the Goliard

December 2003

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Super Size Me

Super Size me is an excellent documentary about a relatively healthy guy, writer/director Morgan Spurlock (left) who decides to eat nothing but McDonalds for a month. He charts his mental and physical progress as he vows to lead the lifestyle of a sedentary American. He doesn't walk anywhere, gets as little exercise as possible, and only supersizes if the clerks ask. He travels across the country to multiple Golden Arches and includes in the film interviews and facts that he uncovered as he researched one of America's most successful and recognizable corporations. He seems to go about the whole thing without a particular axe to grind but of course ends up exposing the company on multiple levels. The physical results of his experiment, while not exactly surprising, are eye opening in the fact that his liver almost shuts down and his doctor advises him to not be far from a phone in case he suffers some debilitating attack and needs an ambulance, a scenario which the doc considers quite likely after monitoring his vital signs. The cravings for the fatty food he begins to feel are also quite telling and go far to demonstrate how such nutritional habits can lure a person in subtlety and be as addicting as any drug. When his girlfriend explains that he is no longer worth a damn in the bedroom and his personal trainer marvels over his physical deterioration, it makes for fairly compelling viewing when combined with a bunch of interviews with people who eat similar diets everyday without a second thought.

After the film came out but before we had seen it we were traveling through Yuma, Arizona on a trip to the coast and found ourselves suddenly famished so we stopped at the nearest place to the highway, a normally crowded Mickey D's. The place was deserted. Also there were pamphlets on healthy eating where the condiments used to be. Coincidence? Who knows but the fact that the chain discontinued super sizes shortly after the film came out must say something.

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