Morgan Spurlock got the idea for the documentary when he was lying on his couch at his family's house shortly after Thanksgiving dinner, watching TV when he saw the news about two teenage girls suing McDonald's for making them obese.
The documentary premiered at Sundance in January, 2004. Less than two months later, McDonalds announced that it would no longer sell any of its menu items in "Super Size", although it officially denied that this move was in reaction to this film.
Author Eric Schlosser, who wrote Fast Food Nation, had declined to interview for the documentary. However, Schlosser eventually agreed to an interview with Morgan Spurlock, which is featured on the DVD.
At the San Francisco premiere Morgan Spurlock said that getting permission to shoot in NYC McDonalds was often denied (in which case they would often hide the camera or go out to the car and eat), but to acquire consent in less paranoid cities generally consisted of the following exchange: "What are you guys filming here?" "We're shooting a MOVIE!" "OK."