Super Size Me

Morgan Spurlock is an admirable man. He does what he loves for a living with the intention of affecting the world for good. His best known work (so far) is Super Size Me.

By eating nothing but McDonald's for thirty days Spurlock accomplishes much more than showing that fast food is unhealthy (most people already know that anyway). Using a few Big Macs and a camera he manages to shake the foundations of a multi-billion-dollar industry and convict millions of people about their careless eating habits. He conducts this experiment with McDonald's since it's the biggest player in the fast food industry.

The rules: And must eat three meals per day at McDonald's for thirty days. If anyone asks him "Do you want to super-size that?" he must say yes. He must try everything on the menu at least once.

Super Size Me is powerful because Spurlock uses himself as a guinea pig. He literally puts his life on the line by consuming nothing but McDonald's for thirty days straight, three meals a day. His doctors warn him repeatedly that he might destroy his kidney or make himself diabetic if he continues this diet for the full thirty days, but he finishes his experiment anyway (the show must go on!).

Spurlock inspires people to think more about what they eat, including where their food comes from. He goes over the big picture, even beyond the fast food industry, into the corporate mentality of America in general.

He also raises the question, Who is responsible? Corporations or people? Most people know that fast food is unhealthy. Obviously corporations know this better than anyone. Is it a matter of eating less, or choosing to eat better?

Toward the end of Super Size Me Spurlock notices that he feels better while he is consuming McDonald's food but he feels terrible during all the time in between meals. It turns out that fast food is physically addictive, which is unfortunate in light of its dearth of nutritional benefits. Spurlock discovers that this is strategic... fast food companies engineer their food to be addictive.

This brings up an interesting point about food in general. We can become addicted to anything. Most Americans are addicted to food, for example. Our craving for food springs out of more than just a need to survive... a full belly gives us a brief sensation of security. All is well while so long as our stomachs are full. What other things are we Americans addicted to? I can think of a few things: fossil fuels, money, feeling secure, entertainment, social acceptance... Can you think of any others?

Spurlock's next major film is "Where in the World is Osama Bin Ladin." His goal, again, is to promote thinking. He addresses such questions as "What drives the war on terror?" "Is the war on terror a legitimate war at all?" and "How might such a war be tainted by political or religious interests?"

See what i mean? This guy is solid.


Cafe_Cafe said...

That was a great movie.
Dangerous experiment but I´m confidant it worked pretty well.
Regards from Uruguay.

Anonymous said...

He is indeed solid!
His "Super Size me" movie was the reason why we now see healthy choices in Maccas and HJs etc

GW said...

We loved that movie! We do like their food, but try to limit what we get there. We were just talking about the movie last night with a missionary friend of ours from Switzerland, here on furlough; she hadn't seen it, but she new a lot about it.

Unknown said...

Hi Patrick,

I watched this film with my 11- or 12-year-old son. My other (younger) kids watched part of it as well. It made a huge impression on us.

You're right about our addictions. I wonder how many of us (Americans) would be "diagnosed" with addictive personalities, or if it's just so common that it's not even a diagnosis anymore, just a description of the human condition.

From the KOG perspective, is idolatry another word for addiction?

My addictions/idolatries include Diet Coke and some TV shows, among others.

E. Peevie
P.S. Thanks for the blog comment.