I’m Sorry That I Got Fat, I Will Slim Down: An Outdated Look at the film ‘Super Size Me’

I would like to point out right at the get go that I am not overweight. I would say that I am too thin actually. I feel the need to get this out of the way because when discussing the topic of weight people tend to get up in arms and I feel it’s better to just say what I am rather than try to see how it is for someone who is dealing with weight issues.

Now that we have that taken care of, let me say that Morgan Spurlock is an idiot. Mr. Spurlock is the star/director/writer/producer (he didn’t do the music apparently) of the acclaimed 2004 documentary Super Size Me. Though you most likely know, the film is showing what the effects are of eating McDonalds every meal for 30 days. Well, what happened to our dear Morgan? He died of course.

No. He didn’t die. But he did gain weight and his health went downhill and he was kind of a grouch and just an overall unpleasant person. If you’re anything like me you’re probably mouthing “no shit”. Of course eating fast food for every meal for 30 days straight is a bad a idea.

The goal of his documentary was to show that McDonalds is unhealthy and should be compared to tobacco companies; something that is complete shit to me. He’s the deal, while people may say that McDonalds is addictive, it is not nearly on the same level as cigarettes. And to be completely honest, who cares? In present day America people know that cigarettes are bad. They know the risks (people should have known the risks to begin with. I mean you’re inhaling smoke. Think about it.).

When we look at McDonalds, if people use common sense, they’ll realize that it’s not the healthiest thing to eat. They dip things into burning oil and fry the food. That’s not healthy. But who cares? It’s not meant to be healthy. Just like smoking is not meant to be healthy.

I don’t get why this movie generated anything other than a roll of the eyes and a shrug. It was just some guy trying to prove a point that everyone should have already known. But it was eaten up because he was going after a big business and making them seem like they were out to get you. This is shown at the end of the film where he poses the question: Who do you want to see go first, you or them? This question is asked while a cartoon tombstone is shown on the screen with the inscription Ronald McDonald (1954-2012). Yes. That is biting stuff you tool.

It’s also interesting to note that his wife Alexandra penned a cookbook based off the weight loss diet that she used to slim her overinduldging jerk  of a boy friend. Thank God she was able to make money off of this episode as well. Should McDonalds get a part of the cut from both of their profits? I mean, if it wasn’t for their food none of this would be possible.

I’m all for people chosing healthy methods of living. I think that is a smart way to live life. But if someone wants to eat themselves to death I don’t mind either. It’s none of my concern. I wish that they wouldn’t, but it’s their choice. I’m not going to blame McDonald because they offer a product that if misused can cause problems. If I did that I would have to blame every drug company who makes a product that some kid overdosed on because they took too much. Or every company that makes firearms because someone used one of their guns to kill someone. Or every corporation that makes alcoholic beverages because someone drank and drove and hurt someone who was completely innocent. All these things suck, but it’s solely the person who was using these products fault, not the product.

And hell, Mcnuggets make me kind of happy. Ever had a bad day and decided to buy yourself a 20 piece? It’s life affirming. So I say thank you, McDonalds. From the bottom of my cholesterol filled heart I thank you.

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One Response to “I’m Sorry That I Got Fat, I Will Slim Down: An Outdated Look at the film ‘Super Size Me’”

  1. Kevin Says:

    I feel you’re oversimplifying things here.

    Yes Morgan Spurlock was out to make fast food look bad when he made the documentary, and I’m sure he profited from the movie’s success in one way or another, but that doesn’t mean the whole film should be discredited.

    It isn’t as simple as “He ate lots of fast food and got fat. Big surprise.” Before he started his experiment he asked doctors, a dietitian and a personal trainer what he should expect, and they predicted he would gain some weight and his cholesterol would increase a bit. But the rate of weight gain (almost a pound a day) and cholesterol increase that actually happened was far above what was expected. Other unpredicted effects were sexual dysfunction, heart palpitations, and fat accumulation in the liver that would lead to failure of the organ if unchecked, to name a few. The point of the film isn’t simply that fast food is unhealthy. As you say, nobody needs to see a movie to know that. The point is that it is far more unhealthy than most people realize(d).

    I thought one of the better sequences in the film was when he goes into various McDonald’s and asks to see nutritional information on the food they offer. None of them had the information readily accessible to customers. In fact, only a couple, if I remember correctly, were able to eventually give him the information he asked for, after digging around in the back office for a while. How are people supposed to know just how bad for you the food is if you don’t have access to basic nutritional facts?

    Of course, nobody eats McDonald’s morning noon and night, but 22% of customers eat there three or more times a week (from wikipedia). Eating nothing but McDonald’s for a month is a dramatic and perhaps unrealistic way of showing the effects of eating that food may have on you, but I don’t think it is unreasonable to say that eating McDonald’s three or more times a week for years will eventually give you the same health problems. Which is another point of the movie that seems lost on you: long-term frequent eating of that food could be just as deleterious to your health as smoking. 10 years ago that’s a statement that most people would have laughed at, now more and more people will tell you its true.

    Cigarettes come with a Surgeon General’s warning. Medications come with precise dosing instructions. Gun ownership requires a licensing process that teaches responsible gun ownership. Liquor commercials contain messages to “Enjoy X Responsibly.” McDonald’s commercials don’t give any sort of warning. Likewise, there aren’t health warnings on the wrapper of your Big Mac or recommendations to not eat there more than 1 time a week.

    Oh, and that cartoon tombstone that you derided? It originally appeared in The Economist magazine for an article questioning the ethics of marketing this unhealthy food towards children. Remember those Ronald McDonald commercials that aired when we were young? With Grimace, The Ham-burglar, etc.? That’s why you don’t see them on TV anymore. Why did McDonald’s get rid of the Super Size option? Start offering healthier options on its menu? Healthier happy meals? That’s what this all comes down to. A third of the country’s children are obese. Fast food isn’t completely to blame, but it is a large part of the problem. The cost of health insurance and treatment of obesity-related diseases such as diabetes is going to skyrocket in the near future. Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently said that the prevalence of obesity may soon negatively effect the number of young men and women eligible to serve in the armed forces. This is a problem which effects the whole country.

    You and I would both agree that it isn’t the government’s place to tell us what we can and can’t eat. Since that isn’t an option, how do you fix the problem? You educate the public and try to get McDonald’s to exercise some corporate responsibility. Super Size Me accomplished both.

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