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The Super-Size Me Documentary Analysis

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    Anyone in any age can be obese. The good part is that it is reversible, and there are many ways people cannot be obese anymore. Obesity can happen to anyone for many reasons, and it can be reversed many different ways. More and more Americans are becoming obese every single day. It is also becoming more and more popular for children to be obese. Childhood obesity is a serious and common disease that is increasingly becoming more prevalent. Adults need to be role models toward their children and educate them about obesity. It is only getting worse and more common, and it is a very serious disease that has a lot of negative effects that come along with it. Obesity today is a widely spread nutritional disorder that can affect anybody at any age across North America, majority of the reason being because there are so many fast food restaurants on just about every corner. With their low prices, people are not going to be making the right decisions in what type of food they consume in their diet. Some examples of the junk food would be: Microwave dinners, snack foods like potato chips, which have high calories. It is not necessarily junk foods that make people obese. Too many carbohydrates and foods with lots of starch in an individual’s diet can also cause them to gain undesired weight. When talking about obesity, there are so many articles, movies, and documentaries mention about this situation. One of them is the documentary movie which is called, Supersize Me.

    The author of this movie, Morgan Spurlock, gets the idea of this movie from a case of two girls who were suing McDonald’s for their obesity. The judge ruled that there is no proof that their obesity and poor health is a result of eating from McDonald’s. As an experiment, Spurlock decides to eat only McDonald’s food for a thirty day period and examine the influence of fast food on his health. The movie teaches people about the dangers of fast food. Not only that, but it also explains what food can be chosen to eat, how much of those food is enough, and ways to maintain a healthy weight. Therefore, the documentary film Supersize Me, which is made by Morgan Spurlock, is the perfect movie to watch and to understand the bad effect of eating fast food, the harms of certain school lunch program, eating habits these days, and who is responsible for Americans’ weight problems.

    The reason viewers who have watched Supersize Me all say this movie is a great teaching tool for students and everyone else, is because this movie shows details about the risks of eating fast food, specifically McDonald’s fast food. Morgan Spurlock, the main character in this movie and also this movie maker, has done an experiment to show the effect of fast food by eating nothing but just McDonald’s fast food for thirty days straight from the first of the February to the second of the March. In the first time, he eats McDonald’s, he does not feel anything weird except a little headache, and uncomfortable feeling; however, after a few times in McDonald’s, he begins to feel sick and tired. After eating just McDonald’s fast food for thirty days, he gains 25 pounds and also doubles his chances for heart disease. Furthermore, in the movie, according to Spurlock’s general practitioner, Daryl M. Isaacs, his cholesterol rate goes up higher than before from one hundred sixty five to two hundred twenty five, and this rate is very high for a normal person. For him to get over the overweight, he need to exercise for fourteen months to lose his extra weight and he said it was nothing close to being easy.

    Moreover, the nutritionist, Bridget Bennett, tells him that he has gained seventeen pounds, and he eats over two hundred percent of what he needs. Based on Spurlock’s health status and the way he get over the bad health status in the documentary, viewers can easily know the dangerous effect of the fast food to the health such as high cholesterol, heart disease, headache, or else. Fast food is the kind of food can make people gain a lot of weight more than another food. In the article, ‘Fast Food: Unfriendly and Unhealthy’, the authors S Stender, J Dyerberg and A Astrup state that ‘It remains possible that frequent fast-food consumption is simply a marker for a generally unhealthy lifestyle (e.g., less restrained eating behavior, fatty and sweet food preferences, and a sedentary lifestyle), factors which are the real culprits in weight gain and in the increased risk of diabetes’ (887). This statement shows that eating fast food can possibly makes eaters gradually gain more weight and cause some trouble in their health. Just like the movie, this article also agrees that the fast food is the cause of dangerous diseases and high cholesterol. Also, the article, ‘Effectiveness of Nutrition Education on Fast Food Choices in Adolescents’, which is made by the authors Allen, Kelly N, R.N., and et al illustrates that, ‘Many researchers have speculated that eating outside the home in fast food restaurants may have a negative effect on body weight in adolescents’ (337). This statement tells that adolescents today like to spend eating out more than just eating at home, and that causes gaining weight to their body. This article also mentions the risk of fast food due to each body health.

