Super Size Me
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has some sexual references (Spurlock's sex life is adversely affected by his diet) and some very graphic images of a stomach-stapling operation. There's some strong language, too.
What's the story?
Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock takes on American fast food culture in general and McDonald's in particular in this prize-winning documentary. He eats nothing but McDonald's food for an entire month, and says "yes" whenever he is asked if he wants to supersize his order. To the horror of his vegan chef girlfriend and the three doctors who monitor his 25-pound weight gain and severe liver damage, he eats "meat, meat, sugar and fat" for a month. At first, his body rejects the supersized food and he throws up. But by the end of the month he craves McDonald's food and feels happier and calmer when he has eaten some. He also talks to experts, including a surprisingly svelte man who eats his 19,00th Big Mac on camera, the lobbyist for the food companies, and a law professor who is suing McDonald's on behalf of two obese teenagers. Spurlock visits schools that feed students the same kind of "cheap, fat-laden" meals served by fast food outlets -- provided by the USDA's school lunch program. He also finds one school for kids with behavior problems in Wisconsin that is experimenting with a healthy, additive-free menu with successful results and no extra costs.
Is it any good?
Mordantly funny and trenchantly sobering, SUPERSIZE ME is a Big Mac attack with real bite. Spurlock strikes just the right note, frank about irresponsibility at the personal and corporate level but more bemused than outraged. America has the biggest everything, including the biggest people. We have alternatives, but we choose what is easy.
We spend much more on food that is bad for us -- and then on diet books -- and then on treatment and lawsuits -- than we do on exercise and other ways to prevent disease. The "small" size soda in the US has the same volume as the "large" sold in other countries. Yes, companies sell us food that is not good for us -- Spurlock's doctor says that his liver has gone from perfectly healthy to "pate" -- but we are the ones who want to supersize everything, even ourselves.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what they eat and why people do things that are bad for them. Who is responsible for America's obesity crisis? What should we do about it? How will seeing this movie change your behavior? If you were Spurlock, what movie would you make next?