Fat Head

Fat Head

2009, Health  -   105 Comments
Ratings: 7.62/10 from 298 users.

While most people saw the documentary Super Size Me as an expose of the fast food industry, comedian and former health writer Tom Naughton saw it as a dare: He'd show that you could lose weight on a diet of burgers and fries.

In addition to chronicling Naughton's weight drop, the film provides interviews with doctors, nutritionists and others to drive home his thesis that most of what we know about "healthy eating" is wrong.

Naughton addresses Spurlock's argument that the current prevalence of obesity cannot have been caused by home cooking or by non-corporate, family-owned restaurants, since they have been around longer than corporate fast food chains.

Naughton says that the food people eat at family-owned restaurants is the same unhealthy food eaten at fast food chains, and that the reason the former did not make people obese is because during his generation's youth, families would only eat at them a handful of times a year, and not frequently, as some people do at fast food restaurants.

More great documentaries

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ann Fenwick
4 years ago

I truly enjoyed this documentary! Not only was it informative but,it was also very humorous!
I was recently put on statins for the second time though I told the doctor that I came off of them the first time because of the bad side effects. He said the one he was prescribing had less side effects but,that did not prove to be true. So once again I came off of them and after watching this ,I have no regrets. My mother's memory has been affected because of this drug,as well as my sister's.
I will definitely decrease my carbs and eat whatever is best for my body so that I can remain healthy. It doesn't surprise me that consumers have been lied to all these years because,as the documentary brought out, it's all about the money!

5 years ago

Interesting film, I would hazard to say sugar is addictive and a large part of the large drink and fries are the higher profit margin as well as driving your hunger to encourage more consumption.

The premise is the fundamental idea that high sugar and carbohydrates that drive blood sugar increase fat storage, in no way does he indicate fast food is better than a well balanced diet, simply keep your meat and dairy, your vegetables, reduce your carbohydrates and sugar.

A couple times over the years I adjusted my diet to eliminate carbohydrates with great luck, unfortunately after getting too lean I would dive right back into pasta and couldn't stop packing the weight right back on, I believed that if I ate fat I would get fat again, then I tried reducing carbohydrates and eating more fat, a great lunch is a cut up flat of chicken leg meat with bacon and veggies cooked in avacado oil, less hunger and easier to maintain weight, save my pizza for one day a week and still feel good about life! No bounce back this time, a common outcome.

6 years ago

Some of this guy's statements are a bit off, but most of them are right on target. People need to understand that the idea of calorie in calorie out seems logical, but doesn't fly. Prior to starting Low Carb High Fat my husband and I had cereal with whole milk and coffee for breakfast. A simple sandwich and some chips for lunch. Dinner was usually some sort of meat with either potatoes or pasta and probably a sauce. He drank a soda and a sugar free tea, I would drink water and sf tea. Snacks were whole wheat crackers and cheese and a bowl of ice cream. NOT a good diet, but not way overboard on calories. Our jobs require standing and walking, not strenuous, just all day. He works outside some, but we are pretty sedentary. We both gained about 20 pounds in the last year. Warning signs became clear at the last checkup so, we started low carb diet. After three months he is down 35 pounds and I am down 25. We eat two egg omelettes, with veg, meat, and cheese (pre-made in muffin tins) and coffee for breakfast. Salad with chicken, ranch dressing, and cheese, a bowl of melon, and either pork skins or nuts for lunch. Dinner is some sort of meat and vegetables, either cheesed or sauced. Snacks are nutty granola with yogurt and jello with fruit and topping. I know the calorie count is very similar to our previous diet. Our activity level is no different so calories out doesn't make the difference either. The only major change is our carbohydrate level, which is FAR lower. I also quit thinking about this as our "Diet" and now call it our "Menu". I threw out the list of old menu staples for our household and introduced new ones along with recipes that are just as quick and tasty as our old ones. Eating out is a bit of a chore. Waitresses look at you funny when you ask for broccoli instead of fries with your steak. :)

6 years ago

Yep. Fathead says it all. What a load of misleading and dangerous crap. You can lose weight eating pure sugar if you stay below your energy needs, or snorting coke or getting cancer! Staying at a normal weight is for health reasons, not vanity, unless making a good looking corpse is your sole goal. You ARE what you eat, just eat REAL food, not processed garbage, and don't buy the line about moderation unless you want to live moderately well or long.

