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The Physicians Committee

NEWS RELEASE October 27, 2004

PCRM and Director Morgan Spurlock Urge Congress: “Stop the Supersizing of America”

Doctors’ Group & Filmmaker Donate DVDs of “Super Size Me” to Every Member of Congress

WASHINGTON—Every U.S. Senator and Representative will receive a gift tomorrow courtesy of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and filmmaker Morgan Spurlock: newly issued DVDs of Spurlock’s award-winning documentary, Super Size Me.

Billed as a film of epic portions, Super Size Me chronicles Spurlock’s month-long consumption of nothing but McDonald’s food and the consequences: Spurlock’s weight jumped from 185 to 210; his body fat went from a healthy 11 percent to 18 percent; and his cholesterol soared from 165 to an artery-clogging 230.

The DVDs are a humorous way of making a serious point to lawmakers, says PCRM President Neal Barnard, M.D.: “America is fat. Health care costs have shot into the trillions of dollars in this country. Imagine what they’ll be in 10, 20, 30 years when the fallout from a generation raised on fatty foods hits the national health care system.

“Think of it as the nutritional ‘national debt.’ We can pay now or we can pay later. Congress has a responsibility to help halt this national obesity epidemic, ” he adds.

In the letter accompanying the DVDs, Barnard calls attention to bipartisan legislation sitting in the U.S. Senate, the Healthy Lifestyles Act (S.2399), introduced by Senators Kennedy (D-MA) and Fitzgerald (R-IL).

The bill would, among other provisions, cede responsibility for developing national nutritional policy and guidelines from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Health and Human Services. The USDA’s control of nutritional policy has long been recognized as a fundamental conflict of interest that may weight the recommendations contained in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Food Guide Pyramid toward Big Food interests, rather than the American consumer, says Barnard.

Ultimate responsibility does lie with the consumer, however, says Barnard.

“The sad truth is Americans eat far too much meat, saturated fats, and junk and processed foods. We could cut health care costs in half almost overnight if we adopted diets centered on vegetarian, low-fat, and whole-grain foods.”

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

Media Contact:
Jeanne S. McVey

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