A comedian replies to the "Super Size Me" crowd by losing weight on a fast-food diet while demonstrating that almost everything you think you know about the obesity "epidemic" and healthy eating is wrong.
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Marisa Miller Wolfson
Marisa Miller Wolfson,
A comedian replies to the "Super Size Me" crowd by losing weight on a fast-food diet (including plenty of double-cheeseburgers and fried chicken) while demonstrating that almost everything you think you know about the obesity "epidemic" and healthy eating is wrong. Written by
Decent message, narrow in scope, slightly arrogant.
I thought this documentary was all-in-all OK. I think the movie accomplished it's goal in a narrow-minded sense, which was to say that ultimately, consumers drive the market and it is up to the individual to make the correct decisions on what they are putting in their bodies. It is not the responsibility of the government to make our food choices for us. The other message that I thought was effectively conveyed was that having an occasional cheeseburger is not going to, in itself, give you a heart attack. However, depriving yourself from your biological urges can be stressful and can cause a backlash of overeating down the road.
I also appreciated the point that the movie made that simple sugars and refined carbohydrates with high glycemic indices such as high-fructose corn syrup are really the major dietary issue that our country should be focused on. Type II diabetes should be the target of our concern, and not animal fats (as far as dietary implications are concerned). Also, the sedentary lifestyle that the average American lives is a huge part of the problem, probably more so than what we are eating. Try telling Chad Ochocinco that the McDonald's that he eats before every game is going to make him fat or unhealthy.
On the negative side, I was off-put by the unsophisticated jabs that the movie kept taking at Spurlock and also the Vegetarian movement. I thought the movie did a poor and distasteful job of respectfully criticizing its opponents. The campy cartoons and name-calling really took away from the effectiveness of the film, and these tactics can quickly turn off an undecided audience, like me.
Also, the movie focused only on dietary/health issues. I thought the movie neglected the important issues of the environmental impacts of eating so much animal meat, the economic impacts, and the treatment of workers and animals.
The environmental argument: When humans eat animals, they are only utilizing 1% of the original energy in the ecosystem. When eating fruits/vegetables, we are using 10 x the energy from the environment. The rest is lost as heat/metabolic energy. Therefore, vegetarian diets are more efficient and sustainable for a large population than animal diets. The corporations also tend to be horrifically bad at keeping up to environmental and safety code, and usually find that it is more profitable to pay the fines and continue poor environmental/health safety practices, rather than correct the behaviors.
The economics argument: Most major corporations are milking the profits out of local economies and not paying it back to the communities or workers. Most employees of these companies can not live off of their wages and are not provided with decent benefits. In addition, many of these companies receive government subsidies for their ingredients and their employee benefits, which comes out of the taxpayer's paycheck. So there is a hidden expense to these companies and their affiliates that you are paying out of each pay check.
The animal ethics argument: The conditions that the animals live in are ridiculously poor. Most low-quality meat comes from just a few mega-slaughterhouses in the country, which is run upon the principle of "the more meat the better". The animal meat that you are eating is most likely from terribly unhealthy and mistreated animals (or in some cases genetically engineered), which hardly seems natural or healthy.
In the end, I thought the movie made some interesting points and deserves a watch if you are interested in nutrition, but still needs to be taken with a grain of salt (harharhar). Some of the points were good, but the movie was overall narrow in scope and a bit cheesy.
11 of 16 people found this review helpful.
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