Super Size Me (2004)

morgan-spurlock-mcdonaldsWhy did Spurlock pinpoint his attack on McDonald’s? Because it’s the most famous franchise in America, it’s everywhere and has paved its way into pop culture and our very daily activities, kids whom are interviewed here could not identify pictures of George Washington or Jesus Christ, but quickly identified Ronald McDonald, the McDonald’s mascot. But surely it’s also due to the lawsuits given to them from obese people who claimed their food affected their life. I bet you’re saying what I thought: “They ate the food, it’s all their fault”, and in some cases it’s true, but the fast food companies are to blame as well. Documentary director Morgan Spurlock attempts to prove the judges who claim there’s no proof fast food had any effects on the victim’s health, and brings to the table the message of the severity of fast food consumption by going on an all McDonald’s diet for thirty days.

Eating nothing but their food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, he has to eat from their restaurants, and if they offer him a super size option, he must take it. For watchers who love fast food or question its effects, “Supersize Me” will serve as a rude awakening for any fast food lover and reveals the ingredients to many beloved McDonald’s foods that will shock many when they see what’s included in the preparation. We also get to witness how fast food can be shockingly addictive without our knowledge. It’s like a drug, it tastes good, makes us feel good, the pleasant colors, familiar shapes and large portions lure us in. They use strategic ingredients and rely on natural addictive ingredients like drugs in cheese, meat, and soda. Not to mention they pile it on together and it basically brings us more and more to addiction at incredible speeds. These places train workers to influence buyers in buying more, spending more, and eating a lot more.

They also manage to corrupt our schools, as Spurlock points out, and we watch a disturbing amount of children eating unhealthy at school. Fast food franchises and their representatives are willing to admit they are a part of the problem, but dodge Spurlock when he approaches them for an interview over the phone. Spurlock, unlike Michael Moore, is a very unassuming, honest, charming, and friendly guy who seems to want to put across the best of intentions towards America’s audience, it’s just a shame a lot of people didn’t see this, some of whom have probably never heard of this documentary. From this interesting experiment, we witness a disturbing change in body activity from Spurlock who at first is energetic, cheery and friendly with very outstanding health.

But as the days progress he begins gaining weight really fast, losing a lot of energy as well as a slew of many other problems, all which are side effects that will surely have a negative impact on Spurlock in the future. Spurlock sacrifices his health to show how horrible the effects fast food can have on us while his girlfriend watches with increasing concern, and his three doctors urge him with much alarm to stop the experiment before he ends up dying. Spurlock persists though pointing out strategically placed restaurants all over the nation (Some located at hospitals!), eating at their places, looking for nutritional sheets that are oddly often misplaced, and we see a lot of shocking disturbing effects that it will have on our consumption of food and his quest is not in vain. Six weeks after this documentary and the exposure of the “super size” stunt, McDonald’s stopped their super sizing gimmick claiming they felt the need to end it, and they deny this documentary had any effect on their decision, but I beg to differ.

It’s obvious this affected their choices in their marketing, they dismissed this documentary, and MTV who heavily promotes McDonald’s refused to air promotion for this film, but this affected my choices in nutrition and eating food for good. Hey, you can still buy their McD’s salads which feature–cheese, thick dressing, and meat, the very meat they have in their burgers, you can buy them but they’re in the back… behind the counter… in the dark. How interesting. Though gimmicky and a bit too goofy for such a serious topic, “Supersize Me” is a well made very engrossing and disturbing documentary that may affect how you eat and will serve as a rude awakening, but Spurlock makes a good point: ultimately, it’s up to us. Either ignore the ads and eat healthy, or give in an end up obese, or dead. It’s our responsibility in the end.