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Super Size Me


A documentary where amateur filmmaker Morgan Spurlock changes his diet for a month. When he heard that two girls sued McDonald's for damages for making them fat, and then when the judge threw the suit out because they did not show McDonald's food harmed them, Spurlock heard a challenge.

So he changed his diet for 30 days, to eat ONLY food sold at McDonald's. The rules are that he has to have 3 square meals a day, has to eat everything on the menu at least once, and can only supersize the order if the salesperson asks.

We get a view of his regular blood tests, consultation with three doctors, and vists to schools, nutritionists, and interviews with people on the street, kids, and various officials.

What I Thought

This is a must-see movie by everyone. We're talking parents, politicians, everyone.

So, Morgan Spurlock, a joe schmoe with sideburns and goatee. He's the perfect "average" guy. He's personable and funny. He obviously loves McD's, and this movie is IN NO WAY an anti-McD's movie. In fact, he throws his Day 30 party in a McD's. When he sits down in front of a Big Mac, his eyes light up, his mouth waters. He's like a puppy. And at no time does he tell us to stop eating this stuff (several nutritionists & doctors do tell him that though!).

And yet, we see what happens to him in that 30 day period. Interviews with his girlfriend (a Vegan chef, ha!) and with others help round out the movie into a very focused message.

Make no mistake, this is no "lefty" anti-corporation or anti-government Michael Moore. This is about health and diet. The focus on McD's is incidental, he picks them only because they're the largest (by far) fast food place in the world (just the map of Manhattan w/ pins for all the McD's is scary!) but mentions all of them (pizza, BK, Taco Bell, Wendy's, etc).

Some of the more lefty things are said by his girlfriend about "all natural organic" foods, and he (rightly) ignores the bait (sorry Vegans, but you will not tell me that all those pills in the vitamin section of Whole Foods is "natural"... we are carnivores and meat is a natural part of our diet. We DO however, go waaaay too far with fast foods & portion sizes.) Yeah, go ahead, flame me with your displeasure.

But anyway, he doesn't focus on the lefty things and stays focused on the medical effects of his diet. He also stresses personal responsibility and choice.

There are some interesting social comments about the food we eat and how we're taught how to eat well. There's a slight history of portion sizes, an overview of how kids get influenced on what to eat, and a discussion on corporate responsibility. Most interesting to me is the commentary on schools and nutrition.

There's a great little section where he shows some kids different pictures. Some can maybe recognize George Washington, no one gets Jesus, but all the kids immediately pick out Ronald McDonald.

If you think "I don't eat fast food, so this doesn't affect me", you are wrong. Even if you don't, chances are your kids will, and never mind that you're already paying rising healthcare costs. And with obesity being the second largest PREVENTABLE killer at the time of filming (it has since surpassed cancer from smoking to become the #1 preventable killer in the US), with 1 in 4 Americans obese, with healthcare escalating a LOT over this, this is a great movie to start a national discussion.

Finally, the choices of music are hilarious. He opens with Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls", he sets a gastric bypass to the Blue Danube, and has "Pusher Man" playing to Ronald McDonald commercials. Brilliant!

Two thumbs way up! Now I'm hungry.


All photos and text copyright Ryszard Kilarski, unless otherwise noted. Clip art, drawings, paintings are either free domain or copyrighted by the artists.