Super Size Me



Fascinating, award-winning docu on American fast food.
Popular with kidsParents recommend
  • Review Date: September 27, 2004
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Though the statistics the movie presents paint a dire picture of obesity and the effects of fast-food marketing campaigns on children, the movie also suggests that people have the power to confront these issues head-on and change their eating habits. Shortly after the film was premiered, McDonald's eliminated their "Super Size" options on their menus. 

Positive role models

Though it's clearly a bad idea to try to eat nothing but McDonald's for a month, Morgan Spurlock undertakes this ludicrous idea to make a broader point about the effects Americans' fast-food diets have on their bodies. 


Extremely graphic scenes of an operation. 


The girlfriend of the filmmaker laments his decreased sexual desire and prowess. Exposed female breasts are seen on a poster in the background. 


Occasional profanity: "s--t," "f--k you" once, "crap." The word "s--t" is clearly visible on a poster in the background of some scenes. 


McDonald's is the central focus, in addition to the food industry as a whole. The effects of McDonald's marketing campaigns targeted to young children are shown and discussed. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Super Size Me is a 2004 documentary in which filmmaker Morgan Spurlock eats nothing but McDonald's fast food for one month in an attempt to make a broader point on how fast food has affected the health and well-being of people in the United States. There are some sexual references; Spurlock's sex life with his girlfriend is not what it once was since living on nothing but Big Macs and Egg McMuffins. Exposed female breasts are seen on a poster in the background. There are two instances of graphic imagery: Spurlock vomits his lunch out the side of his car window (there's a shot of the vomit splattered on the parking lot), and there are extreme close-ups of a surgery. Profanity includes "s--t" and "f--k." This movie provides an engaging opportunity for families with teens to discuss the effects of fast food on health, how fast food is marketed to kids, and why it's important for kids (and adults) to get exercise on a regular basis. 

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's 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 supersize 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 19,000th 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 forcefully sobering, SUPERSIZE ME is a Big Mac attack with real bite. Spurlock strikes just the right note, is frank about irresponsibility at the personal and corporate levels, but is more bemused than outraged. America has the biggest everything, including the biggest people. We have alternatives, but we choose what's easy.

We spend much more money 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" soda in the U.S. has the same volume as the "large" in other countries. Yes, companies sell us food that's not good for us -- Spurlock's doctor says that his liver has gone from perfectly healthy to "pâté" -- 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?

  • What do you think has changed, if anything, in the years since this film was made, in terms of how Americans view fast food, regular exercise in school, how fast food is marketed to kids, and the portion sizes of food? 

  • The filmmaker questions what the appropriate balance is between personal and corporate responsibility in reference to the obesity epidemic. Do you think one side or the other bears more of the blame for what's happening, or is it a shared blame? 

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 7, 2004
DVD release date:September 28, 2004
Cast:Morgan Spurlock
Director:Morgan Spurlock
Studio:IDP Distribution
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language, sex and drug references, and a graphic medical procedure

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old June 16, 2011

Tasty-Except For the Brief Cussing

This is an awesome movie, and it's all about eating healthy. It's also pretty funny, too. Mr. Spurlock's experiment clearly explains to viewers what fast food does to you on screen. Unfortunately, he says "sh*t" and "b*stard" at least once. If you can get past that, then you are ready for this nutrition lesson.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Adult Written byAnnoyedteenguy May 14, 2010
Well, We watched this in biology. Our teacher would tell us "Earmuffs" when a swear was about to be uttered but none of us did it. I was laughing the whole time. This did show the negative effects of a mickey ds addiction and diet. Nothing a 12 year old cant handle. It is very educational.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written byThorndrop October 29, 2009
What other families should know
Great messages


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