6 years ago

I love how every comment saying bad things about this documentary clearly only watched the first ten minutes.

This is old wisdom we forgot. Epilepsy used to be treated with low carb high fat diet before medication was invented, so was diabetes this isn't new we just got conned by big money companies. It's now been revealed that the sugar industry pushed the fat is bad agenda paying off researchers to keep people looking at them.

He used fast food as an extreme example, he was not saying you should eat that way but was proving that Supersize me was based on lies and misinformation and that the conventional diet advice is based on lobbyists paying off researchers.

Again anyone reading the comments before deciding to watch, make sure to watch the WHOLE thing not the first ten minutes like all the detractors here.

6 years ago

Brilliant,mind blowing, exelent documentary.Bravo!!!

7 years ago

Very informative! Loved how simple he made this. I'm going to be changing my diet today to accomidate the new incites this gave me. Ty.

7 years ago

What i got out of the documentry is that you as an individual need to understand it isnt the fast food industry that is the issue. It is the individual, you are the ones who choose to scoff down the burger/fries/sundaes,and tacos etc and just sit on your butts, you are why you are fat. The industry isnt "making" you eat their foods you decide the amount and when you eat it , all by your own, take responsibility for it. There is no real problem eating a fast food diet occasionally plus your body needs the fat. Mothers milk is majority of fat. Approved drugs/foods from the different industries usually have worst side effects than the things they are suppose to cure/treat. Imodium for example " Imodium side effects may include:
headache with chest pain and severe dizziness;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
fast or pounding heartbeats;
stomach pain or bloating;
ongoing or worsening diarrhea;
diarrhea that is watery or bloody; or
severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling."
EWWW!!! I thought it was to help?

7 years ago

lol Pankaj... there is no evidence to even suggest this doc was funded by Mcdonalds. & like many here you obviously didn't watch it at all.
The facts speak for themselves, but just like the narrative you've bought into, evidence & facts don't seem to mean anything to you.

7 years ago

First 10 minutes of this documentary, i clearly figured out that this documentary is funded by mcdonalds and a fight against the guy who made the first documentary against them. Now i think it is very much possible that one of the competitors of "mcdonalds" must have funded the first documentary. So the learning for me is that- "By just common sense we know what fast food does to our health, irrespective of any brand". And i should not watch any documentary which is for or against any specific brand, because it is just waste of time watching how these big food corporation fight against each other. If your food is really making people healthy, people will talk about it. The very fight shows your lack of trust in your own food being healthy.

claire sc
7 years ago

hes jealous of spurlocks documentary how copycat to make one based on spurlocks how unoriginal utterly

i beleive he was paid by mcdonalds to do this its a load of bologne eh his fav term

7 years ago

A calorie is NOT just a calorie. Carbs raise insulin, fats do not. Also, no thanks on the Buddha thing. Jesus died for your sins and rose again. Buddha is in a grave. Just saying...

28yr 65kg 1.83m male
7 years ago

The thing is that we are stupid, but not only the fat people. Wealth makes lazy and that's addictive.
This topic is just one of many that show us we are selfish beyond comparison.
Its all about balance, fast food is not bad nor is it good.
We are not build to outlive seaturtles, offcourse if you do a bunch of nothing and are on drugs to help any disease you will outlive an active person that get weakened by actually living a life.
I dont mean myself by that but i like to say that egoism is something i am conscious about.

This doc shows nothing that is relevant when you dont think that money is worth time.
Comfort is the mindkiller, its quite addictive and all kinds of addiction are bad.
Spend less time in a supermarket and or restaurant and get your ass in a kitchen.
Learn skills and apply them for people you care about instead of doing a trick over and over to get cash and turn that into a burger or pop.