    In addition, this movie shows the ways schools are affecting obesity in their students. In the movie, Spurlock goes to two schools to do a survey about the school lunch program. The first school he goes is the Madison Junior High School at Naperville. When he starts asking one student about the lunch she bought from the cafeteria, he is very surprised that the girl bought only cookies, some fries, and ketchup. The girl’s lunch is very simple, but it tells the viewers that the school lunch nowadays is not really good for children’s health, and it may cause them to become obese. When he asks a woman who works at the cafeteria about the drinks the school provides for students, he sees that, besides the school prohibiting selling soda, they sell lemonade, but it is worse than soda because it contains thirty six grams of sugar inside. With this kind of drink, students may get obese and high cholesterol easily. Spurlock also goes to Barbara Brown, the Sodexho operation manager, to ask about the school lunch, and he receives a very surprising answer which is said that there are about four hundred school services that serve unhealthy food such as cookies, sodas, and candy bars. By this information, viewers can understand that even if some schools have banned soda vending machines, but they keep selling unhealthy food for children, this cannot prevent the students from getting bad diseases, like diabetes, and high blood pressure.

    Furthermore, in the movie, after surveying at the high school, Spurlock goes to Park Middle School at Berkeley to see the school lunch at that school. He sees that the school lunch in there contains about 1196 calories and one hundred thirty four milligram of cholesterol, and he also knows that every food that the USDA provides to school to serve for children at lunch time has been cooked and put in boxes. By seeing these images in the movie, not just viewers, but also every parent will be angry about that. This means not just eating fast food outside, but eating at school also makes children gain weight and get obese. In the article, ‘What’s For Lunch?’, the author, Mark Zanger, does research on the school lunch program, and he gets interesting information: ‘Multiculturalism has slightly lengthened the list of starchy, sugary foods kids will eat, but has not done much for diet diversity: almost every cafeteria I visited reported that pizza is the most popular meal and French fries are the most popular side dish’ (21). In this report, readers can see that the food at lunch time that children receive is not healthy at all. Every food they get is all unhealthy food and may cause them to get sick. This article also shows that the school’s lunch food is so bad and not healthy, so it may make children get obese. Similar to the article, ‘Effect of Food Service Nutrition Improvements on Elementary School Cafeteria Lunch Purchase Patterns’ the author Tangari has also done a survey about the nutrition in school’s food, and he gets a bad conclusion, ‘That survey provided a disconcerting picture of the continued widespread availability of foods and beverages high in fat, sodium, and added sugars as a la carte cafeteria choices, in vending machines, and in school stores’ (356). This statement shows that the food in school cafeterias contains very high calories and fat. This article also shows the bad effect of school’s food on children’s health.

    This documentary movie shares many interesting facts about the bad eating habits of people these days in the United States. In the movie, it shows that forty percent of Americans eat out of the house; that is about 121,623,890 people. This number seems like half of people in the US spend more time eating out at the restaurants than eating at home. Furthermore, the movie displays that sixty percent of Americans, that is about 182,435,834 people, eat at fast food restaurants and then they get obese. It seems like Americans these days like to go eating fast food, and these high numbers of people reflects the bad eating habit of Americans today. It shows people do not care much about what food they are eating, or whether the food they are eating is good or bad for them, and they keep eating more and more fast food. Moreover, Spurlock, the movie maker, look at people every day and see that if four people plan to go to eat, one of them will go to a fast food restaurant. With Spurlock’s comment in the movie, viewers can know that eating fast food has become one of American’s habits. Viewers may also know that more and more people today like to eat fast food more than healthy food, and they gain more weight after.

    In the movie, Spurlock describe that in his city, New York, every single street all have many fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s, Wendy, or Burger King, and he sees that in each restaurant, a lot of people, families, parents and children go to eat. Spurlock sees that everyone today likes to spend their money on fast food not just because they want to waste their income, but they like to eat fast food, and that is the bad eating habit. Moreover, in the movie, Spurlock meets one of his friends, Don Gorske. This guy is a Big Mac enthusiast, and he eats about nine Big Macs a day at McDonald’s, so in the end of a year, he eats about 19,852 Big Macs. He likes to spend more and more his money on Big Mac at McDonald’s because he attracts to Big Mac from first time he ate it, and after that eating Big Mac becomes his habit. This guy is one good example of people in America to show the worst eating fast food habit. By looking at this guy, viewers can figure out that eating fast food becomes Americans custom these days. Furthermore, the article, ‘Weighing in on Fast Food Consumption: The Effects of Meal and Calorie Disclosures on Consumer Fast Food Evaluations’, which is written by Andrea Heintz Tangari, Scot Burton, Elizabeth Howlett, Yoo-na Cho, and Anatasia Thyroff, give information about the Americans eating habit ‘In the last 30 years, the percentage of money spent on food purchases outside the home has risen to 25% and … Consumers now spend almost $600 billion annually at fast food and table-service restaurants’ (431, 432). The statement shows that people today spend a lot of money on outside food rather than cook at home, and it also tells the specific number of money people waste on fast food. By reading this statement, readers can easily know more that Americans does not have responsibility on choosing the right food to eat, and they always want to choose to pick fast food for their meals. This article and this statement also reflect the bad eating habit of Americans now.

