Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Morgan Spurlock's 30 DAYS Premieres Tonight

A while back I finally got around to watching the terrific SUPER SIZE ME, Morgan Spurlock's indictment of the world of fast food, especially McDonald's. I'd actually avoided watching the movie for a long time, simply because I was afraid to believe the hype. But, the movie is pretty much all it's cracked up to be and I told Spurlock so when I sent him some copies of THG.

Despite the newfound celebrity that came with the movie, the subsequent book (which I'm currently reading), and his new show -- 30 DAYS which premieres on F/X tonight -- Spurlock was kind enough to take the time and write back about the info I'd sent as well as what he's been up to and what we can do to fight back against our country's growing waistline. Here's what he had to say...

Dear Dan:

Thank you for your letter and for sending me copies of The Hungover Gourmet. The magazine is really entertaining, and I like its sense of nostalgia and practical recipes and travel. I'm whipping up some peanut butter bars [ED. A recipe featured in a previous issue.] as we speak!

It's been a crazy year since SUPER SIZE ME was released, and I've been traveling all around the country speaking at schools and other organizations. Some great things have been happening. McDonald's stopped offering the "super size" option not long after the movie premiered, though they claim it had nothing to do with it. The chef Jamie Oliver is launching a program to provide healthier food in schools in England, Sesame Street's Cookie Monster is singing a new song about eating fewer cookies and more veggies and former President Clinton just launched a 10-year initiative to combat childhood obesity. We released an "educationally enhanced" DVD version of the film for students in grades 6-12, and the response has been phenomenal. Middle schoolers at a school in East Hampton, NY recently boycotted their lunchroom until their school was forced to find healthier foods the students would eat.

But there is still much work to do if we are to truly combat obesity. There are new headlines every day proclaiming that people all over the world are getting fatter and less healthy, especially kids. Big Food is constantly on the defensive and coming up with slicker and trickier ad campaigns. Burger King and other chains continue to roll out bigger and more fat-laden options like the Enormous Omelet Sandwich, and they increasingly rely on celebrities like Paris Hilton to sell their chains. But we really can "vote with our forks" and choose to support companies that promote healthier lifestyles. I would encourage you and your readers to write to your congressman and ask him or her to oppose the food lobbies, especially the sugar lobby, and to make the affordable availability of healthy food a priority.

Morgan Spurlock

So do me a favor and watch 30 DAYS tonight. It's the least we can do to support the guy and write your congressman as well.

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