I sugest you learn about Buddha and get some yoga, if you think you are to big than start with breathing yoga'ish. Seek wisdom instead of power.
Be patient, you will be able to learn whats really important to you.

8 years ago

Right - who is paying this guy i wonder ….not!!

Magnus Thunderson
9 years ago

what a load of crap saying fast food is ok as a fast food meal have over 100 ingredients mostly lab created and HFCS is simply not been studied why ADD shot up so much since 1985 which convent is when HFCS took over sugar and if HFCS is so safe why it totally banned in baby food

9 years ago

A lot of the information in this movie, makes sense, but not everything. I weigh 103 pounds. I've been like that for about 12 years now ( with small changes between summer and winter. I also gain a little bit 11 lbs when I moved to France, because of the change of my diet, but now I have adapted to it, so I'm 103 again) I can tell that what you eat is not as important as how much you eat. My mother and a woman that I work with at the bakery are obese. There are patterns that I observed in both of them. Both will make me do stuff that they can do themselves: "Bring me this!" is the most common. So with my colleague I will normally walk twice the distance, she does in the same 8 hours day, I will bend to get the things from the lower shelves for her and so on. Because I don't mind doing "her job" too, since we work together, I lost the 11 lbs and she gained 22 lbs. (I'm not kidding). On the other hand if I or my father are around my mother, she won't even get up form the chair.

I have also observed those two women eating habits and I catch myself thinking "My God if I was eating that much I wouldn't be just fat I would look like whale". They eat around 2 to 3 times more then I do. And they eat all the time. They will put something in their mouths every 30 min. ( a mini donut, a pice of bred, a small cake, a bar of chocolate... )

But can they get thinner if they go on a diet? NO! Beeing obese is a life stile. Making exercises 30 min a day is good, but it does not compensate for the live choices we make. The transportion we choose ( do we walk, do we take the public transport, do we drive), how is our home aranged ( do we need to go get something or everything is in a hand range). Are fat people aroun me lazy? YES!

People are predisposed to beeing fat or thin, but thin people eat less and move more. Is that relative? I DON'T KNOW!

9 years ago

very funny and instructive!

9 years ago

Most of the people posting comments have missed the basic points of what this guy is trying to tell you. Carbs are not something that is 'natural' to our diet. That basically the caveman diet of meats/nuts, fruit and veg is the basic rule of thumb we should try to follow. That as soon as we became farmers our body health began to decline due to us eating grains that we had grown. My grandparents lived on a farm. Spud farmers in fact. They were very active people. For breaky it was bacon and eggs. For dinner it was meat and 3 veg, for lunch the next day it was cold meat from the night before, salads, and home made breads. Real butter, real clotted cream. Both of them lived well into their 80's and neither had diabetes, heart disease, or any other diet related illness. I know myself I have successfully lost large amounts of weight by cutting carbs down and eating lots of veg, some red meat, and a small amount of fruit. (all things in moderation of course) As a kid I remember there being a lot of food around their place but no one was over weight. When my grandmother bought us snacks while we were playing it was a big bowl of stone fruit. Plums, apricots, peaches, and fresh milk from their own cow...and we LOVED it!

This guy is not saying don't eat carbs. He is saying limit them. He is saying its not a disaster if you have the occasional fast food fix. That money/big business has corrupted food science in many ways and that you should listen to what you body is telling you. I know myself if I eat pizza I get a weird food high, which i suspect is from the dough or something they put in it. As such I listen to my body and rarely if ever eat pizza now days. He is also saying that physical activity is very important! That this should in no way be disregarded.

So fast food is cheap? So what, so are a lot of healthy foods. You cant tell me that green leafy veg are expensive. They are not. Its time constraints and/or laziness that can stop us humans from preparing our own healthy meals and opting for fast food. Don't forget, that whatever you think about fast food, a hell of a lot of people think it tastes delicious! Another reason why it can be hard to resist. However, this does not stop human beings having free will. Its still up to the individual to make the choices about food for themselves. Like he said, no one is dragging people into fast food places and stuffing fries down their throats. And if people choose to eat it, it is their decision and no one elses.

