Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Remember that Super Size Me movie, where the guy ate McDonald's for a few months and never exercised? Then, surprise surprise, he nearly died? The message of the movie is basically McDonald's is bad for you and they are evil for selling you all this bad food.

The movie's a waste of film, of course. You can consume 5,000 calories at Subway and end up the same way. It's about what you eat, not where.

A North Calorina woman knew this and just to prove the movie wrong she start the McDonald's diet. After doing some basic research on the web site, she developed a diverse (and low cost) diet of salads, parfaits, apple dippers, McGridles, mayo-free chicken sandwiches and even the occasional hamburger. After two months she lost 30 pounds.

I wonder if we have the next Jared on our hands?


Anonymous said...

I think you're missing many of the relevant details about the movie that--while they may not have been clear at first--Morgan Spurlock has tried to hammer home in the wake of similar criticism.

The movie was an indictment of an all-too-common American lifestyle--not McDonald's. At least that's what Spurlock said in the five billion interviews he did where he was given the same question. Admittedly, this aim doesn't come through clearly enough in the promotional materials and such, but it was the point.

Also, a key feature was--as the title screams--the suggestive sale of Super Sizing which I'm betting the woman who chose the salads and parfaits didn't get a chance to do.

Furthermore, Spurlock said innumerable times that there is nothing particularly bad about McDonald's. For what he wanted to do he had to choose some fast food outlet, and why not choose the most recognizable fast food chain in the world?

David said...

His aim, assuming he's not backpedaling, wasn't clear in the work itself, not just the promo materials. If what he's saying is true, that advertising this unhealthy food (esp to kids) is so horrible, then why is the focus on the fact that the food is bad for you? Why was the experiment the project is based around totally focused on him sabatoging is own body? Why did he purposely limit his excersize to simulate the workout of an average American? What does all of this have to do with advertising?

Clearly, if everyone thinks the message of a film is Topic A but it actually isn't, then the movie did a crappy job and is hardly worth the film it's printed on.

And if Super Size Me really is about Topic A, then the movie is still crappy.

Anonymous said...

I think the reason he focused on why fast food is bad for it to support his claim about the advertising. Anyone can SAY "this is bad" or "that is bad", it's another thing to actually SHOW WHY it is bad.

Do you have any idea what you'd have to eat to get 5,000 calories? According to Subways nutritional site it's almost 8 feet of the Subway Club sandwich. McD's says 5,000 calories is almost 9 Big Macs. That means a foot-log sub is better callorie-wise than a two all beef paddies, special sauce, lettuce, you know the rest. Which can you eat faster? How many people have you met could eat 2 Big Macs in one sitting? How about 2 feet of sub? You don't even want to compare their calorie/gram ratios.

Part of the point of the movie was how easy it is to eat a large amount of calories. People go there because of the taste and convenience. I could be in and out of a McD in less time it takes to get a Subway. But after checking the the facts, I'm going to avoid McDs in the future.

Facts don't change even if the method they are delivered is crappy.

David said...

Ok show why it's bad. That's true, that sends a more powerful message. But why demonize McDonald's to get your point across?

As for speed, careful Jason because you're cherry-picking. Sure an 9 foot sandwhich is a lot, but 60 some odd garden salads is even more, and thats 5,000 calories, too. At the same time, I could go to Subway and get my 5,000 from ten 6 inch BMT, and that's before I put mayo on it. I could also do it with less than two dozen white macadamia nut cookies. Even though certain wheres offer more healthy choices, it's still about what you eat.

And how fast you can eat in a day is immaterial. If people don't care about their body and get unhealthy food, then eating 5K a day is just as bad if it's over two hours or 12.

Should McDonald's be punished for giving people what they want: fast and conveinent food?

Anonymous said...

Well I think McD's was picked because it is the biggest and is mostly directed towards children. BK, Wendy's, and Taco Bell have kids menus, but not the cute mascots. As for cherry picking, I picked their signature sandwiches, the ones they are best known for. If BK was included, I would have referenced the Whopper. I wouldn't called it cherry picking, I'd say it was closer to "live by the sword, die by the sword". These sandwiches made them a lot of money so why not use it against them?

People tend to eat until they are full. That's why they recommend people trying to loose weight drink lots of water before meals. I'm not talking about calories, but volume. A foot long sub is bigger than a big mac. Eat a big mac, you're still hungry so you have another one or a large fry or whatever. Eat a sub and you're not so you stop.

This may sound bad but people don't always do what's best for them. While I don't want a business telling me what to do in my personal life, there is such a thing as corporate responsibility and moral superiority. Should profit overwride those things?


David said...

Corporate responsibility is one of those things that sound like a good idea and a reasonable thing but really isn't.

If we assume that firms should be held responsible for what people freely do to themselves, then we pointlessly transfer responsibilty from those that know themselves the best to a central authority.

Should companies be held responsible when they hurt people without their consent? Of course they should. But when people are careless or lazy or irresponsible they shouldn't twist that into being victims. It not only cheapens the suffering real victims experience, but it encourages institutional change that destructively bids away freedom.

We can't childproof society, nor do we want one. A corporation's goal is to make money (which creates greater production and thus a higher standard of living). The state's goal is to punish them when their screw ups hurt people. But companies shouldn't be punished when people hurt themselves.

Eric said...

David, you're wrong. Plain and simple. Do you honestly think that eating, say, 1500 calories worth of food at a resteraunt that serves fresh organic ingredients is the same as eating 1500 calories worth of Big Macs? There are long lists of chemicals in McDonalds food, not to mention trans fats. I doubt you comprehend what horrible things that does to your body. There's a lot more to good health than calories and losing body fat. Try not being misinformed next time.

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