or family member you love, making them promise to pass it on. Highest recommendations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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