Friday, December 14, 2007

Super Size This

I had long understood that the "ground-breaking" documentary Super Size Me was a "must see" for people who want to understand more about the American Food Culture and the obesity epidemic we have in this country. Last night I finally had a chance to watch this New York fringe film legend perform his masterpiece.

Morgan Spurlock said this about his illuminating documentary:

"Super Size Me is one man’s journey into the world of weight gain, health problems and fast food. It’s an examination of the American way of life and the influence that has had on our children, the nation and the world at large."

The brave and daring Spurlock used his film to make points about the availability of sugary and fatty snacks at public schools, youth-geared advertising of fast food, and boldly had his girlfriend express that he believes the fast food industry to be "immoral," all the while contending that the lack of education on healthy eating and exercise to be the largest contributor to America's weight problem.

Spurlock pushes the envelope further to vilify the federal court judge, Robert Sweet, who threw out a lawsuit that essentially alleged McDonald's was liable for making two women fat. Once again the keen and insightful Spurlock hit the nail on the head by making sure the courts were being watched as they undermined the rights of the people in favor of the bourgeoisie, corporate-dominated, American economy.

During Spurlock's month-long, devastating, three McDonald's meals a day diet the meal martyr developed hypertension, extraordinarily high cholesterol, fatty liver (which is similar to an alcoholics post-binge enzyme levels), chronic fatigue, and something very close to an addiction-level high with headaches that subsided once he consumed his transfatty acid-riddled meal. Of course he also experienced problems that a person with rapid weight gain would have (higher heart bpm, easily out of breath, no longer fitting into clothes, etc.) I would wager that if Morgan Spurlock had not used himself as the guinea pig, and sacrificed his well-being for a month, most of America would never have known the dangers of consuming 5,000 calories and nearly 100 grams of fat per day.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?! Not once did the term, "self-discipline" slip through the lips of the experts in the movie, including the boy-wonder film maker. Here's what the genius and noted grammarian had to say about the filming and impact of his documentary:

All in, we shot more than 250 hours worth of footage, spent less than $75,000, traveled more than 25,000 miles and managed to make a movie, from concept to fruition, in less than one year – and it helped push McDonald’s to end Super Sizing before it even hit the theatres! I’m pretty proud of that. I hope you enjoy it – a lot of pain and suffering (mostly by me) was endured to create it.

He thinks fast food is inherently harmful, therefore it should die via a government ban or the old fashioned public boycott. What about an all Indian restaurant diet for a month? What about an all Chinese food diet for a month? What about going to Kroger's and buying nothing but Mountain Dew, Eddy's Extra Creamy Ice Cream, Twinkies, Snicker's, Tombstone Three-Cheese pizzas, and fried chicken to consume for 30 days? Then you could sue each individual company, plus Kroger's for your choice to consume 11,000 calories a day. Would that not be the practical impact of Spurlock's ideals?

The apathy and lethargy of the average American is to blame, not food providers. Fortunately, congress passed the "Cheeseburger Bill" in 2004 to prevent lazy degenerates from suing food providers for causing their obesity. Instead of paying a lawyer and waiting for the litigation process to work itself out, they could have bought an entire home gym, a kitchen full of healthy food, and lost 100 pounds before Judge Sweet rightly threw out their superfluous case.

Although certain aspects of the movie contained valid opinions and facts (only healthy foods available in public schools, better school phys. ed. programs, and eating a balanced diet with exercise) that are indeed helpful for children, I do not buy-into Spurlock's implied assertion that an overwhelming majority of adults in America do not grasp that fast food and other high calorie, sugary, and fatty foods are not good for them on a consistent basis. Fat people know they're fat. They know the fundamentals on how to change it. They know they can do it if they take the time and the energy.

It is not the business of government to regulate diets or any other personal activities, even if the end result is negative (excluding the obvious fundamental violations of human and natural law i.e. murder, theft, rape, assault, etc.). Don't be a Morgan Spurlock. You are the owner of your choices and the consequences that follow.


Nicole McIntyre said...

Amen, brother. Food doesn't make people fat, it's their habits.

Steven Baird said...

I never saw Supersize me so I have no opinion about the movie. I know I'm over weight because I like to eat and I'm quite fond of scotch and bourbon. But that's not why I'm commenting. Spurlock's next movie is called "Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?" He apparently goes on a search to find Bin Laden, and according to the rumours he actually does. We'll see if it's true, but if some film maker can find him you would think our government could as well.

JKB said...

I agree with you. I watched the movie when it first came out on DVD. It was pretty gross. Although, I didn't get the message that all fast food restaurants are evil. I just got that convenience food in general isn't healthy. At the least, he gets you thinking about what you put in your mouth and then your children's mouths.

I watched several episodes of Jamie Oliver's Lunch Project on Discovery. For those who don't know, Oliver is a English chef who is working hard to change the menus of the United Kingdom's school lunches.

I like the stance that he has taken. Instead of simply talking bad about the schools, he has taken a hands on approach to making the changes. It is obviously a more complicated problem than just taking out the vending machines. I recommend that people watch it.

Cameron Clark said...

I agree with you. Fast food isn't good, and if people are going to complain about it, they should be willing to do something about it, starting with themselves if needs be.

By the by, Spurlock's girlfriend said fast food was immoral almost verbatim at one point in the documentary.

JKB said...

It's been a while since I watched it, so I guess I don't remember his girlfriend's opinions as much. Although, the way that the fast food companies market to children is pretty ruthless. That I don't agree with. But, in general, the liability of people's health rests on themselves, not any restaurant or food company.