Wednesday, September 08, 2004

This town ain't big enough for the two of us

I barely caught the showing of the documentary Supersize Me on the big screen and I'm glad that I did catch it. Movie started out like one big comedy feature, Writer/Director Morgan Spurlock had to prove that eating fastfood was the leading cause of obesity in the United States and to prove that he made a daring experiment not to eat anything for one whole month except those coming from McDonald's. Before diving headlong into that experiment he had himself checked up by a Gastro doctor, a cardiologist, and a general practioner who all gave him a clean bill of health. His vegetarian girlfriend also reluctantly gave him a go-signal to whatever it is he has to do. So while the whole film shows him gorging on Mcgoodies morning, afternoon, and evening he went around different states interviewing normal people about their eating habits, school and health officials about the food they're allowing to be served to kids in school, a Big Mac afficionado from Texas, the head honcho of the Grocers' group, and others. He also gave updates regarding the teenagers who are suing McDonald's for their obesity problems and the lifestyle "Super Size" meals in McDonald's contribute to the problem.

While the movie started out with a somewhat ridiculous premise the progress of the film doesn't seem like something one should laugh about. As one fact is unloaded after the other, eating at fastfood chains doesn't seem to be that appetizing anymore. At the start of the movie Mr. Spurlock started out with 185 lbs. and ended up at 210 lbs at the end of 30 days. The success of "Super Size" meals at McDonald's spurred other food chains to follow suit resulting in a meal that's meant for one person to be able to actually feed four persons. The films also bemoans the typical American's passing up the opportunity to exercise and even walk. School officials also start the kids early on with this unhealthy lifestyle by doing away with Physical Education and packing their lunches with carbs and lots and lots of sugar. I applaud Mr. Spurlock's work to hold up a mirror to America and show them what it is exactly they're doing. Also I don't exactly see those people who are suing the fastfood chains eye to eye, while the big corproration has its faults for keeping the list of calories and sugar from the public eye (as opposed to the governing body's ruling order to post it where everybody can see it), what happened to personal responsibility? McDonald's present only one choice out of the many and if the parents of those kids or those who are greedy enough to sue a big company for their slice of the pie then anybody can figure out that their intentions all along, unlike Mr. Spurlock, was anything but noble.

* Check out also the review in Hollywood Jesus for more insightful reactions to this great movie.

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