|Say hello to my little friend.|
Turns out, I wasn't missing much.
First of all, I learned nothing I didn’t know. I’m not trying to argue that fast food is good for you. It’s not. I know this. I think most people know this, really, even if they don’t want to admit it. Yes, a Big Mac is very high calorie, and very NOT nutritious. Yes, a lot of people eat it—probably too often. Yes, a lot of Americans are overweight. Yes, eating only fast food is detrimental to your health. Please, tell me something I don’t know. Don’t insult my intelligence.
Morgan Spurlock is charming, funny, yes. I don’t have any problems with him as a person. He’s likeable, he’s relatable, and he knows how to be on camera.
But his blatant demonization of the fast food industry really rubbed me the wrong way. Of course fast food contributes to the “obesity epidemic” in America. But guess what, fast food doesn’t put itself in your mouth. You go, you order the food, you pay for it, you eat it. Last I checked, this is a free country. Food is not regulated—that is to say, people can pick where they go. They can go out to eat, they can drive through, they can cook. So why is it that with all of these choices, people still feel justified blaming their weight gain or health issues on food establishments that were optional to go to in the first place? It’s not as if the CEO of Mickey D’s walks around force-feeding people 1,000 calorie burgers.
"As a professional nutritionist, I think this movie does a disservice to the American people. Obesity is a serious issue in this country and the movie is not a serious attempt to answer it. It misleads people into thinking that eating a particular type of food or at a particular restaurant is the cause for a weight problem. That certainly is not the case." — Dr. Ruth Kava, Director of Nutrition at the American Council on Science and Health (ASCH)**
|Think he drove himself there?|
I felt it insulting the way that this film depicted “fat” people; as always shoveling Big Macs, fries, and sodas into their unhealthy, carb-starved mouths. It just hit me as encouraging a stereotype that I think is very negative and hurtful. Not all overweight people are overweight because they do nothing but sit around eating buckets full of fast food. Although that tends to be the assumption shared by the general public. Thanks, “Super Size Me,” for mocking people who most likely already have body image issues. Good job.
Some of the meals that Morgan ate during his 30-day Mickey D’s diet I’ve never seen anyone actually eat—I noticed a couple of times that it looked like he had two sodas or two burgers, or both! That’s outrageous. Sure, I believe that there are some people out there who would order that much food. But probably not for every meal. I know one of the conditions of the 30-Day McDonald’s diet was that Morgan eat everything on the menu, at least once, but was it really necessary to order as much as he did every time he ate? I think he went out of his way to prove his point, and I think his ‘experiment’ was a little exaggerated.
|How many burgers do you need, Morgan?|
"…so you ate more food than the average person, and you exercised less. With all due respect, what the heck did you think would happen to your body?"— D. Parvaz, Seattle Post-Intelligencer**
However, I do agree that it was ridiculous how many locations Morgan visited that didn’t have nutrition information available. People should be able to educate themselves about what they are putting into their bodies. As one of those people who’s started counting calories, I can attest to the fact that it’s very frustrating to be unable to find nutrition facts about the things I eat. Instead of filing frivolous lawsuits (something that we in America are experts at doing) why not push for readily available nutrition guides in fast food restaurants? That would be far more productive.
I’m concerned that blaming McDonald’s, blaming the fast food industry only encourages people to reject personal accountability. People don’t need to be babied; they don’t need to be told that they can eat whatever they want because someone else will be there to take the blame. If they don’t realize it’s themselves who put those extra pounds on by eating the wrong foods, how can anyone expect them to realize that they’re the only ones who can change their eating habits and pursue a healthier lifestyle?
It is what it is.