What was the point of Fat Head?
With all the reminiscing over childhood days I was reminded of a scene in Fat Head where Tom Naughton shows cars lined up to drop kids off at school. He contrasts this to how he used to walk to and from school often twice a day as he went home for lunch. That scene could have been shot in my neighborhood these days, and is a far cry from my childhood. I walked to school most days -- I'd like to exaggerate and say uphill both ways, but it was only uphill one way -- 3 hills to be exact. In milder weather I rode my bike. And, like Tom, after school spent several hours most days playing all manner of running games. It definitely seemed that Tom was making a case for less activity contributing to the obesity epidemic. If not, what am I missing?
I'm not sure what the point of the movie was other than some sort of anti-government hissy fit. But it seemed to make the case that we do eat more and move less. That's if there even is an obesity epidemic at all, and the stats are not wildly overblown to allow growth of government and regulations. The movie opens with some shots of obese people that Tom says you'd think we would see everywhere if obesity was as big a problem as we're told. Yet he claims it took several hours at different locations to get his footage. He also discusses his own BMI and how this measure is a poor measure of fatness. So ... there's no obesity epidemic after all ... or it seems he's making that case.
Next he goes after Super Size Me and the demonization of fast food restaurants like McDonalds. He spends quite a bit of time discussing how Spurlock couldn't have possibly eaten enough calories or the calories he claimed to gain the weight he did in that movie. I suppose he's trying to say that overeating isn't causing the phantom obesity epidemic? Then the experts chime in on how much we're eating and drinking between meals. Still, he then goes on to prove that someone can eat at McD's for a month was it and not gain weight. What does he do? He counts calories. Sure, he cuts the carbs a bit, but mostly he is able to consume three fast food meals a day that cause him to lose a little weight. He shows calorie totals in the 1700-1900 cal/day and he lost a bit of weight. Being in calorie deficit tends to improve lipids. Sounds like Twinkie dude. Of course later we get the "Bologna" that if we cut calories we'll lose weight. AHEM!!!
One last thing Fat Head goes after is the idea that fast food is addictive, trying to make the case that it's not. HUH? Oh yeah, that's right, it's only the carbs that are addictive which is why Americans are addicted to plain brown rice and would rather toss the burger from the Big Mac so they can finish the bun.
Of course at the end of the movie we get the Taubes/Eades pitch for evil fattening carbs being converted to fat and locking fat away in our fat cells nonsense and how we overeat because we're gaining weight. And Tom goes on a low carb diet. I note that for this segment we are not provided with the caloric content of his diet. And we're told Tom slothed around then too. Based on this we're left thinking eating too much and moving too little therefore has NOTHING to do with becoming obese? Tom just proved it!
That's funny, perhaps Tom should watch the first half or so of his own movie again. There's no obesity epidemic, but if there is one it's because we eat more than we used to and move less than we used to.