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04 July 2005

Super Size Me

Morgan Spurlock
Directed by Morgan Spurlock

From Hollywood Video: "A critical look behind America's obsession with fast food and the consequences of a fast-food diet on the human body. Over the course of 30 days, director Morgan Spurlock visited McDonald's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to document how this lifestyle affected his health."

Morgan Spurlock made news nationwide with the 2004 premiere of this documentary about his attempt to consume nothing but McDonald’s food for 30 days. Chock full of disturbing facts about American eating habits – from fast food to what children eat in school cafeterias – the results of Spurlock’s medical self-experimentation were shocking, most especially to the dietician, fitness consultant and three doctors who monitored his progress.

Spurlock consumed roughly 5000 calories per day (about twice his nutritional requirements), overdosed on fat, caffeine, and sugars, became deficient in every major vitamin and nutrient, gained 24.5 lbs, increased his cholesterol by 60 points, and seriously threatened his liver with outrageous levels of fatty triglycerides – all in 30 days. One doctor said she knew such liver impairment could result from alcohol binges, but that no one had ever examined data to reveal such a result from a high-fat diet. However the diet was not all he changed. He also restricted his walking to roughly 1-2 miles (the national average) and refrained from any additional exercise.

The paradox of this film is, yes, it made me want to eat better, refrain from making dangerous food choices, and work on improving my family’s consumption habits, but…the food looked really tasty, even as I witnessed this man swelling with fat on a daily basis. Well, except for the fries that will still be around for post-nuclear cockroaches to eat. After ten weeks, left to rot in a jar, McDonald’s fries showed no signs of decomposition. By comparison, "homemade" fries from a local diner had to be thrown away after a few days because they had essentially liquefied. Bizarre.

Anonymous patrick said...

finally got around to seeing Super Size Me; i was impressed by Morgan Spurlock's insight as his movie gets into not only the physical but also the social effects of consuming fast food


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