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Have you seen the movie “Super Size Me”?
This documentary tells the story of one man, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, who ate all his meals for 30 days at McDonalds.
I don’t want to reveal the amazing results of his experiment, but let’s take a look at what actually happens to your body after eating a very fatty meal.
Endothelial Dysfunction: What Is It?
Type 2s are considered to have the equivalent of coronary artery disease and need to reduce their risk with a healthy diet and lipid-lowering medications.
One of the most important new research tests of circulation is a measurement of endothelial dysfunction. The endothelium is the lining of the arteries. Damage to the endothelium may lead to a blood clot, causing a heart attack or stroke.
Endothelial Function and the Fast-Food Diet
A few years ago, several prominent cardiologists at the University of Maryland measured endothelial dysfunction in healthy subjects after eating a standard McDonald’s breakfast.
The study participants ate an Egg McMuffin with sausages and hash browns (900 calories with 50 grams of fat). The researchers found that the endothelium became abnormal one hour after the meal and worsened over the next three hours.
It took up to five hours for the endothelium to return to normal after just one fast-food meal.
This finding suggests that eating this type of diet may deposit lipid-containing plaques on the innermost layer of the wall of an artery—independent of any increase in blood cholesterol levels.
Fast Food and Erectile Dysfunction
Another interesting note is that erectile dysfunction is associated with endothelial dysfunction.
In “Super Size Me,” Morgan Spurlock notes a marked decrease in his sexual function, despite his otherwise good health and normal sexual function prior to the experiment. It is clear to me why his all-McDonald’s diet was bad for his sex life: The high-fat diet clearly caused endothelial dysfunction. Fortunately, the problem was completely reversible when he resumed a normal diet.
Dr. Tanenberg Gives a Thumbs-Up
In addition to seeing the movie, I strongly recommend that you consider healthy alternatives to eating fast food. It really will make a difference.
Did you see ‘Super Size Me’ and decide that Morgan Spurlock’s movie was a bunch of baloney?
Well, research has confirmed the underlying message of the documentary: Fast-food consumption does increase the risk of obesity and type 2, plain and simple.
In a study starting in 1985, 3,031 black and white adults between the ages of 18 and 30 were followed for 15 years. Participants volunteered information on physical activity and on how often they ate fast food at establishments such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Pizza Hut.
The researchers reported that the frequency of consumption of fast food was lowest for white women, at about 1.3 times per week, compared with that of the other groups, which was about twice weekly. They added that the frequency of fast-food consumption was directly associated with changes in body weight in both black and white participants.
The researchers also found that changes in frequency of fast-food consumption were directly associated with insulin resistance in both groups. In addition, those consuming fast food at least twice a week gained an extra 10 pounds of body weight and had a two-fold greater increase of insulin resistance than those who ate fast food less than once a week.
—The Lancet, January 1, 2005
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.