Supersize Me

“Supersize Me” reveals filmmaker Morgan Spurlock as a man on a mission. A US judge rules that if McDonald’s is to lose a case against two American girls who are blaming the fast food chain for their obesity, the girls must prove that ONLY McDonald’s can be attributable for their dangerously corpulent state. This decision prompts Spurlock to discover if indeed, eating McDonalds solely for 30 days will produce deleterious effects on the human body.

The results surprise at least one of the health professionals who he enlists to monitor and to record changes in his physical performance and well-being. The title of the film comes from the menu option on the US McDonalds menu (which has subsequently been deleted), which allowed for an even larger meal than the already large meal, to be selected. Supersized meals have never been available in McDonalds stores in Australia.

Spurlock interviews a number of people with a knowledge of the fast food industry and although the statements on growing obesity are all based on American models, the film contains a timely warning for Australians who lately seem to blindly follow the worst habits of US popular culture like lemmings plunging to their deaths.

Particularly sobering is the frank interview which Spurlock has with the heir to the Baskin-Robbins empire. The heir’s candour is both chilling and refreshing. Spurlock also visits a number of school canteens in the US and reveals how avariciously and immorally, corporate fast food interests actively work to promote and poison American teenagers through nutritionally poor food offerings in various school canteens. Such fast food interests use the power of the corporate wallet to bludgeon financially strapped state-run schools into accepting poor food choices as canteen offerings.

Supersize Me though, is also entertaining and warm as well as frank and disturbing. This is not a dry documentary as one may expect to find in some dry “for schools” programme. Spurlock maintains a positive, if wry approach to his topic and allows the material to speak, rather than opt for a heavy-handed commentary which would have prohibited this film for being what is now is, a top contender for Best Documentary Film in the 2005 US Academy Awards. It was also the second most popular US documentary film of 2004 (being beaten at the box office only by Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11).

96 minutes spent watching Supersize Me may well be the best 96 minutes you spend this summer![/wr_text][/wr_column][/wr_row]

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