Super size me is an American documentary released in 2004 produced by and starring Morgan Spurlock. The documentary follows Morgan over 30 days, during which he only consumed McDonald’s fast food.
Over the 30 days, the documentary details the drastic effects physically and psychologically due to the consumption of fast food and highlights the fast food industry’s corporate influence, adding how the industry promotes poor nutrition in seek of high profit margins.
The main reason for this was due to the rapid spread of obesity throughout America. At this point 2 overweight girls had brought a lawsuit against McDonalds claiming they became overweight as a result of McDonalds food. They failed the lawsuit however gained the attention of many who wanted to learn more about the negative effects of fast food.
The 30-day plan followed very strict rules: He must eat 3 McDonalds meals a day, consume every item on the menu at least once over the 30 days, must only ingest items offered at McDonalds (even bottled water), he must only consume Super Size meals when offered and must try to walk the standard 5,000 steps a day of an American citizen.
After only 5 days, he gained 4.3kg and began experiencing signs of depression, lethargy and headaches. His GP quickly described him as an ‘addict’ to fast food.
On day 21, he experienced heart palpitations and was advised to stop immediately.
By the end of the month, he had gained 11kg and his body mass increased by 13%.
The film ends with a striking rhetorical questions- ‘who do you want to see go first, you or them?’
Although this film is dramatic and exaggerated as the average person would not consume this much fast food at once, it raises your awareness to the effects of high fat, fast food. There is no nutritional value behind this food and not only does it cause weight gain, consumption can cause dangerous health issues.
Not only did ‘Super size me’ highlight the health consequences of eating fast food, six weeks after the film aired, McDonalds dropped its supersize portions.