Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Supersize Me is a social experiment documentary that goes above and beyond to show us the health risk fast food consumption is involved. If someone was to tell you that you’re practically killing yourself by eating that BigMac we probably wouldn’t believe them. Eating fast food affects every aspect of our health, from heart and cholesterol problems to becoming over weight and obese. Obesity rates unfortunately continue to increase and is truly an epidemic in the making. We obtain the side effects from the fast food while the fast food chains are making millions of dollars in a day’s time. Morgan Spurlock risk his own health by investigating the relations between fast food and obesity; he consumes McDonalds for a whole month proving we need to limit our fast food consumption and our need to reduce our obesity epidemic. His technique of persuasion by using himself to test on is very effective on the attempt to persuade his viewers.
Supersize Me’s audience is very vast. It stretches to most people, including parents, children, college students, people always on the go etc. College Students are strong candidates for this documentary due to some not knowing how to cook, having little time to cook, hence having such busy schedules with homework, classes and some having jobs. Some college students and even high school students even work at fast food, so passing up getting food at a discounted price for working there also increases consumption in younger people. Some fast food chains even have student discounts, which does not help with the consumption of unhealthy food, especially if it is the cheapest route to go. McDonalds, in select locations offer this student discount. Parents are also a strong candidate due to the attempt to decrease obesity rates when their children are grown. If the parent provided unhealthy food for their child, it will catch up with them when they are older causing the possibility of overweight, and even early onset of diabetes, etc. They are also more likely to eat unhealthy and fast foods if they were given it at a young age, learning that it’s okay to consume, and sometimes in extreme cases, even getting addicted to the food. McDonalds lures in the young children with the Happy Meals, playgrounds, Ronald McDonald, and even having toys with their meal. It’s also puzzling how some hospitals such as Kosairs, are supposed to promote good health, but have a McDonalds, or other fast food restaurants on campus. People who are always on the go, are good candidates for this film, they eat fast food because it’s cheap and easy. We have made it so easy for people to be unhealthy. We can go through a drive thru window and have lunch in five minutes, instead of setting down and having a healthy meal. There’s also dollar menus, making the low prices drag costumers in too. Fast food is making the environment toxic, due to having constant access to cheap fat-laden foods. Fast food chains are honestly taking over and harming the consumers which is what Supersize Me goal is, is to show us the reality of how we are harming ourselves and just making the fast food chains richer.
Spurlock uses facts and logistics evidence. Using factual evidence helps show a broader stand point on the epidemic making the film more effective. The entire beginning of the film is just passing minutes of over whelming statistics. The Documentary was filmed in 2004 and the statistics have increased since then. In 2004 we were the fattest and most obese nation in the world. Over 100 million Americans were either overweight or obese according to the documentary. McDonalds also counts as 43% of the total fast food marketing in America, which is nearly half. Statistics increasing over the years show that the statistics he used were truthful. Today we are still most obese nation in the world, even after the popularity of the documentary our obesity rates, still continue to increase. More restaurants and fast food have opened since then showing even more obesity in the future. According to ABC News, by 2030 nearly half of America will be overweight or obese. Having a 12 year insight after the documentary, truly is scary for the obesity rates. The supersizing epidemic is so huge that cars have even included larger cup holders.
He also had health experts help him with his documentary with monitoring him over the 30 days. He had three medical experts, a cardiologist, a gastroenterologist, and a general practitioner. Spurlock’s first checkup he was very healthy and had no illness, according to all three specialist but at the end of the 30 days that was a total different story. He goes through a total physical examination before and after the binge to show his viewers the effects of the fast food. Even at the get-go of the binge, the doctors feared heart problems showing that normal fast food consumption can also cause heart problems. He even went to a registered dietician to track his progress. He also talked to other experts in health to show more in depth statistics, to further prove to his viewers the affects. William Klish spoke about the increase in diabetes and how children who obtain diabetes before the age 15 can lose somewhere between 17 and 27 years of life span. This fact alone stands out and should stand out for most parents because the happy meals they bought for their children could lead to early death in their children.
Spurlock was personal with his documentary connecting to his viewers emotionally. He used himself to test on. He even showed personal scenes from the physical examinations. He goes through dramatic health risk to prove that fast-food is hazardous for us. He wasn’t just a narrator he wanted to be heard. He would look into the camera to tell us information and how he is feeling through the process. He shows his true feeling in the documentary. He risked even his relationship, knowing that the food could make him irritable and in knowing that is girlfriend was a vegan chef, he still went with the experiment.
He did video diaries to also show us the effects of fast food was having on him. Having personal video diaries gives more of a personal quality to the film, making it more relatable to the viewers. Some of his video diaries, even after ten to fifteen minutes of consuming the fast food he would start to feel the difference and notice the changes that occurred when he consumed such unhealthy foods. He even gets sick after eating the supersized meal sometimes, due to the high intake of calories, salts and sugars. He would take his video diaries to the street and even ask strangers what they thought about fast food, most of them knew that it wasn’t good for them but still said they eat it. Some stated that they didn’t have time to work out either due to their busy life styles. By day five he even included in his video diaries that he obtained an unhealthy amount of weight, over 10 pounds in just five days. Showing what his body is going through and to hear people’s perspectives is effective for his viewers on a personal stand point.
In rebuttal Spurlock could have went overboard in the film due to the massive intake he ingested, which could decrease the effectiveness of his film. Most people do not eat out every single day, three times a day that could add up financially. Eating out all the time can get expensive and for the average American they wouldn’t be able to afford eating out as much as he did in the month stretch that he organized. Also if “Epidemic of Obesity,” was as deathly as stated in the film, why didn’t the females that sued McDonalds, referenced in the film, win their case.
The film begun with the quote “Look after the customer and the business will take of itself,” stated by Ray Kroc. With fast food chains, they are not taking care of their customers, they are harming and possibly killing there costumers. So how are they still making millions every day? We as Americans are not just paying to eat out with our wallets but with our waistlines, as stated in the documentary. With just this comparison it should be effective, just because people care about what others think of them and how they look. The entire film compared the effects of obesity with the effects of smoking which is a very effective comparison. We all know how dangerous smoking is so comparing eating out and being overweight you would think would do the trick to stop peoples urge to ingest such dangerous ingredients that are present in these fast food meals but it truly does not. The obesity rates still continue to increase showing that in reality, even though the film seems like it will be effective and have an effect on the viewers, the obesity rates disagree.