Super Size Me: a Film of Epic Proportions

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Super Size Me, a documentary film by Morgan Spurlock, delves deep into the fast food world. This documentary takes the viewers through Spurlock’s experiment: eating McDonald’s three times a day, everyday, for thirty days. The rules: 1. Spurlock must fully eat McDonald’s three times a day. 2. Spurlock must try every item, over the thirty days, from the McDonald’s menu. 3. Spurlock can only consume items on the McDonald’s menu. 4. Spurlock must Supersize his meal, but only when asked. 5. Spurlock has to attempt to walk as much as a typical United States citizen.

He decided to do this experiment because two girls were obese, allegedly, because of McDonald’s. Before he began this experiment he consulted three doctors: a cardiologist, a gastroenterologist, and a general practitioner. Beginning this experiment Spurlock was in fantastic shape and health, but during the thirty-day binge he experienced headaches, tiredness, depression, mood swings, decreased sex drive, and weight gain – almost twenty-five pounds. At the end of the experiment Spurlock’s cholesterol sky-rocketed, his liver accumulated fat, and it took him fourteen months to lose the weight he gained in only thirty days.

Super Size Me sheds much needed light on the topic of obesity in America due to fast food restaurants. Morgan Spurlock focuses his documentary on McDonald’s. The film made very good points, even though Spurlock’s way of showing it was very extreme. Too much fast food cannot be good for anyone, and Americans should eat well-balanced meals for their own health. There is a problem that we have in society today: we want everything right away, as soon as possible. This immediate need for something also includes food.

I believe that is the main reason why so many people frequently visit fast food restaurants and why those restaurants do so well at the end of the day. Picking up food at a fast food restaurant is more convenient than making food at home, especially if you have a hectic schedule. I have my own experience with this very thing. Instead of coming home after work and making a healthy snack, I might just pick up a side of fries before school instead. The main point here is that it is the quickest and easiest thing to do, healthy or not.

The information that was included in Super Size Me was outstanding, fascinating, and in a way sickening. Right away in the film, Spurlock states that America has become the fattest nation in the world and that most Americans are either overweight or obese. Children are now twice as obese and adults are three times as obese. These numbers have doubled since only 1980! To show how frequent Americans visit a fast food restaurant, Morgan Spurlock throws out this statistic: 1 in 4. Yes, that is one in four Americans per day. And Americans are not the only people who are devouring fast food daily; people across the world do as well.

There are over 30,000 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide, and they serve around 46 million people a day! And these facts mentioned in the documentary are from 2003; think about what these numbers are today. Consuming food from a fast food restaurant sparingly is not that bad for your health. However, consuming the food daily is. This is another reason why I think Morgan Spurlock’s experiment was extreme. Even though the doctors believed that it would not cause much harm to his system, because our bodies adapt well, it did. Spurlock did make his point by taking his experiment to the extremist level.

I believe that this made the viewers more aware of what McDonald’s food could potentially do to our bodies. In my opinion, we should be thinking long term about our health. If I were to eat one fast food meal everyday, and I know people who do, that would have to eventually add and catch up to your body, right? In time, as we grow older, our metabolism slows down and we cannot process the same food as fast as we used to. Obesity can lead to many health problems including: heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and much more.

Consuming a good amount of fast food will not help at all, especially if you have a family history of obesity. If anything, there should be at least some activity added to the day instead of being sedentary. Morgan Spurlock tried to walk the average amount, of a United States citizen, per day. Another thing about eating fast food is that it is not something that is very easy to stop doing. In Morgan Spurlock’s case, he craved the food more and more when he ate it but when he did not he got painful headaches. His doctors mentioned that he was addicted to the food. And for most people, losing weight is already a difficult task.

So why add awful fat to your body that will be harder to lose in the future? Like mentioned before, Spurlock gained almost twenty-five pounds in one month, but it took him fourteen months to lose the weight. This documentary is informative, yet extreme, and interesting at the same time. It is not a boring documentary, which is another reason I believe that it did so well at Sundance 2004 and in theatres. I recommend seeing this film because it truly is an eye-opener to fast food restaurants, especially McDonald’s. This film might also give the viewers the push they need to truly make themselves healthier.

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