Saturday, 18 June 2011

"Super Size Me" Review!

In my Science lessons at school - I'm currently studying Biology, and we were taking a look about obesity and health issues. We have been watching parts of the documentary Super Size Me on YouTube, and I thought it was a very interesting documentary, that today I decided to watch all of it from the beginning to end.

Super Size Me is a 2004 documentary written, produced, directed and featuring Morgan Spurlock. The documentary is sort of about controversy about the very popular fast-food chain company - McDonald's. Morgan is one of the Americans who are fit and healthy, and he decided (as a test) to try out and eat 30 days of nothing but McDonald's food, for breakfast, lunch and supper.

As he had several blood tests and fitness tests, his results of his normal diet show him as a healthy man in excellent shape. Morgan had actually been planning on the 30-day trial after the lawsuit against two obese teenage girls: aged 14 and 19, who tried to sue McDonald's about their obesity, before it was made illegal to do so. While doing the trial, he had to eat everything that was ordered on the menu for one of the 30 days period. If he was ordering his meal and was offered a "Super Size" meal, he was to accept all of it. He also had to try out walking like a typical American person would walk per day (1.5 mile) while Morgan walked 3 miles.

The documentary didn't just show clips of him eating his McDonald's meals - it shows some interesting footage on people's thoughts of fast food restaurants, and that the health effects on the American people. Morgan also mentioned that, America may be the most "fattest nation" but it was already becoming an unintelligent country. I'm not saying that to offend them, but this was from Morgan's words - to be honest - Britain is actually catching up as being a fat nation with health problems. Japan remains a country with the highest life expectancy rate, at around 82 or 83 - because of their good health, and the amount of rice they have, Canada is also at a pretty good life expectancy rate, too.

What really interested me was the fact that everywhere you go around the country, or anywhere - there would be a McDonald's restaurant everywhere. The advertisements with Ronald McDonald and other characters would be encouraging children to eat more of their food products which would mean that they would gain more weight. To be honest, I always thought of Ronald McDonald as some sort of pedophile character - even though I don't think he's done anything THAT harmful to kids.

As I recall, watching it from the beginning - I saw a group of 8-9 year old kids that appear to be sitting at the steps at some park and they are singing "McDonalds! Pizza Hut! KFC!" and singing that this was the food that people eat and that everyone enjoy. Erm? Really kids - I'm still a kid - a teenager perhaps, and to tell you the truth - I never ever go to McDonald's, the only time I would be ever go there if it was ARRANGED in a trip, and I only ever go there about 3 times a year. I would only go in there if there was a McFlurry there, and have that on such an occasion and walk out - myself eating a Big Mac or cheeseburger? That's very rarely ever seen of me doing so. I prefer getting some steak bakes at a bakery shop to take away and eat - if I was out in town, or lunch at Sainsbury's with some cocktail sausages or nice, saucy chicken legs - as a rare treat.

It seems that there are quite a number of people that were interviewed that were questioned on "How much fast food do you eat", and one person said, "Oh, every once in a while", and then Morgan replied "How often?" and the man replied, "Once every two weeks." Two weeks??? That doesn't sound like once in a while to me - it sounds like 'often' to me. There were some locals who were boasting about how cool McDonald's is  and that they would be heading off for a burger right now. There was one guy who looked like a hippie named Don Gorske who is most  well known for eating more than 25'000 Big Macs in his lifetime. To be honest, I don't think that it is an achievement of eating all those Big Macs - it's just years wasted on buying burgers. What's amazing is that he hasn't had any health problems and he looks very slim. Unless, he burned a lot of calories if he does any fitness activities?

Another part of the documentary, when Morgan had reported that United States is becoming a more unintelligent nation, and there were some extract footage showing these kids that were roughly aged 6-8 years old (some of them looked very unhealthy, comparing to how very little amount of teeth they have), and Morgan was showing a variety of pictures of Notable people from America and McDonald's advertisement characters. Some of them only vaguely knew George Washington in the picture. There was one picture where all the kids said "Nope, don;t know who he is", and Morgan turned the picture around and there was a picture of Jesus Christ - at that part with the picture of Jesus, I just burst out laughing at the fact and wondering, "Surely, they can't be THAT thick?"

After, days had past - Morgan Spurlock was becoming ill more and more, and he was gaining a bit of weight. The amount of food that he ate at McDonald's lead to him in a state of depression, migraines, sexual problems and became frigid, and had to take numerous blood tests inbetween those 30 days to show the consistency and comparison in the previous blood tests.

What I found interesting was the fact, that it wasn't only McDonald's causing the problems of the people's health and physical features, schools were providing junk food and a lack of a good, balanced diet. There would be pupils who would rather eat chips or nuggets, and not go for any of the goodies like fruit salad, vegetables, etc. There was a behaviour school in Wisconsin where the school provided excellent diets for the family, with enough peas and carrots, meat, vegetables, fruit salad, lasagne, etc. It was very interesting for me because they were providing a diet that most schools didn't provide, which is disappointing in a way.

After Spurlock completed his final McDonald's meal in the 30th day - there was a celebration party, and Murgon was delighted and his physician said that he ate 90 meals of McDonald's in that month which is about 8 years of an ordinary person eating it once a month. Incredible.

After watching it, I thought that it was a very inspiring documentary - and Morgan and the McDonald's opponents made a very good point on the effect of your health. It wasn't the food that was the problem, it was sort of the people with the addiction, as it was mentioned in the film. It's one of the best documentary films that I've seen, and I do think Morgan Spurlock is an excellent documentary presenter, and I'm starting to become a fan of his material.

I also felt some pity with the people that were overweight, who couldn't help that, and I can't blame them for that.

The entire film is on YouTube, I suggest you should go and watch it - it's definately worth watching and reciting.

I wasn't writing this review with a snooty attitude, but I was trying to make a point on how it's becoming a problem and that people should realize that. I hope you have enjoyed my review on that documentary written.


Zartok-35 said...

Rock and roll MacDonalds!
Rock and roll MacDonalds!

Steven Hartley said...

Ah, Zartok - are you singing along to that song in the documentary or is it something else?

Zartok-35 said...

The documentary song, of course, gotta stay on topic. It's a very interesting peice, performed by the late great Wesley Willis.