1. “Super Size Me” is a 2004 documentary film which tackles the problem of obesity as related to the consumption of fast food products from McDonald’s. Morgan Spurlock is the writer, director and main actor in this movie which documents his 30-day experiment of consuming nothing but products from McDonald’s for his meals. This study aims to prove the contention that fast food products can be harmful to a person’s health, and that the lawsuits filed against McDonald’s (pointing to obesity) are not unfounded.
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2. Morgan Spurlock asks for the assistance of 3 doctors to establish the status of his health before embarking on this experiment — a cardiologist, a gastroenterologist, and a general practitioner. He makes consultations with the doctors, is interviewed for possible genetic illnesses, any recent hospitalization, medications taken, vices and drug use. Spurlock also goes through actual tests like ECG, BP monitoring, checking of reflexes, blood tests, iron levels, FBS, triglyceride, cholesterol and glucose levels, organ functions etc, and everything that had to be examined was checked upon.
Everything is found normal, and the overall verdict is that Spurlock is in perfect health. Spurlock also goes to consult with a dietician and an exercise physiologist to have additional information on this study, and he iss again found to be in great shape. Some examples of good levels in Spurlock’s health are: a) his triglycerides level = 43 which is low and which was favorable; b) cholesterol level = 168, is good because it is less than 200 which is the average; and c) kidney and liver functions are all good.
3. Some of the lifestyle choices which contribute to obesity are: a) eating unhealthy food; b) leading a sedentary or inactive lifestyle; c) overeating; d) psychological factors e) slow metabolism and f) environmental factors.
Examples of these are those who: i) prefer fast food over fresh food or freshly cooked food which has lesser fats and more fiber; ii) spend more time on the computer or television rather than doing outdoor activities; and iii) eat more than what one is supposed to take in one meal or do not put a limit to one’s consumption of food and carbonated drinks.
4. The high carbohydrates in the buns, biscuits, fries and hash browns; the protein in the sausages, burgers, eggs and chicken nuggets which are all fried with all their saturated fats; as well as the carbonated drinks and milkshakes which are filled with sugar and caffeine are the worst part of the McDonald’s meals consumed by Spurlock.
The saturated fats have affected his liver, which have caused his predominant feelings of fatigue and low moods. On the other hand, the sugars which are said to be in almost all McDonald’s products, made Spurlock addicted to the food that he ate and made him always coming back for more.
5. Spurlock’s weight definitely increased, although at the 3rd weigh in he lost a pound, which the health center said was probably due to his body’s adjustment to the new diet he had, and that his body lost some muscle mass and made him gain fat mass which was a little bit lighter. His moods became bad and you can see from his face that he was always tired. This was unlike his countenance at the initial part of the experiment when he was always cheerful and good-natured.
6. This film and the information that I have learned from this course have made me gain a better perspective on my life and the choices that I can make. I have learned that there are a lot of possible choices in life and relating it to this film, I think that I have become more intelligent in my lifestyle choices by preferring to take more fresh food than fast food, avoiding carbonated or high-calorie drinks, staying away from vices like smoking and drinking, trying to make myself more active and squeezing in exercise or physical activity as often as I can.
7. In addressing the obesity epidemic, the responsibility should be placed on both the consumer and the business enterprise. The consumer has the free will to choose, so if he/she chooses to take the unhealthy option, then he/she should be held responsible for that.
In like manner, the business enterprise also has the choice to present healthy or unhealthy food products to the consumer. However, the government should try to monitor the actual nutritional content of these products to lessen the unhealthy food choices and make more room for the better options. In this manner, the final line up of products presented to the consumer will have lesser of the ill effects of obesity.
Spurlock, M., Spurlock, M. 2004. Super Size Me. United States: Samuel Goldwyn Films, Roadside Attractions.