9 years ago

I notice a few comments saying that "he only discusses the side of losing weight but eating meat all the time causes cancer" - skip to the end (around 1:38:00) - he specifically says "of course this is not a healthy way to eat, a healthy diet includes lots of fruits and vegetables"

The reason he is only talking about weight, is because THAT is the aspect the documentary is focussing on - You can eat fast food in moderation and be fine. If some one CHOOSES to eat it all the time, that is THEIR choice and THEIR problem.

Why do humans feel the need to force everyone into their way of thinking?

Can't you just accept that people HAVE free will and we should HAVE THE RIGHT to exercise it, whether you like it or not?

And don't rabble on about how murder is free will - ONLY someone mentally unstable would murder someone. Most people probably could at one point in their life be so angry they are capable of doing that, but they often CHOOSE not to, because it is the wrong decision.

Bad things will happen sometimes. Just do your best to teach your kids how to deal with the real world and stop harassing total strangers because you have a bee in your bonnet about some overweight family member or a parent with heart disease.

It's sad.
It doesn't make it your job to fix everyone else.

Vinicius Momesso
10 years ago

Unfortunately that is like a sofisticated set of gears made up of one of other dependent industries. Only a "fault" in a gear and all the system will been damaged. Is the Capitalism's poison being inoculated in our veins killing us slowly.

10 years ago

Just finished watching this documentary. I don't believe he funded this solely with his own money. And only the issues of weight control were talked about, not other problems like colon cancer, etc. The problem with McDonald's and the like is the monopoly they have. They provide cheap food. For poor people, it's a way of getting a full stomach on little money, by which is what McDonald's pays in wages. They create customers that way. When McD's is forced to pay livable wages, we'll see how many people flock to their stores. Naughton created a documentary on how not to care about your health and feel good about yourself.

10 years ago

I guess only some authors are credible in the eyes of this filmmaker. The body prefers carbohydrates, but it will burn fat, then protein if it can't get enough carbs. So, like the Atkins diet, people do lose weight, but a high protein diet can cause calcium loss, and other problems. I don't think Spurlock cut his carbs. I live upstate NY and people here are definitely larger than those I see in NYC. Everyone drives everywhere they have to go. There's something dumb about this documentary. What a stupid thing to say to someone from another country, treating them like a cartoon character. Who funded this film? It sounds like a lot of what the cows leave in the field.

Alv V
10 years ago

He is right when it comes to carbohydrates. Eating a lot of grain and potatoes etc. causes increased fat, but to think a diet of pure meat and other high protein foods (except vegetables with protein) is healthy just because it makes a person thinner, is wrong. Eating like he is recommending is a good way to get cancer. Try to remove as much meat and milk from the diet as possible if you want to live, and reduce bread, cakes, fries, pasta, sugar etc. if you want to loose weight.

10 years ago

This guy is incredibly annoying. I couldn't make it passed 10 minutes.

Bryannd Guerra
10 years ago

He's not obese he's just fat

10 years ago

wel, i finally finished it, and i think this was an awesome video, anyone who wants to counter that would have to have evidence
it's good to be skeptical and not to believe everything people say, but some of the things really do make sense, especially for someone who works at kfc

10 years ago

Sorry.....had to stop watching half way through......the comedy started to wear a little thin....obesity is a serious topic, and while I get the idea of comic relief...the non-stop attempts at humour began to grate......Im sure this would have been an interesting documentary.....minus the cornball humour....

jim dorey
10 years ago

those stairs... they're NEVER at a comfortable step height, and they're usually in a BIG middle of nowhere space, they're kind of scary... if they put a wall on one side, it'd be comfy going down that side, up on the side without the wall would be fine, looking up away from the vertigo...

10 years ago

It's obvious. People that look down on others simply will never let them make their own choices. And this documentary is simply proof of how bad it can get. I thought I was going to hate this documentary, seriously super size me was absolute crap. This guy more then anything is saying read between the lines and when others claim to want to help they are more then likely lining their pockets. Originally business lined their pockets to help us.

