DON'T EAT THIS BOOK: Fast Food and the Supersizing of America

Morgan Spurlock, Author . Putnam $21.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-15260-3

Fact-packed and funny, this offshoot of Spurlock's Oscar-nominated documentary Super Size Me serves both as a substitute for and addition to the movie. Spurlock spent a month not exercising and eating nothing but food from McDonald's, filming his declining health and ballooning size. It was a terrific premise for a movie; the book provides even more of its backstory and outtakes. Spurlock describes America's obesity epidemic, its relation to the fast food industry, the industry's cozy relations to U.S. government agencies and how the problem is spreading worldwide. He details the long-term and often fatal (albeit well-known) health hazards of the high-fat, high-sugar, factory-farmed fast food diet combined with the sedentary lifestyle prevalent among Americans. The statistics, while grim, aren't as compelling as Spurlock's often humorous descriptions of his own gradual disintegration into exhaustion, mood swings, liver deterioration and high blood pressure as his month progresses. Spurlock's wisecracks make the statistic-laden information easily digestible and possibly useful as a classroom text. He includes inspiring examples of schools that provide healthy, local (even student-grown) food in their cafeterias, and offers lists of resources for parents and educators wanting to make changes in their own communities. Spurlock is surprisingly optimistic about the future, and his book is a powerful tool in his rip-roaring campaign to turn around America's love-hate relationship with fast food. Agent, Elyse Cheney Literary. (May 19)

Reviewed on: 03/28/2005
Release date: 06/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 308 pages - 978-0-14-102073-0
Paperback - 308 pages - 978-0-425-21023-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4159-1794-7
Compact Disc - 978-0-14-305731-4
Paperback - 978-0-399-19871-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 5 pages - 978-1-4159-1793-0
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