Wouldn’t it make you spew?

Heath Gibson at Catallaxy posts about a bloke in the US who has conducted research into the health effects of McDonalds food by eating there exclusively 3 times per day for a prolonged period. As Heath puts it:

Predictably, Spurlock put on weight and suffered a range of health problem. He might want to claim this as some sort of revelation or political statement. But I think the only real message from this is that anyone who deliberately and repeatedly does something to themselves that they know is unhealthy and then tries to make any sort of statement about anything other than their own gross stupidity, is a supersized d!ckhead.

Tim Dunlop disagrees with Heath:

Really? I actually thought it was a pretty good idea for a documentary, but more importantly, I thought the results (if acurately reported) are astounding. Maybe Heath just had a much lower opinion of McDonalds than I did, but I’m with the doctor in the doco, I would never imagined Spurlock’s health could decline that drastically and that rapidly. I would’ve thought, sure, you’d put on some weight and get blotchy, but not dangerously ill. Maybe I’m nutso, but it seems to me you shouldn’t get that sick if you eat McDonalds three times a day. It shouldn’t destroy your liver. (Call me old fashioned.) This suggests they have crossed the line from unhealthy to poisonous. Again, presuming the results are accurate, I think Spurlock has every right to claim his adventure as a political statement and a revelation.

I don’t have anything sensible to add to Heath and Tim’s contributions. They just provide me with an opportunity to recount another reminiscence from my young and silly undergraduate days (as opposed to my young and silly post-graduate days):

I must have been 19 or 20 when these events occurred, and living in the inner west of Sydney while attending Sydney University. Like many uni students in those early days of the Whitlam government, I saw myself as a bit of a rad: Jimmy Dean rebel without a cause, without the sports car or filmstar good looks.

One day a group of us, brains addled by excessive consumption of gunja, decided to make a guerilla raid on McDonalds, the embodiment (as we saw it) of US imperialist multinational corporate consumerist exploitation. One of our group attended a local GP and obtained a prescription for Ipecac, a medicine that induces vomiting. We all rocked into the local Maccas on Broadway, ordered up big on quarter pounders, large fries, thick shakes and all the trimmings, chugged the requisite dose of Ipecac and waited. Nothing happened. We ordered more burgers and fries and scoffed them. Still nothing happened.

Belatedly someone suggested that we look more closely at the label on the medicine in which we’d been placing our revolutionary faith. It turned out to be Stematol, an anti-seasickness remedy whose effects are precisely opposite to Ipecac. The doctor had obviously dealt with dickhead stoned uni students before. We decided the only viable solution was to go home and consider a revised approach over several more bongs. Somehow or other the Raid on Maccas plan was never revived.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Mork
Mork
2022 years ago

Ken, some of us look up to you and don’t want to know about such things!

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Mork,

Most of us were young and silly once. Most of us also mature (like a fine red wine), but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t acknowledge our youthful folly, or find some of our behaviour slightly amusing in an embarrassed sort of way. I mostly gave up gunja a couple of years later when I concluded that it not only led to stupid ideas like the Raid on Maccas, but was profoundly demotivating and resulted in much less than optimal exam results. I also experienced 2 friends who developed schizophrenia in circumstances where gunja consumption had apparently been at least a contributing factor (a personal conclusion of an association that was later confirmed by medical research).

mark
2022 years ago

FWIW, Ken, that’s a great story.

Ron Mead
Ron Mead
2022 years ago

Sure, sure, Ken, but did you inhale?

Ron Mead
Ron Mead
2022 years ago

Sure, sure, Ken, but did you inhale?

Gianna
2022 years ago

ganja demotivating? i just read newspaper reports saying it’s the whole reason saddam invaded kuwait – or was it his heroin habit? not that heroin or pot have ever struck me as the most motivating of drugs. maybe he was injecting speed?

about the wellknown link to schizophrenia – it’s also possible that (perhaps latent or undiagnosed) schizophrenics are drawn to smoking drugs, not the other way around. bit like the direction of causality for the link between suicide and boob jobs.

Gianna
2022 years ago

ganja demotivating? i just read newspaper reports saying it’s the whole reason saddam invaded kuwait – or was it his heroin habit? not that heroin or pot have ever struck me as the most motivating of drugs. maybe he was injecting speed?

about the wellknown link to schizophrenia – it’s also possible that (perhaps latent or undiagnosed) schizophrenics are drawn to smoking drugs, not the other way around. bit like the direction of causality for the link between suicide and boob jobs.

Gianna
2022 years ago

ganja demotivating? i just read newspaper reports saying it’s the whole reason saddam invaded kuwait – or was it his heroin habit? not that heroin or pot have ever struck me as the most motivating of drugs. maybe he was injecting speed?

about the wellknown link to schizophrenia – it’s also possible that (perhaps latent or undiagnosed) schizophrenics are drawn to smoking drugs, not the other way around. bit like the direction of causality for the link between suicide and boob jobs.

Gianna
2022 years ago

…bugger your bloody comments system, Ken.

Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

This guy is off his tree. McDonalds don’t claim to offer a diet plan, just nutritious food. If you ate a porterhouse steak from a 5 star restaurant for EVERY MEAL, you’d get pretty sick as well.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Gianna,

Advanced prgenancy must be making you impatient, and I can’t blame you. For the benefit of all, please note that posting (both comments and primary posts) on TA is ridiculously slow, and has been for several months. I gather it’s something to do with aspects of the database that I don’t understand and don’t have the technological ability to fix even if Scott Wickstein gave me access. This site is generously hosted free of charge by Scott, and I’m enormously grateful for it. In all the circumstances, putting up with slow posting is a small price to pay for the convenience of a fully-featured MT blog. Hopefully commenters can simply keep in mind the slowness of the system, and resist the temptation to click the “Post” button several times in frustrated impatience.

Gianna
2022 years ago

hey, Ken, i didn’t click the post button three times. after about two hours it came up with a dialog box saying something like, ‘can’t resend info without retrying – retry or cancel?’ so i hit retry (once) and then after about another two hours the comment appeared three times. truly.

Gianna
2022 years ago

hey, Ken, i didn’t click the post button three times. after about two hours it came up with a dialog box saying something like, ‘can’t resend info without retrying – retry or cancel?’ so i hit retry (once) and then after about another two hours the comment appeared three times. truly.

Gianna
2022 years ago

argh!!! again!

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Gianna,

Oh I see. I hadn’t heard of that problem before. It sounds like some sort of a timeout issue, whether with your PC or your ISP I don’t know. Maybe it explains why a number of people who you’d expect to know better sometimes post multiple copies of comments. I guess all I can suggest is that you just click once, ignore any subsequent timeout messages and cross your fingers. It’s a bloody nuisance, because I suspect it may be deterring less patient souls from bothering to post comments at all, and therefore detracting significantly from the vibrance of discussion at TA. I wonder whether any of the techie gurus around the place (e.g. Bailz, Mark Gallagher etc) might be prepared to help if Scott doesn’t have time? I have no idea exactly what the problem is or how long it might take to fix it.

nardo
2022 years ago

this link may be of interest to the techie gurus.. best solution may be to wait for the promised MT upgrades

and I guess dope can now be ruled out as a factor in the slow-down

Scott Wickstein
2022 years ago

I’m waiting for the upgrade; the problem is that an attempted anti-spam script has slowed the whole system down. I am praying to God the upgrade will fix it. Else major surgery would be required.

I don’t really want to go into personal details, but there’s no way I’m going to have the time to do the surgery if the upgrade doesn’t work out.If it doesn’t I will have to call for help.

Gianna
2022 years ago

no worries, Ken. for the record though, i did try pressing ‘cancel’ rather than ‘retry’ but the stupid dialog box wouldn’t go away, forcing me to eventually choose ‘retry’.

(and nardo, pass the Dutchie on the lefthand side, would you? just so we can officially rule it out as a factor.)

Gianna
2022 years ago

no worries, Ken. for the record though, i did try pressing ‘cancel’ rather than ‘retry’ but the stupid dialog box wouldn’t go away, forcing me to eventually choose ‘retry’.

(and nardo, pass the Dutchie on the lefthand side, would you? just so we can officially rule it out as a factor.)

Gianna
2022 years ago

…um…seeing as how it only seems to be happening to me, i accept that it’s probably my ISP, and apologise unreservedly. i also propose to rename Optus “Cactus”.

David Tiley
2022 years ago

that is so funny it makes me wish I had not given up ganja. My understanding, by the way, about the schizophrenia issue is that it works both ways… latent problems are brought out, but people suffering with the inside of their head do what the psychiatrists call “self medicate” in desperation.

Gianna
2022 years ago

i agree, david.

and i think it’s important to remember that just as there are a lot of people who smoke pot who don’t develop schizophrenia, so there are a lot of schizophrenics who don’t smoke pot. (and there are a lot of schizophrenics in Oz – one in a hundred people. pretty terrible stats, eh.)

not that i smoke anymore either…*wistful sigh*

Gianna
2022 years ago

i agree, david.

and i think it’s important to remember that just as there are a lot of people who smoke pot who don’t develop schizophrenia, so there are a lot of schizophrenics who don’t smoke pot. (and there are a lot of schizophrenics in Oz – one in a hundred people. pretty terrible stats, eh.)

not that i smoke anymore either…*wistful sigh*

sarkydan
sarkydan
2022 years ago

Maccas 3x per day is a tad much, but I can see the value of this highly scientific (cough)experiment by Heath Gibson. Then again, maybe he just really liked eating BigMacs but got pissed off at the company when he started to look like an orca and his vital organs started failing. Hmmm…I guess we’ll never know the real truth.

Some greenie-types on my uni campus organised a “protest” against McDonalds last year that involved collecting all the McD’s packaging that was littered around the area and then dumping it on the McD’s premisis. To me, this seemed more like doing free garbage collection for McD’s more than being any sort of protest. Don’t get me wrong, I mean I’m all for saving the earth, yadahyadah, but the people involved in the ‘protest’ were a bunch of humourless mung-bean eating freaks.
In contrast,Ken, your posse seemed to have employed a much more interesting tactic…

taylor
taylor
2022 years ago

mcdonalds sucks.. it bad for ya.. holla if yall agree..