Super Size Me is an extremely interesting and entertaining investigation by Morgan Spurlock into the health hazards of our fast food nation. The basic premise is Spurlock's McDonald's-only diet (breakfast, lunch and dinner, all at the Golden Arches) and the dangers that go along with eating this way.
The science presented is so one-sided that all sense of objectivity is lost. But that's inherent to almost all documentaries; they want to hammer home their point of view. This doesn't take away from the entertainment value; it's just that the variables in genetics and lifestyles are so great you really can't present this as science.
Beyond his grand experiment, Spurlock delves into the food culture of America, mostly on the costs and techniques McDonald's uses in marketing its product to kids and how little is spent on pushing fruits and vegetables. He also brings to bear the point of personal responsibility and the lack of exercise among youngsters, but this is clearly not his aim. His real modus operandi is to eat as much McDonald's as possible and come up with disastrous results.
He does get fat and does increase cholesterol and blood pressure - duh! Did anyone expect a different outcome when he ate 5,000 calories a day of food loaded with fat, sugar, and salt? If he doubled his caloric intake eating only cheesecake, he would have gotten the same results. This is no indictment of McDonald's; overindulgence is overindulgence. The really interesting thing would have been for him to replace his balanced diet with the equivalent intake of McDonald's and kept his activity level normal. What would have happened? Probably nothing, and thus not much of a documentary. So Spurlock had to go with a flawed methodology to get the required cause and effect he was after.
Though his "Mcpuke" scene seems a bit staged - you can see it coming a mile away - his having "McGas" did make me laugh, as did other things. I see this completely as entertainment rather than really informative. The DVD comes with deleted scenes, extra interviews, and an interview with Eric Schlosser, author of . Within the extras is the best part, showing the elderly couple and their collection of McDonald's paraphenalia and the McDonald's fries kept in a glass jar for two months that look like they were bought yesterday.
Overall, I'd have to say Super Size Me gets a nine for entertainment value in the vein of MTV's "Jackass" and about a two for its severely flawed information. Those looking for hard journalism will be disappointed. But those watching strictly for entertainment purposes will get a few chuckles. Just make sure to walk to McDonald's when that McNugget urge hits you after watching this.
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