Reviewing movies isn’t particularly my thing, but I saw Supersize Me today with my girlfriend and I must admit that it was ridiculously compelling, on a gastrointestinal level, if nothing else.
For those of you too lazy to read about it on IMDb, Supersize Me is an award-winning documentary about handlebar-moustached Morgan Spurlock’s 30-day McDonalds diet, and his sudden, dramatic transformation from a relatively svelte, healthy adult male at 185.5lbs into a moody, 210lb fatty with liver fibrosis, skyrocketed cholesterol, trigs, and even uric acid buildup. Basically, an all-McDonalds diet melted his metabolic system to the point of physical addiction.
The movie was surprisingly well put together, though naturally eclipsed in the documentary category by Fahrenheit 9/11 (which didn’t really deserve the hype as such, anyway). Important points it brought up:
- Where does personal responsibility end and corporate responsibility begin? Spurlock cites the lawsuit brought against McDonalds by two severely obese girls that was eventually thrown out by a judge. In much the same way as I find lawsuits against tobacco companies to be righteous but misguided and indefensible, claims that these girls were unaware that fried fatty foods at McDonalds were bad for them is ridiculous on any level. It’s all about choice: if people didn’t want to smoke or eat Big Macs, the companies would dry up like a slug in the sun. They aren’t forcing their wares down anyone’s gullet in a physical sense.
- What comprises a healthy diet? One sore spot of the film was Spurlock’s girlfriend, a skinny little vegan who, prior to and after the experiment, fed her man a variety of “cleansing vegetables,” which is all nice and good, but struck me as somewhat kooky and too perfect a counterpoint for the Fatty Meat and Sugar side played by McEvilCorporation. Also, I could have done without her candid description of their sex life during the experiment. The saturated fats affect the blood flow to his penis? Better give him some alfalfa for his chi. The fact is, yes, you can eat a healthy vegetarian diet, but remember that humans have incisors for a reason: we were meant to eat meat. Protein is an integral part of our diet, and some people just prefer bacon to soy. Get over it.
- Should schools be able to serve this garbage? Short answer: no. No wonder our kids are fat, when USDA-supplied meals can consist of 1’100+ calories each. This is not to mention the schools (like my old high school) that probably do better business in their snack-cakes-and-soda-pop vending machines than they do in their lunch line.
All in all, I highly recommend this movie. Just don’t expect to want to eat McDonalds for a while.