Yesterday I went to McDonald's and, as usual, my mom started giving me
the "junk food is unhealthy" speech before I even unwrapped my burger. I
couldn't help but think, "Oh please, not again...." but as she went
on, I began to see her point.
That night, feeling very anti-junk
food, I rented the movie "Super Size Me." It's a documentary, and it
was very... interesting.
"Super Size Me" was created by Morgan Spurlock, quite a witty
movie-maker. He set out on his "journey" with a few ground rules. He
decided he had to
eat McDonald's three times a day for 30 days. By the end of those 30
days, he had to have tried everything on the menu, and every time a
McDonald's employee asked him if he wanted to "Super-size it?" (which
they are actually trained to do), he had to say yes.
Over the month he
was traveling the country, eating McDonald's, Spurlock would have a
and three doctors: a gastronomist (a doctor who specializes in the
structure, functions, diseases, and pathology of the stomach and
intestines), a cardiologist (a doctor who specializes with the heart ),
and a general practitioner (a basic doctor). Before the movie ended,
they all had advised him to stop. He was seriously damaging his
body, they said... but he was determined.
Before Spurlock started, he was examined by each of his doctors and his
nutritionist. Each one said he was perfectly healthy, and
even above average for his age (which I can't exactly remember). He was
6 feet and 2 inches tall, and a healthy 185 pounds. He had no
food allergies and was in good shape. Being average made him the
perfect person for the job.
Parts of the movie
showed him, his girlfriend (a vegan chef), his friends, and him talking
the phone with his mother. Everyone complained about how hard it was
to watch him do this to himself. The effect of the junk food was
shocking! You have to see it!
This movie was awesome, and it was filled with facts that I could not
believe. The movie starts off with a lot of facts about junk food.
the thorough research of the masterminds behind this movie, America is
the fattest nation in the world, and over 60% of americans are obese!
There are now 400,000 deaths per year caused by illnesses related to
being overweight, which means that obesity has overtaken smoking for
the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. That's really bad,
day, 1 in 4 Americans visits a fast food restaurant. In fact,
McDonald's feeds more than 46 million people a day. That's more than
entire population of Spain. It's clear that McDonald's is the leading
fast food restaurant -- it represents 43% of the fast food industry.
So, how did McDonald's get so successful? Morgan Spurlock points out
that it's the only company in the fast food industry that targets
Many McDonald's have playplaces, host birthday parties, serve Happy
Meals, and even distribute more toys per year than Toys-R-Us. Before
most children can speak, they can recognize McDonald's. The average
child sees 10,000 TV advertisements per year!
Studies show that adults feel more comfortable with products they
recognize from their childhood, a fact McDonald's probably knows.
Morgan took a few children aside and showed the pictures, asking them
to recognize the person in the photo. Barely any of them could
recognize George Washington, none of them could identify the
picture of Jesus, and everyone knew who Ronald McDonald (the
clown mascot) was.
If current trends continue, one in every
three children born will develop diabetes in their lifetime, which can
cut 17-27 years off your life. That's terrible! Editor's
Note: McDonald's is not necessarily at fault for that -- but too
much fast food can probably be connected to people having a higher
chance of developing diabetes and other illnesses.
McDonald's foods are really fattening and unhealthy, too. Only seven
items on McDonald's entire menu contain no sugar.
It may be argued that
with proper exercise, McDonald's can be a healthy diet... but ACTUALLY
you would have to walk for seven hours straight to burn off a Super
Sized Coke, fries, and a Big Mac.
Some people who don't agree with
Morgan's experiment and studies may also say that nobody ACTUALLY eats
McDonald's for every meal of every day, but in fact a lot of people do
get pretty close to that! College students, poor residents, and many
other people with less cash handy are drawn to the dollar menu.
fries are the most eaten vegetable in America, and there's one soda
machine for every 97 Americans. If you STILL think fast food diets are
under control, then consider this: in 1972, we spent $3 billion a year
on fast food -- today we spend more than $110 billion.
I apologize for the long article, and endless statistics, but I feel
this information is important and is worthy of being printed in the
Whyville Times. To find out more about how Morgan Spurlock's experiment
went, and more detail on the miserable effects of an overdose of
McDonald's, watch the marvelous documentary, "Super Size Me!"
what do you have to lose?
I hope you enjoyed my article! Thanks a
Note: You can get this info and more from the movie's fairly
shocking website, http://www.supersizeme.com/home.aspx. You should get
your parents' permission before going there, because some people might
be traumatized by the vivid depiction of fast food and bad health.
If you found that movie disturbing yet fascinating, older Whyvillians
might want to check out Fast Food Nation, a powerful look into the
effects of fast food, from McDonald's to Subway, on the American diet.
DEFINITELY get your parents' permission before reading it, though --
the topics are serious, and some of the scenes described in meat
packing factories, etc. are just plain scary. Even adults should read
this book with care.
Thanks for your report, camii559!