10 years ago

Here's an idea .. maybe it is a COMBINATION of fast food AND lack of exercise. Funny how it claims it CAN'T be fast food at all and points the finger at tv, cars, and lack of exercise in general. Its annoying that he thinks its one cause and one cause only and fast food CANNOT be related . And he eats a burger and claims "he didn't die" .... oh come on he constantly puts things out of context, no one says one burger is going to kill you ... its when it becomes a frequent habit to eat high calorie food and is COMBINED with lack of exercise

10 years ago

I saw the section that explained the calories in/calories out theory and how carbs drive insulin which drives fat storage/retention about 9 months ago. That convinced me to go low carb... lost 75lbs since then and never regretted it. My checkups confirm Naughton's checkup results. Whole grains are good for you in the same way the sun revolves around a flat earth... the more you learn about it the more you realize it's simply not so.

10 years ago

I loved every minute of it, this was spot on!!!

10 years ago

At the beginning of the documentary we are told that there is no obesity epidemic.

At the end of the documentary we are told the government is responsible for the current obesity epidemic.

This sums up the quality of the documentary and the information it gives.

10 years ago

On a lighter note. . . didn't the spokesperson for the "Heart Attack Grill/Cafe" in Las Vegas recently die from a heart attack? It was my understanding he had previously suffered at least one if not several heart attacks prior to the final fatal one. This being a restaurant that specializes in infamously large fat, cheese & bacon laden double, triple & quadruple burgers. The cooks dress as doctors & the wait staff as nurses.

10 years ago

GR8 docu!! Very witty and pointed, U don't necessarily have to agree with everything shown or said, but than again that is the point - USE YOUR OWN BRAIN, M*RONS!-))

10 years ago

The director of this doc clearly has some real personal issues with food. He is obviously over weight and appears to have some real self esteem issues so is trying to justify eating s*it!

10 years ago

What ever happened to eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly?

bitches pls
10 years ago

People leaving comments about this guys adoring McDo's... watch the freaking document. It just gets better towards the end. True facts.

10 years ago

wow i hate this documentary ... of course labeling food is good .. if u count the calories u eat u will get slimmer ... i lost 30 pounds last year i stop going to MacDonald and all those fast food and if i went with friends i check on the website before the calories ... don't take the milkshake !

10 years ago

buon appetito.....

10 years ago

I found this doc extremely amusing, from the narration to the "man on the street" interviews. At some points I laughed out loud. Not a bad way to spend another dreary, frigid winter afternoon.
There was a lot of information to digest (no pun intended).
I know this for a fact: for years I always ate very healthy food from scratch and never had a weight problem.
2 years ago I found my health failing and endured multiple surgeries which have forced me to become inactive. So much for "healthy" food, eh?
But the point is, now I'm packing on the weight BIG TIME, and my eating habits never changed.
All the long hikes I used to take every day must have really made a difference.
Mayhaps I shall dump my boring wholegrain and veggie consumption.

10 years ago

People are fat. But, the truth is that labor markets are down and the service economy (sitting in a cubicle as well as the fast food crap... equals bad news. However, the food we eat is highly sterile with preservatives for fear of law suits.

Wayne Siemund
10 years ago

Reduce carbs, use less procossed fats, take a hike, and you can eat eggs and bacon for beakfast followed by steak and greens from supper.
But I thought fast food places serve mostly high carbohydrate foods. Hamburger buns, breaded chicken strips, fat dripping potato fries. Rarely do they serve anything green as a normal part of the meal deals. Salads are always a side item, as if they are an after thought to nutrition.
This documentary certainly has something to consider. We shall see how this develops if another independent study is presented.
The one absolute truth in this documentary was 'follow the money'.

10 years ago

I'm about to watch this doc. I normally do not post comments prior to watching said doc & I don't much care for other's opinions posted before investing time in the doc in question. That said, I am breaking my rule only because I did not notice in any of the comments the main issue of the day. Kids don't play like they used to.

