The documentary which I chose for this analysis is Super Size Me. This documentary film uses the mega-fast-food corporation, McDonalds, as its subject matter. The entire documentary is an experiment conducted by Morgan Spurlock on himself where he spends an entire month eating nothing but McDonald’s meals. He had several rules as to how he would go about the experiment so that it would be a solid, scientific research effort which would be usable and reproducible. His rules were: (1) Eat McDonald’s meals 3 times a day, (2) Consume all the items on the menu once over the one month time period, (3) Walk only the average amount an American walks every day (2 miles) (4) Eat nothing other than McDonald’s meals, not even medicine) (5) Supersize the meals every time it is offered by the cashier but never otherwise.
The result of his experiment was that he gained close to 11 kilograms (or 15 pounds) and suffered numerous problems during the 30 day period. These ranged from stomach and head aches to depression and loss of sex drive. By day 21 he had had a heart palpitation and his doctors warned him that he was literally eating himself to death. Altogether, he found that the health scares related to fast-food had a lot of truth in them – they were a huge cause of obesity and this was only to be expected. McDonald’s, regardless of what it portrays itself as, is a corporation that wants to make money any way possible. Its product is ready-to-eat food and if making it unhealthy (almost to the point of being poisonous) is what gives them profits, then that is what they will do. A more important issue is that McDonald’s targets children and makes them believe that there is nothing wrong with their food at a very early age. The documentary was independently made but the impact it had was enormous. 6 weeks after its release, McDonald’s shutdown its supersize option and introduced salads into the menu along with a range of options targeted at adults.
Morgan Spurlock, dir. Super Size Me. Perf. Morgan Spurlock and Alexandra
Jamieson, 2004. Film.