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Several legal suits have been brought against McDonald's Restaurants that they are knowingly selling food that is unhealthy. Some of the court decisions have stated that the plaintiffs would have a claim if they could prove that eating the food every day for every meal is dangerous. As such, documentarian Morgan Spurlock conducts an unscientific experiment using himself as the guinea pig: eat only McDonald's for thirty days, three meals a day. If he is asked by the clerk if he would like the meal super sized, he has to say yes. And by the end of the thirty days, he will have had to have eaten every single menu item at least once. Before starting the experiment, he is tested by three doctors - a general practitioner, a cardiologist and a gastroenterologist - who pronounce his general health to be outstanding. They will also monitor him over the thirty days to ensure that he is not placing his health into irreparable damage. He also consults with a dietitian/nutritionist and an exercise... Written by
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A Pizza Hut! A Pizza Hut! Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut! A Pizza Hut! A Pizza Hut! Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut! McDonalds! McDonalds! Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut! McDonalds! McDonalds! Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut! I like food! I like food! Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut! You like food! You like food! Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut!
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Eating 5000 calories a day leads to weight gain? My God, let's give this man an Oscar
If there was ever any doubt that Americans on the whole are not the sharpest knives in the utensil drawer, the massive success of "Super Size Me" at the box office settles it. I've wanted to write a review on this ridiculous film ever since I was forced to watch it in a college health course many years ago, but frankly there are so many things wrong with it that it was too daunting a task; since these complaints have already been mentioned in a host of other user comments, the best I can do is try to catalogue them in a single list, henceforth:
THINGS WRONG WITH 'SUPER SIZE ME':
1) Spurlock ate 5000 calories per day, for 30 days, with no exercise. The last person to go on this diet was Jabba the Hutt, and that was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Obese people generally become obese over long periods of time. What Spurlock did here is basically a suicide diet; whatever conclusions he reached about the devastating effects of fast food were at best irrelevant or dishonest.
2) Not to mention he was eating the SAME foods every day, limiting the types of nutrients he received. The *only* people to do this wind up dead or in hospital beds, as almost happens to him in this film.
3) Spurlock was a vegan before starting this experiment, meaning his body was completely unprepared for the insane amounts of sugars and fats he suddenly thrust upon it. No wonder his liver failed.
4) The film makes no attempt to actually *connect* the obesity epidemic with fast food, although this is implicitly assumed from the very beginning. Not once does Spurlock bother giving us information as to what exactly the average obese person is eating, much less whether it has anything to do with their weight (you may have heard the saying about correlation not being equal to causation). Fast food has been around since the 1950s, yet the obesity phenomenon did not appear until the 90s, a strong indication that other factors such as genetics and extremely sedentary lifestyles are to blame (and yes, as the film points out, food portions at these restaurants have increased, but surely not to the point where they alone are responsible for the Goodyear-blimp levels of bodily girth seen today).
5) The food at McDonald's is not unhealthy. I know that sentence may blow a mind or two, but the idea that a low-fat diet and increased fruit and vegetable intake is good for your health is a *myth* that was debunked in 2006 by three large studies undertaken by the American Medical Association (all readily available online). Spurlock's personal health crash was obviously caused by the first three points mentioned above. It's not as if we're living in Upton Sinclair's time where rat parts are ending up in our hamburgers; we actually have an FDA these days which determines the food we eat will not make us sick. Eat more, weigh more; eat less, weigh less; eat a variety of foods, receive a variety of nutrients: that is all anyone really needs to know about nutrition.
(There's a ludicrous addendum to the DVD of this film called "The Smoking Fry" in which Spurlock puts McDonald's French fries in a jar, and after 10 weeks, they have not decomposed: this is supposed to be "proof" that they are some kind of devil food that will wreak havoc on your body. When I saw this in my college class, some dolt remarked, "If they're not decomposing in the JAR, you really have to wonder what they're doing in your BODY." Well, what do you THINK they're doing, genius? Dancing? Your body simply absorbs the nutrients it can use and discards the rest, like it does with anything else. You don't need to be terrified of fried potatoes.)
6) The film is shoddily made. It adopts the same smug, juvenile, provocative tone of Michael Moore's documentaries, but whereas Moore is actually (I'll admit) a talented filmmaker who can create moods by editing his scenes together effectively, Spurlock simply throws a bunch of abrasive cartoon imagery and pop music together which never adds up to a coherent style and is more or less an insult to the form.
So there you have it, all the most egregious problems with this film in a single package. And yet for some reason, none of these were enough to stop it from getting rave reviews, box office success and an Oscar nomination, leading me to wonder if I could have similar success making a documentary wherein I bash my head repeatedly against a wall for 30 days and prove that doing so leads to brain damage; not only would I probably be drowning in laurels, but I'd be well prepared for a long and fruitful career in Hollywood. I give this failure of a film 0/10.
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