This film caused a stir at Sundance, and allegedly inspired McDonald's to end its "super size" promotions. It asks if a person can eat a healthy meal at McDonald's: just one McDonald's meal has 50 percent of daily recommended fat, and 39 percent of allowed sodium. We should remember that most nutritionists recommend LESS fat and salt than the government does. McDonald's spokesmen like to say, "Fast food is just part of balanced eating," so 30-something Morgan Spurlock sets himself up as a human guinea pig, boldly showing, in "Super Size Me," that fast-food diners eat thousands of calories at a sitting, and dangerously exceed recommened allowances of fat, sugar, and salt.
Spurlock is first examined by three doctors, who find him in good health. But they check him regularly during the month, and watch in alarm as his weight increases 30 pounds, his blood-pressure skyrockets, his cholesterol goes up 65 points, and toxic shock symptoms appear on his liver. His skin takes on an unhealthy pallor, his energy drops, he has chest pains, and his girlfriend complains about their lack of a sex life. His doctors, having seen similar effects from binge drinking, urge Spurlock to abandon his plan, to avoid permanent damage. They didn't believe such effects could arise from eating fast food.
But a revisionist commentary calls Spurlock "a self-promoter," who ate more in a month than an ordinary diner at McDonald's could, and faulted him for agreeing whenever McDonald's employees asked if he wanted to "super size it." But Spurlock eats ordinary McDonald's meals.
A Chicago nutritionist told a reporter that Spurlock put on weight because he was eating 5,000 calories a day, and suggested instead a McDonald's three-meal menu that she claims wouldn't be fattening. Still, when was the last time anyone you know ordered a "small hamburger," rather than a Quarter-Pounder? The nutritionist's three meals come to 1,460 calories, less than what a child under 4 might eat, according to the USDA. But even so, the meals total 54 grams of fat (15 of those are saturated), and 3,385 milligrams of sodium, wheras the daily recommendation is 1,600 to 2,400 mgs. Thus, even a "bare-bones," 1,460-calorie McDonald's menu is unwholesome, if not outright dangerous.
Morgan Spurlock narrates. With Dr. Daryl Isaacs, Ronald McDonald, and Dr. Lisa Ganjhu.
Health, fast food, big Macs, Super Size, weight-gain, junk f
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