Review: Supersize Me

Supersize Me is a 2004 American documentary directed and acted by Morgan Spurlock. In it, he explores the effect that fast food, in particular, food from McDonald’s, one of the largest fast-food chains in the world, has on an individual and on the U.S. community as a whole.

Spurlock goes on a 30-day diet that consists of 5000 kilocalories from the McDonald’s menu and he undergoes several psychological and physical changes as a result of it.

Spurlock began to have mood swings and spades of depression. He gained 11 kilograms of weight and his cholesterol shot up to 230 mg/dl, which is borderline unhealthy. The dramatic shift of his health surprised many of the doctors he had consulted.

One of the film’s many themes is how the McDonald’s culture is growing into significance in America.

The most striking example of this is during a clip presented in the film of people showing pictures of famous figures to kids. The kids have some trouble identifying George Washington but instantly recognize the mascot of McDonald’s, the clown Ronald McDonald. The children are also presented with a picture of Jesus, but do not know who he is. This is extremely shocking in a country that is dominated by Christianity.

A criticism that I have about the film is that it is not as realistic: it dramatically increases the amount that an average American eats, which is around 3600 calories a day. This, on its own, is already much higher than the recommended 2500 daily calories of a person.

Thus, the film does not accurately represent what the effect on the body of a person consuming a regular amount of food at McDonald’s.

Overall, however, I generally liked the movie and its comedic nature. The humor that Spurlock brings lightens what would otherwise be a dull movie.

I would recommend this documentary to people that are concerned about the effect of the fast food culture, both on the body of a person and on a community, albeit with a grain of salt, as the film just considers the negative influence that fast food has.

Photo from Kanopy

Edited by Dhrubhagat Singh

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