“Super size me” with Sliders

For those familiar with the iconic 2004 documentary, “Super Size Me“, it will come as no surprise that living on fast food is a fast-track to trouble. [Go rent it if you haven’t seen it yet – very enlightening]  While that was one man’s entertaining and unscientific exploration of the evils of fast food, there apparently has been a more scientific look at a similar scenario. 

Thanks to my med school’s online bulletin, I discovered this article about a gentleman in the 1930’s – a lowly medical student who apparently was desperate for some extra cash [though I was too, I never sold my body to the research community] in the 1930’s.  Directed by a bigshot researcher at the U of M, he lived on White Castle Slyders™ (or sliders) and water only for 13 weeks. 

He apparently did well, staying healthy by their standards at the time.  This is the best part, speaks for itself:

Too much of a good thing
But long before we became a fast-food nation, Bernard Flesche lasted through all 13 weeks of his White Castle hamburger binge. “The student maintained good health throughout the three-month period and was eating 20 to 24 hamburgers a day during the last few weeks,” fast-food mogul Ingram stated, adding that the research proved that customers “could eat nothing but our sandwiches and water, and fully develop all [their] physical and mental faculties.” McClendon’s study became a prominent part of White Castle’s advertising.
Flesche went on to practice medicine in Lake City, Minnesota. He died from heart problems at the age of 54. One immediate and chronic effect of his participation in the study: “He never willingly ate hamburgers again,” says his daughter.

Read the rest of the article


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