"Super Size Me" Movie Review: Fast Food Industry's Impact on Public Health

July 19, 2023
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Morgan Spurlock's documentary, "Super Size Me," delves into the realm of fast food conglomerates and the profound impact of McDonald's-based culinary offerings. The film also examines the burgeoning crisis of obesity and diabetes in the United States. Morgan commits himself to an intriguing experiment, consuming only McDonald's meals for a full thirty days. Notably, he partakes in every item available on the menu, obligingly opting for the super size when requested.

One stipulation during Morgan's investigation is to limit his daily step count to a mere 5,000, approximating the average physical activity level of Americans. Additionally, he adheres to a strict regimen of three meals daily — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — provided by McDonald's. Should McDonald's fail to furnish the food, Morgan will not partake in any alternatives.

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Before embarking on this extraordinary journey, Morgan seeks counsel from three doctors who will guide him through his 30-day odyssey. A cardiologist, gastroenterologist, and general practitioner conduct thorough examinations to ensure his vitals are in impeccable condition. Each doctor anticipates witnessing changes in Morgan's body, such as enhanced liver metabolism, weight gain, and a potential surge in cholesterol levels. Furthermore, Morgan enlists the services of a nutritionist and a dietician to meticulously document every morsel he consumes throughout the process.

Throughout his 30-day McDonald's-exclusive diet, Morgan experiences a host of side effects, including fatigue and sluggishness. The copious sugar intake during this period also leads to persistent headaches and stomach discomfort. After consuming a super-sized meal, he frequently experiences nausea and vomiting. By the end of his journey, Morgan has gained a staggering 24.5 pounds, and his cholesterol level has skyrocketed to 65. His regular visits to the doctors confirm the detrimental effects on his liver and the heightened risk of heart disease, evident in his blood test results. The excess fat metabolism has taken a toll on his liver.

The documentary sheds light on the alarming rise of obesity as an epidemic in the United States. Morgan's three-a-day McDonald's diet appears far from a typical American lifestyle. However, he does note that 22% of McDonald's patrons are "super heavy users," suggesting they frequent the restaurant at least 3-4 times a week or even more. The film emphasizes McDonald's strategic marketing targeting children and lower-income families. The affordability of the food makes it an attractive option for families with limited resources. McDonald's marketing tactics, ranging from playgrounds and birthday party planning to the iconic Ronald McDonald clown and compelling television commercials, unmistakably aim to captivate the younger demographic.

Given the alarming state of the fast food industry's impact on public health, governmental intervention seems necessary to promote healthier eating habits. However, such measures may encounter resistance due to the constitutional influence wielded by the fast food industry and their formidable multi-million dollar lobbyists. To prioritize the production of healthier food options, McDonald's would have to make significant sacrifices, potentially impacting profits. As Morgan pointed out in the documentary, the company's primary allegiance lies with its shareholders rather than the general public.

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“Super Size Me” Movie Review: Fast Food Industry’s Impact on Public Health. (2021, April 19). WritingBros. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/super-size-me-movie-review-shedding-light-on-the-issues-of-fast-food-chains/
““Super Size Me” Movie Review: Fast Food Industry’s Impact on Public Health.” WritingBros, 19 Apr. 2021, writingbros.com/essay-examples/super-size-me-movie-review-shedding-light-on-the-issues-of-fast-food-chains/
“Super Size Me” Movie Review: Fast Food Industry’s Impact on Public Health. [online]. Available at: <https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/super-size-me-movie-review-shedding-light-on-the-issues-of-fast-food-chains/> [Accessed 19 Jun. 2024].
“Super Size Me” Movie Review: Fast Food Industry’s Impact on Public Health [Internet]. WritingBros. 2021 Apr 19 [cited 2024 Jun 19]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/super-size-me-movie-review-shedding-light-on-the-issues-of-fast-food-chains/
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