Some parents try to scare their children off smoking by making them puff on cigarettes until they get sick. In his entertaining and informative documentary Super Size Me, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock tries to scare us off fast food—or at least warn us of its dangers thereof—by showing how a month-long diet of Big Macs and 42-oz. drinks wreaked havoc on his health.
Smoking and eating may have more in common than you think. In the opening scenes of his film, which won the Documentary Directing prize at Sundance last January, Spurlock says obesity has become second only to smoking as a preventable cause of death in the United States. What's more, the national weight gain over the past half-century coincides with the rise of major fast-food outlets. So, to explore what sort of connection there might be between these two things, Spurlock eats nothing but McDonald's food three times a day for 30 days; he consumes nothing, not even water, unless it comes over a counter, out of a drive-thru window, or is dropped off by a delivery boy. In addition, he restricts his physical activity to that of an average American—which, for a typically peripatetic New Yorker like him, means giving up long walks across town for taxi rides.
Spurlock, who is in better-than-average health at first, playfully admits that he is embarking on "every eight-year-old's dream"—but the experiment quickly has nightmarish effects. Only two days into his new regimen, Spurlock pukes up his first super-sized meal just minutes after eating it—a symptom he figures was provoked not so much by the food itself, but by the abrupt change to his dietary habits, similar to the "three-day hump" that smokers endure when they cut off their body's nicotine ...1
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Super Size Me
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