With his new documentary Fat Head, comedian Tom Naughton has made a pretty strong case against the ideas that most people have regarding healthy diets.
Fat Head uses the ideas put forth by Morgan Spurlock in Super Size Me as a launching point. Spurlock shot to fame after his anti-McDonald's doc grossed a solid $11.5 million domestically in 2004 ($13.3 million when adjusted for inflation) and its following grew on DVD. The premise of the film is that a diet consisting of large amounts of fast food can be extremely harmful to ones health. Yet for all the film's supporters, it also had its share of detractors such as Naughton.
Still, Naughton didn't initially set out to attack Spurlock directly.
"[The idea for the film] actually started before I saw Super Size Me. I wanted to put together a half-hour pilot for a TV show idea I had and my first episode was going to be about what I think is the ridiculous way we treat fat people in American society," Naughton told B OXOFFICE.
While prepping his pilot idea, Naughton, who has also worked as a computer programmer, couldn't help but crunch some of Spurlock's numbers regarding how much weight he put on while devouring McDonald's every day for a month.
"I realized pretty quickly into the movie that Morgan Spurlock's math did not add up. There was something very, very wrong with the amount of calories he was consuming given his supposed rules. The more I watched it, the more I thought, 'Boy, there's something wrong with this.' I decided that instead of focusing on the pilot idea I had that I really wanted to create a reply. And then as I got more and more into the film and started really researching diets and what causes weight loss and what causes heart disease, I realized that a lot the advice we've been fed, no pun intended, over the last thirty years is just plain wrong," said Naughton.
While Naughton actually managed to lose weight on a fast food diet while making the film, he wants to make sure that his intentions are not misinterpreted.
"I don't want anybody to hear about this film and think that I'm advocating fast food as health food. It isn't. My point in the film is to show that if you're going to eat fast food, because most people do, there is a smart way to do it. The smart way to do it is to avoid to ignore what you've been told all these years which is that you have to avoid fat. You should in fact be eating fat if it's natural fat. What you should be cutting back on is your carbohydrates," said Naughton.
"I don't think it's up to McDonald's to lead people into eating better," added Naughton. "I think it's up to people to make smarter choices, and McDonald's will follow our lead."
All this talk begs the question: Does Naughton have a favorite place where he indulges his need for a fast food fix?
"I think my favorite fast food restaurant locally would be In-N-Out Burger, and I go in and get the protein-style burger where they wrap it in lettuce instead of the bun," said Naughton.
is now available on DVD.