    Same like in the article, ‘Differences in perceptions and fast food eating behaviors between Indians living in high- and low-income neighborhoods of Chandigarh, India’, the authors Aloia, Christopher Robert and et al describe that, ‘In another recent study that surveyed 106 South Asians from Bangladesh, researchers revealed that consumers are most likely to buy lunch or midday snack at a Western-style fast food restaurant and consider costs, mood of the restaurant, availability of various types of food, convenience, and location of the restaurant in their decision’ (2). This illustration shows about the survey on the eating habit of people nowadays. This survey demonstrates people these days change to mostly buying snack, unhealthy food because that kind of food is cheap and convenient for them. Likewise, this statement emphasizes the bad expression in eating routine of people every day just like people who are described in the movie.

    Furthermore, this documentary movie gives some information about who is responsible for Americans’ weight problems. The credit for that should go to both, the fast food industry and the general public. Industries encourage the public to buy their food, and they advertise through television commercials, signs, and even toys. In the movie, Spurlock has complained about the encouragement of McDonald’s do to people and children. He said that McDonald’s advertise their restaurant everywhere such as on the television, newspaper and even on the road side, and these kind of advertisements attract a lot of people and children to buy their products. In the beginning of the film, the movie shows that back in the 1950s, the founder of McDonald’s said, ‘Look after the customer, and the business will take care of itself.’ This means that if the customer is convinced to buy the food then the business will be fine because it will be making money. In every places and everywhere nowadays, everyone are able to see the advertisement of McDonald’s or some other fast food restaurants, and it always attracts most of people around. Because of the encouragement of the advertisements, many people gain their own weights, so fast food industries are ones of those who are responsible the weight gaining problem. However, the public also need to be responsible for the problem because they cannot control themselves about falling for all these advertisements.

    When people see the interesting advertisements about fast food on television, newspaper, and in many places else, they are not able to avoid the attraction to go buying fast food. Actually, not just fast food is the only thing being advertised but even other products. There are commercials for whole-grain cereals, and articles about how to keep up a healthy lifestyle, and even free samples of fruit at the grocery store. A lot of healthy foods also advertise with junk food, but people still tend to fall for the junk because fast food’s advertisements look more attractive. Just like in the article, ‘Talking about Obesity: News Framing of Who Is Responsible for Causing and Fixing the Problem’, the authors Sei-Hill Kim and L. Anne Willis said that, ‘Becoming obese is in general a direct outcome of individual behaviors, and it is individuals who make the decision to eat too much or to avoid physical activities’ (362). These two authors of this article agree that personal responsibility decides becoming obesity or not. They explain that because of the bad behavior in eating will lead to weight problem. Also, in the article, ‘Personal Responsibility and Obesity: A Constructive Approach to a Controversial Issue’ the authors Brownell, Kelly D., and et al state that, ‘The notion that obesity is caused by the irresponsibility of individuals’ (379). These authors also think the main cause of obesity is each person responsibility. These two articles all talk about the careless in the way of choosing food of Americans these days.

    Super-Size Me teaches everyone the bad effect of eating fast food such as McDonald’s, the harms of certain school lunch program and eating habits these days, and who is responsible for Americans’ weight problems. Fast food just like Wendy, Burger King, or McDonald’s causes people get sick and gain weight faster than normal. However, not just fast food restaurants but also the school lunch for students makes children get obesity. Moreover, two others thing cause obesity to people is the bad eating habit and the irresponsibility of people. The food should be eaten very sparingly if at all. Otherwise, nutritionists advise to never eat it. It affects everyone in many ways, like by increasing their weights, or even heightening their chances of heart disease.

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