Super Size Me (2004)

A food documentary which changed my relationship with food.

Carly Horne
28th February 2023
Image Credit: pixabay
Super Size Me follows the journey of Morgan Spurlock as he attempts to eat only McDonald's over a period of 30 days. But has my decision to watch this at the age of 14 impacted my ability to enjoy fast food?

It's no secret that the U.S.A has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world, and something needs to change. But as someone who now studies a medical science degree, I have some real issues with Morgan Spurlock's celebrated documentary.

As a young teenager, I had neither the critical thinking skills nor the detachment to appreciate Super Size Me for what it was - entertainment for an adult audience. This film offers no solutions to the obesity issue, no attempt to produce robust scientific evidence and instead presents an unrealistic picture of life in the Western World.

Spurlock's decision to eat more than the average person (double the recommended nutritional intake) with no attempt to exercise was bound to end in some unappealing consequences. But as a young teenager only beginning to explore my relationship with food, I recall watching this film and swearing to limit my indulgence in fast food to the bare minimum.

As a young teenager only beginning to explore my relationship with food, I recall watching this film and swearing to limit my indulgence in fast food to the bare minimum.

To this day, I've never quite enjoyed fast food. The visual of Morgan Spurlock's mouth full of French fries on the poster does something quite unpleasant in my brain. But the deterioration in Spurlock's health - heart palpitations and the accumulation of fat in his liver, particularly - had me terrified that my next fast food meal could lead to all of the drastic effects we saw in Super Size Me.

And the thing is, I can't recall any fast food companies ever claiming that it was healthy to consume their food in the excess consumed by Morgan Spurlock. I can rationalise that the way to enjoy fast food is to do so in moderation, to enjoy fast food as part of a balanced lifestyle, that is.

But I have never looked at a Big Mac the same ever since.

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