The Personal Disquiet of

Mark Boulton

Supersize Me and a climate of fear

– April 29th, 2005 –

{title}Last night in the UK, Supersize Me was shown on TV. I’ve heard a little bit about this film, but not enough to go and see it in the cinema. Ok, some bloke eats nothing but McDonald’s for a month and he gets sick. So? What do you expect if you eat nothing but that crap for a month.

If you ate, say, fish and chips or nothing but English Breakfasts for a month it would have the same effect. In fact any high fat, low nutritional value, food would have the same effect right? Of course.

So, with this in mind I thought I’d watch it for the entertainment value of some bloke just eating McDonald’s for a month. Sounded good.

It made me feel very ill and guilty. And I like to think I have a pretty good diet. I’m not sure that was the desired effect from the audience the director had in mind. I had the feeling he was after more of an anti-McDonald’s feeling. Not the case. At least not with my wife and I.

For those who haven’t see it, let me fill you in on some of the highlights:

  • Morgan Spurlock embarks on eating nothing but McDonald’s food for 30 days under medical supervision from a Cardiologist, a Gastroenterologist, a gP and a Nutritionist.
  • He follows three simple rules.
    1. No options: he could only eat what was available over the counter (water included!)
    2. No supersizing unless offered
    3. No excuses: he had to eat every item on the menu at least once
  • He began to make himself ill pretty quickly. One nice scene was him throwing up after eating a Supersize meal (which includes 2 litres of Coke).
  • He gained well over 10% of his body mass in 4 weeks.
  • The doctor said, and I quote,
    If you were drinking right now, and I saw these (blood test) results, I would tell you - if you continue, you will die.
  • Morgan slowly becomes addicted to the sugar, caffiene and fat in the food. He begins to feel depressed and lethargic until he eats some McDonald’s, at which point he feels rather peppy.
  • Near the end of the 30 days his liver is turning to fat. Some of his blood results are off the charts. And he begins to smell.

So, all in all it was watching someone self-destruct. Literally. Entertaining? Not really.

One thing which did annoy me about the film was it adding to this climate of fear we live in at the moment. If terrorists don’t kill you, then McDonald’s will. I’m getting a bit tired of it all. If you eat this, you’ll die of that. If you go there, you might get blown up. Everything and everyone is out to get you. Apparently.

But anyway. It was a good film, made me feel ill but other than that quite entertaining and informative.

Oh, and apparently cheese has the same ‘pleasure’ chemicals as heroin. Explains why I like cheese so much!

Filed in: personal.

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