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Volume 1, Issue 1
Spring 2005:

Food for Thought: "Supersize Me"

Review by: Tamar Hoffmann

Cell 2 Soul. 2005 Spring; 1(1):a3

Hippocrates said "let Food be your Medicine, and Medicine by your Food"; Medicine has changed a lot since his time, science and technology have brought incredible advances, we are able to fight disease with miraculous medications and devices, nonetheless basic nutrition is still crucial to our health. Much has been said and written about "fast foods", and their contribution to diseases of the modern age from obesity and diabetes to heart disease, the cost of these diseases to our economy is enormous and growing, prevention is logical and cost effective, but implementation of successful changes in behavior and life style is still difficult. As physicians we do have an important role of educating our patients about health and disease prevention, unfortunately the current structure of out medical system does not allow us the time necessary to conduct such discussions. We do what we can by talking to patients one on one when a crisis occurs, and sometimes to groups of people in lectures about prevention. How effective are these individual efforts? And how do we reach larger audiences and people that do not come to our office or our lectures? How do we affect the eating habits of our younger generation and teach them about nutrition?

Morgan Spurlock has done it for us in his documentary "Supersize me", recently released as DVD. For those who haven't seen the movie yet, the director committed himself to a diet consisting only of "supersize" highly caloric fast foods and drinks for 30 days, and tracked the changes in his subjective symptoms and general state of health as well as the objectives signs of weight, and laboratory findings including lipids, glucose and liver enzymes. I thought he did an excellent job of showing the consequences of eating and especially overeating fast foods, and that this movie can be used as an effective tool in reaching larger audiences especially our youth, and making an impact on their eating habits and life style.

I think this movie should be shown in all schools, community centers, clinics, and for employees in as many businesses as possible to spread the message around and start a movement of healthier eating habits, maybe trigger initiatives for developing healthier, less caloric "fast foods".

Please watch the movie with your family, if you haven't yet, recommend it to your friends, colleagues, and state officials at your local departments of health and education. Together we can make a difference.

And remember, "you are what you eat".

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