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Monday, January 24, 2005

DVD Review: Super Size Me 

I'm never eating McDonalds again.

Well maybe not "never," but I can guarantee that I wont any time soon. Watching Super Size Me literally made my heart heart. It was if all my years of JIB tacos and Ultimate Cheeseburgers, and late-night Taco Cabana or Whataburger started expanding in my arteries at once.


If writer/director/star Morgan Spurlock's intent -- during his 30-day, all-McDonald's diet -- was to ween America off of fast food, then I wouldn't be surprised to see him succeed, so long as his documentary gains more exposure. Though its mypoic McFixation sometimes seems more like a crusade against the Golden Arches than a public service announcement on American health, I'm all for a self-imposed moratorium on fast food burgers and fries for a little while.

Are you happy, Morgan? You've converted me.

Sure, fast food is disgusting, and yes, it's unhealthy. Spurlock makes a powerful case for why Americans should clean up their diets. But I think he does something of a disservice with his film. First off, nobody eats three fast food meals a day, and the people that do overindulge on fast food probably don't go as all-out as Spurlock does in his experiment.

Super Size Me reminds me of scientists that inject lab rats with things like saccharin in extreme doses and then conclude that saccharin causes cancer. Of course three fast food meals a day is bad, especially when "Super Sized." But so is smoking three packs a day, and that's nowhere near the norm, even for smokers. Spurlock's bizarre diet is so over-the-top that it loses credibility.

Now I would still recommend that people watch it. Hyperbolic or not, Super Size Me is informative. It's also funny, with an animated cast of characters (e.g., Spurlock's vegan girlfriend, and a guy that's eaten nothing but Big Macs for years and still sports a cholesterol rating of 140). Just don't get too worked up over it. You don't want to have a Big Mac-induced heart attack. 7/10


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