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Fast-Food Industry: Friend or Foe? Essay

The 2004 American documentary known as Super-Size Me left a remarkable impact on America’s fast-food industries, as well as fellow fast-food consumers. Not to mention, six weeks after Super-Size Me was released, McDonalds took the “Super-Size” option off their menu as well as their stress on healthier menu choices; such as salads, fruit, and the new adult happy meal. The director, writer, and producer of Super-Size Me is also starring in the film himself, he is Morgan Spurlock. This documentary is anything but flashy or cinematically amazing; it purely presents the real story of Morgan’s journey to a healthier America. Americans know how addicting fast-food really is, but what they don’t know is what fast-food does to their bodies over time. Super-Size Me did influence McDonalds and our society as a whole, however have we still been a healthier America since then. The main point for Spurlock’s experiment was simply, the growing spread of obesity in our society. There was even a lawsuit that was brought against McDonald’s by two overweight girls, who later became obese because of eating McDonald’s food. But as you would guess, the lawsuit failed.

As Super-Size Me starts, Morgan Spurlock is at an above average shape condition in respect of his personal trainer. He is then seen by three doctors: a cardiologist, a gastroenterologist, a general practitioner, as well as a nutritionist and a personal trainer. Morgan Spurlock is documented for thirty days from February 1st to March 2, 2003, in which he eats only McDonald’s food. Yes that means for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; not to mention every time he is asked to “super-size” his meal Spurlock must super-size it. Eating McDonald’s all day made his calorie intake for each day approximately 5,000 calories, which is equal to nine Big Macs! This movie is pretty straight-forward going along with the title, however along the way Spurlock visits elementary schools to see how healthy their food options are. He also does some speeches at schools for the kids, warning them the dangers of unhealthy food choices as well as getting active every day. As well as interviewing random people he meets on the street and at McDonald’s restaurants. Spurlock asks them about their eating habits and why they chose to eat at fast-food instead of cooking at home.

Majority of the people interviewed chose fast-food because it was easy, fast, and of course just darn delicious. Also many of them didn’t seem too concerned for their health, or how much McDonalds they ate in a week. Some even refused to answer Spurlock’s questions they had negative actions towards his experiment. This is not surprising, many people especially children have no worries about what fast-food does to their body; they just know it tastes good and is a quick fix. As you can tell, this movie is not all about a crazy guy eating McDonald’s for weeks; it also has great nutritional facts and a look at how unhealthy America is compared to other countries. Towards the end of the movie, Spurlock finds out the results of his thirty-day challenge. He gained twenty-four and a half pounds, a thirteen percent body mass increase, a cholesterol level of 230, experienced mood swings, sexual dysfunction, and fat accumulation in his liver. Not only that, it took him fourteen months to lose the weight he gained during this Super-Size Me experiment.

The documentary closes with an interesting question, asking “Who do you want to see go first, you or them?” Super-Size Me can be a love-hate relationship for most people who get the chance to watch it. If you love McDonald’s and don’t have much care for eating right this movie wouldn’t be for you; on the other hand, if you are displeased with the fast-food industry in America and interested in seeing how it affects people, this would be a great movie for you. For me, I really enjoyed this movie; it opened my eyes about how overweight and unhealthy we Americans are. You would not believe what fast-food does to your body over time, and how it changes your body steadily without you knowing a thing! I still love and consume fast-food to this day, but I definitely try my very best to not take part as much as I did before. Granted, not every person that watches Super-Size Me will get the same inspirational, mind-blowing feeling to change their eating habits. However, I strongly feel in my gut that this documentary changed a lot of people, whether they were a part of the movie or just a viewer. I just really hope that we Americans have stayed true to the facts of Super-Size Me and have not forgotten the effects of constant fast-food eating.

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