Super Size Me is a documentary movie that was acted and directed by Morgan Spurlock in the year 2004. The entire movie runs in a thirty day period in which the actor only eats MacDonald’s. Within this period, Spurlock body physique changes as he gained 11.1kg extra body weight. In addition, his cholesterol level reaches 230. The movie exposes the physical and psychological state of human beings as a result of eating fast foods; which, is becoming a popular American culture. The setting of the movie also details how there is vast manipulation of the American people by these fast food firms to eat fast food regardless of the health risks posed on citizens.
Fast food firm’s main goal is to make profit albeit poor nutrition the industry encourages. Diseases associated with fast food are not only physical and psychological but it also has health risks like susceptibility to heart diseases, sexual dysfunction, and other related dietary diseases. In the movie, Spurlock also exposes how it is difficult to lose weight that has been gained after only a month. Despite having gained the mentioned body mass, it takes Spurlock a 14 month long period of work out to lose the gained weight.
The motive behind Spurlock’s experience with fast food was motivated by the increasing cases of obesity in America to a level that is described by Surgeon General as epidemic. In addition, Spurlock was touched by law suit filed against MacDonald’s by two overweight girls who fed on their foods (Pelman vs. McDonald Corporation). Spurlock observes that the lawsuit against MacDonald was lost by the plaintiffs and the verdict is the same in all America fast food firms and tobacco companies. The Americans have criticized the legality of the fast food firms but the court cases a have just proved that the country’s legal framework is not challengeable. The firms run this industry because the American a supports it.
The fast scene of the movie commences which Spurlock is told that his physical shape is above the required body weight in view of his personal trainer. A party from the trainer, general practitioner, cardiologist, and a gastroenterologist all tell him that MacDonald’s diet is a threat to his health. It is noted by the professionals that the health risk is not that serious as the body can adjust to these conditions.
The experiment period Spurlock strictly adhering to a number of rules. To begin with, within the period, he has to eat at least three meals a day from MacDonald’s: breakfast, lunch and dinner. He had to also, finish up meals at least once; but, this proved difficult and he could only finish the menu items on only 9 days. Spurlock is ready to SuperSize him meal if asked to by and finally, Spurlock wanted to walk an average distance covered by an average American (5000 steps per day); which proved difficult as he could violate the rule on his occasional visits to New York. Within this period, Spurlock was not to take any medical for his condition.
Alexandra Jameison (Spurlock’s girlfriend) confirms that during this period Spurlock’s sex drive is lost. A concern is also raised by his family members and friends. Also, after three weeks of eating fast foods, Spurlock develops heart palpitations from which his personal his internist advices him to stop the practice because serious health problems would befall him. What Spurlock eat in a month is equivalent to what an average person would eat in a period of 8 years. The movie was a success following its gross sales record that places it as the 12th highest-grossing documentary movies in history. The movie was also nominated for the Academy Awards in the category of Best Documentary and Spurlock won the Grand Jury Prize for directing the movie.
The second resource for basing argument on fast food in America is Fast Food Nation. Fast Food Nation by Schlosser emphasizes on how the American society has been affected by the increasing number of fast food outlets. In addition, Schlosser covers the youth culture associated fast food industry and its allied industries. For far there is an observation that Schlosser’s work focuses on the impact of the fast food industry on the youth whereas Spurlock’s focuses on the general American population. Also, Spurlock focuses on a single theme on the movie while Schlosser covers myriad issues that are synonymous with fast food industry. For instance, Schlosser covers how the fast food industry has developed as a franchise method of doing business, health related diseases and the emergence of chemically modified flavors in used in the industry.
Schlosser notes how fast food industry has infiltrated the entire American society from a humble beginning in the Southern California and dealing in hot dog and hamburger. Today the industry has spread regionally coupled with food variety. Schlosser, (2000) notes that “In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food; in 2000, they spent more than $110 billion. Americans now spend more money on fast food than on higher education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars.” Spurlock’s experiment was a confirmation of what Schlosser’s literature generally argues in favor of. Schlosser observes that the fast food industry has changed the American diet trends, the financial system, labor force, and culture. The effect of fast food is felt by the entire nation; those who eat it and those who don’t alike.
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According to Spurlock, fast food industry has affected family in that sex drive for men who eat fast food has drastically reduced. On the other hand, Schlosser identifies a number of family issues resulting from consumption of fast foods. First, Schlosser traces the workforce in the 1970s in America and relates it to events today. In 1975, mothers in the labor market constituted only a third of mother in America but today the ratio is two thirds of mothers in labor force. This means that the roles played by housewives in the earlier days; for instance cooking home based meals, has to be substituted with fast food eating. “A generation ago, three-quarters of the money used to buy food in the United States was spent to prepare meals at home. Today about half of the money used to buy food is spent at restaurants -- mainly at fast food restaurants,” (Schlosser, 2000).
Both Spurlock’s and Schlosser’s analyses of fast food industry have singled and used MacDonald’s as a corporation and blamed it on the consequences of feeding the Americans on junk food. But Schlosser gives finer details about the role played by MacDonald’s’ other than fast food products. Schlosser notes the trend in American new job creation where he observes that MacDonald’s commands majority of new jobs created. In addition, MacDonald’s hire a total of 1 million employees; a figure that is the biggest in US considering both public and private institutions, (Schlosser, 2000).
Both Spurlock’s and Schlosser’s works have emphasized on the repercussion of consuming fast food in the American society. All the personalities have given an insight into the negative impacts of consuming fast food from firsthand experience and analysis of other secondary sources. The problem of fast food consumption has not only affected health of the American people but it has also changed popular culture, economy, and the labor force. Therefore addressing the issues raised in these works will help in restoring sanity in not only the health sector but also the economy in general.
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