In his review of 'Super Size Me', an American documentary film released in 2004, Roger Ebert ended it by saying, "Of course I agree with McDonald's that a visit to Mickey D's can be part of a responsible nutritional approach. That's why I've dined there twice in the last 17 months."
That pretty much sums it up for me even though I did have my doubts about the filmmaker, and his 'mood swings' and that annoying vegan chef girlfriend of his who relentlessly insists that he switches over to a vegetarian diet while comparing ham to heroin.
If that's not enough, the soundtrack (if one can call it that) was just terrible. Real bad. But you have to let that slide as it is a documentary movie when the theme revolves around obesity that, according to the Surgeon General, is at an epidemic level in the country.
Super Size Me – The Plot (thickens!!)
Very simply, it's about this independent film maker (Morgan Spurlock) who decides to go on a Mickey Dees binge for 30 days to see what might become of him physically and otherwise in the process of eating all three meals from McDonalds daily while ordering them from different outlets across the country.
And yes, like any smart cat, he did take the right precautions before and after the meal by consulting five health professionals (a gastroenterologist, a general practitioner, a nutritionist, a cardiologist and a personal trainer) to monitor his 'progress' every ten days or so. From initial tests, all of them gave him a clean bill of health with his fitness levels better than most people in his age group. This aspect was well documented with the doctors giving him their recommendations and advice based on the reports at every stage.
Not only does Morgan focus on how his body changes to eating McDonalds food but he also touches various aspects of health and fitness in schools and how they are below the standards prescribed by most health experts.
He also touches upon the subject of how businesses will continue to market their products even though they are unhealthy, and well, the reason for that being that they're in this to make a handsome profit year after year. And this is not just McDonalds we're talking about here.
An interesting question that he posed to viewers was if they knew what the meaning of 'calorie' was, and most of them didn't have the answer to that. And strangely that was surprising, as the United States is a country where every individual is obsessed about his or her health.
Between day one and twenty-one, Morgan goes through depression, lethargy and headaches which seemingly can be cured by eating McDonald's food leaving him to conclude that its fast food gets people 'hooked'. By Day 21, he begins to have palpitations, and despite the recommendation of his doctors continues the experiment until Day 30.
It takes Morgan 14 months to lose the 25.5 pounds that he gained during this thirty day period, with the help of his girlfriend's detox diet consisting of vegetarian food. Although some people suggest that Morgan was biased due to the fact that the amount of food he ate was normally how much people eat in eight years, it still does not take away the fact that McDonalds discontinued its 'Super Size' option six weeks after the movie was released while also emphasizing healthier options on their menu going forward.
On also can't help but wonder what the lawyers who were involved in the Pelham Vs. McDonalds Corp case thought about this?