At the risk of sounding like an old man, when I was a kid I was physically active from the time I awoke until I went to sleep. We (as friends & neighbors) constantly kept each other active through countless games, sports & activities that required physical interaction. Now how much time is spent in front of a computer or TV screen. This doesn't even address the fact that most people don't even know who their neighbors are & as a result the children suffer.

Never was it an issue of over eating & lack of exercise when I was growing up. Now it has become the topic of every talk show & news program. Just balance you diet folks, eat appropriately & get lots of exercise. I will go so far to say that in my experience (many other very fit athlete friends of mine will also tell you) it's not so much what you eat but how much you eat & how physically active you are. Of course there are many bad things you should avoid eating but I would dare say: a person who eats nothing but fast food & exercises regularly is most likely to be healthier & in better physical condition overall than someone who insists on eating nothing but organic "health" food & has a sedentary lifestyle with little to no physical activity.

Now I will watch this doc & see how far off base I was with my pre-mature comment. Here's to health everyone! Enjoy that delicious cheeseburger. (I'm eating a few tasty slices of pizza right now) Just don't have two & go for an extra walk, swim or run that day or week to make up for the extra intake.

10 years ago

This documentary is just about this one guy, in this case an apparently "known" comedian, telling his story and showing us what kind of diet works for him, while maintaining the all-important facade of educated opinion by quoting people and organisations whose particular camp he is a follower of.

All in all, no different from most of the people claiming the opposite view of what is healthy to eat and what's not. The money trail is no smaller on one end than it is on the other, in other words you can't trust anyone. In the years since this documentary was made (if 2009 is indeed correct) the so-called LCHF (low carbon high fat) diet has really caught on in food fashion, and naturally it comes with its own entourage of bestselling authors and food industry lobbyists.

The problem with food consumption today is about intake versus expenditure. You can complicate matters by involving a range of metabolic factors, such as insuline tolerance and genetic predisposition, but in the end that's just part of the equation as a whole, which is still intake vs expenditure.

The intake part is easy, counting your calories takes only basic math skills and some amount of patience. The same simply cannot be said about expenditure, Most people have wide variances in their basal metabolism, and not only are these variances hard to measure, but their underlying causes are elusive as well. This is why two people can have widely different results from one specific diet.

Many people also tend to get the wrong idea about exercise. This is not their own fault, but simply due to the fact that it's easy to create infomercials and other marketing ploys around food, but not so much when it comes to basic cardiovascular exercise. Basically, if you're exercising for the sole reason of burning this or that amount of calories, you don't understand the full range of benefits that good, varied exercise provides.

10 years ago

This documentary shows how once someone in government gets an agenda, it's full speed ahead and nevermind the facts. An excellent example of how the gullible are led into wars or nonsense like manmade global warming, cooling, climate change or whatever they are calling it now.

Adolf Hitler was right when he said; "it is fortunate for governments that most people do not think". It is also fortunate for businesses and scientist's who can profit on such ignorance as illustrated in this documentary.

10 years ago

Despite his overuse of the word 'bologna', I think you're making a mistake if you judge this documentary upon forming an opinion after 10 minutes. Yes, there are points that don't sit quite right with me, but these are exaggerated points to go with his argument: A lot of the panic on healthy living in the media is unnecessary and a lot of the information you get is not quite right and at times even manipulated to serve financial purposes.

It does, at times, sound like he's advertising fast food to be perfectly fine, but I think you have to look beyond that: There's more to health and weight than the 'over-consumption' of fast food.

10 years ago

Hows this dumb a*ses healthy meal at the beginning. him eating that boring a*s looking supposed healthy meal he was eating was like watching an infomercial for workout equipment when they compare the flashy new gay crunch machine in colour to the black and whit fat guy in black and white straining to do a sit up.There is a lot of great healthy food out there that gives your body what it naturally needs that tastes amazing. Enjoy your whopper you fat f--k clog those arteries go merica! the land of the ignant r*tard who are brainwashed to cherish macidols.

10 years ago

Boring, the documentary came out 5 years after Super Size Me. After McDonald's revamped their menu and nutrition info.

10 years ago

...Kinda like QualiaSoup!