A film of epic portions.
Directed by: Morgan Spurlock
Starring : Morgan Spurlock
Genre : Documentary
Runtime : 100 minutes
WI's rating :7.9
In "Super Size Me", a documentary from talented debut filmmaker Morgan Spurlock that manages to be both entertaining and horrifying, he attempts to draw a parallel between the fast food culture we live in and the rampant (and ever-increasing) rate of obesity in America. To do this, he launched into a little science experiment. A 33 year-old New Yorker in excellent health, he would eat nothing but McDonald's for an entire month, to gauge the effects on his body. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at McDonald's and whenever they asked him to supersize, he would have to accept. Before starting, he consulted three doctors, a cardiologist, a gastroenterologist, and a general practitioner, all of whom said this experiment obviously wouldn't be GOOD for him, but that the damages would be minimal.The problems he exhibits after 3 weeks on this diet are NOT unique, they are the ones that people around the country are exhibiting in spades: weight gain, fatty liver, depression, inactivity. The results were pretty shocking. Spurlock gained almost 30 pounds (over 10 in the first week), saw his cholesterol skyrocket, and experienced frequent nausea, chest pains, mood swings and loss of sex drive. During this month he also drove around the country, interviewing several different people on the topic (including a "Big Mac enthusiast" who has eaten over 19,000 Big Macs). His research on our fast food culture definitely yields some interesting information, especially when he interviews a group of 1st-graders, and more of them can identify Ronald McDonald than Jesus or George Washington.
His good humour makes the film but it is the documentary rather than the gimmick that kept me watching. The facts on obesity do speak for themselves and they are frightening and all the more so when you actually sit and think about what you eat – sweets, colas, ready meals, crisps, processed foods; whether it is salt, saturated fats or sugar, any of these foods spells trouble if they are not part of a balanced diet. My only fear of this film is that many viewers will look at McDonalds and say 'they are to blame, lets get them' and simply ignore that it is very easy to eat an unhealthy diet – go to any supermarket and you'll find 'easy' food served up quickly but without the things your body needs. I was challenged because I can easily veg out for several days and be too tired to cook decent food and this reminded me why I need to – hopefully many viewers will take that challenge and not just turn from one fatty diet (McDonalds) to another (ready meals).
American fast food chains are notorious for serving processed food with an incredible high fat high sugar content which probably won't do you any good health wise . But they also serve food in very large portions which is also very good value for money . Think about it for a moment - You go into a fast food chain with a couple of dollars and have a meal high in fat and sugar but the meal itself is relatively cheap . Would you rather spend 50 dollars getting a single meal in an expensive restaurant and leave the table still wanting ? I think most people visit a fast food chain to kill the hunger pangs and still have enough money to pay the bills . Watching Spurlock vomit because he's eaten too much is a kind of back handed compliment to a certain food chain for selling extra large portions.
|Morgan Spurlock: Over the course of McDiet, I consumed over thirty pounds of sugar. That's an average of a pound of sugar a day. I also took in 12 pounds of fat.|