I knew fast food was junk food, but had no idea it could be deleterious to health. Then I saw Super Size Me this week. This is a documentary by independent filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (creator of 30 Days). Looking at the high rate of obesity in USA, Morgan decides to try an all McDonald’s diet for a month to see how it would affect his body.
At the start of his 30-day experiment Morgan is a fit adult with the right fat, cholesterol and BMI numbers. He enlists 3 doctors to watch his health and embarks on his experiment. He eats all 3 meals in a day at McDonald’s and doesn’t exercise (to mimic the normal lifestyle of an American). Though he feels a bit odd at the beginning, he soon finds himself addicted to the food. He gets bouts of depression when he doesn’t eat it. His physical health deteriorates so much that by the end of the month his liver suffers serious damage, he suffers heart aches, his weight increases by 11 kg and his cholesterol/fat numbers increase ridiculously. His doctors tell him that if he continues, the experiment could have fatal consequences.
Watching Morgan eat for 30 days would’ve been boring. Thankfully, he isn’t the focus of the documentary. The film observes the obesity trend in the US, the culture of fast food, school lunch diets and the business of fast food. The film was released in 2004 and soon after McD removed their SuperSize meal option, introduced salads and food nutritional information in their outlets. Though the arguments against Spurlock’s method are pretty easy to make (he didn’t have to eat it 3 times/day or choose the unhealthy options on the menu), the film was a wakeup call for me. I eat at the McD on campus atleast once a week since nothing else is open at late hours. I knew it was junk, but didn’t know it could be harmful. Whoa! I will surely be watching my fast food intake now.