Anthony's Film Review

Super Size Me (2004)

Americans are getting fatter than ever, and this cool documentary explores the issue...

Let's face it. Many people in America are very unhealthy. If you look around, more than half of the people you see are either overweight or obese. People are not only eating stuff that isn't good for them but also eating much more of it. Advice from doctors about diet and exercise is often ignored. I don't blame the medical community. They are doing what they can to educate people about unhealthy lifestyles.

But there's something else that has more power in this situation: corporations, especially a certain one with a pair of golden arches. That and people's lack of will power to stay fit.

Super Size Me is a documentary that does not really present anything new about the obesity epidemic in America. Well, some people may not pay attention to health news as much as other people, so this may be new for them. What I do like is that it incorporates all of the topics involved into one single film. Things like the number of McDonald's restaurants there are, schools selling fast food instead of healthier cafeteria food, kids as early as two or three already understanding McDonald's, cutting physical education programs, gastric bypass surgery, nutritional information hidden in some McDonald's restaurants, and the fattest American cities are arranged quite nicely. We can see what factors are involved and their results.

Speaking of results, you can't have a documentary like this without talking about negative health effects. This is the other big part of the film. Morgan Spurlock does not simply give a lecture about the effects of fast food. He actually goes on a month-long McDonald's diet to SHOW us how bad it can be. And we're not talking about a guy who's already fat and unhealthy. This is someone who visits two doctors plus a dietician to assess his baseline function. He is a perfectly healthy guy. It's a shame, but a very brave feat, that he plans to eat nothing but McDonald's food for the sake of our education.

Once the experiment starts, he seems happy. Anyone would be eager at first to just eat nothing but McDonald's food all the time. Yet, just on the second day, Morgan vomits after eating a large greasy meal. Masochism is part of this trial. His experiment involves two rules: (1) he can only eat food that is found on a McDonald's menu, and (2) if an employee asks if he wants anything super-sized, he must accept it.

And just when there are moments when he still looks okay, he starts to go downhill. He feels much weaker and starts to look a little bigger. To make matters worse, a check-up in the third week reveals that he is at great risk for a heart attack. One of the doctors even warns him to go to an emergency department if he feels chest pain, with or without left arm pain.

While the film may not change the way society does things, it does one thing at least. That is to sum up the main issues related to this health epidemic. I like the film because this is the kind of film I would love to watch. In fact, when Michael Moore made Bowling for Columbine, I had predicted that someone down the road would do a documentary on the obesity problem. And when Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me came to theaters, I knew I had to see it. I'm glad I did.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Super Size Me, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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