Super Size Me

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock blames obesity in America on fast food restaurants in his new movie “Super Size Me: A Film of Epic Proportions.” In the documentary that hit theaters May 7th, Spurlock eats McDonald’s at every meal for an entire month. Not surprisingly, he gained 25 pounds, his cholesterol shot up, his liver filled up with fat, and his blood pressure became disturbingly uncontrollable. Spurlock’s vision for the movie coincided with the slew of lawsuits against McDonalds by customers who claimed the iconic food chain had made them fat. With over 100 million Americas considered overweight, there is no doubt that this country has an obesity problem. However, blaming a company that serves calorie-packed Big Mac’s and greasy French Fries is ridiculous. Spurlock’s sends the message that people should not be accountable for their own decisions—a very dangerous notion. In November of 2002, eight teenage girls sued McDonald’s for causing their corpulence. One of them, who weighed 270 pound, stated: “I didn’t know how much fat was in those burgers and fries…McDonald’s made me fat.” McDonald’s, like several other fast food chains, has nutritional facts on posters on store walls. So how can one argue that they “didn’t know” how fatty the foods they chose eat really were? Such an argument is just plain idiotic. McDonald’s employees do not need to warn customers about the consequences of eating fast food while they take their orders: the large posters on the wall to the right of the cashier should be enough. McDonald’s takes the time to inform its customers about how many calories are in each burger, how many grams of fat there are per order of fries, and how much cholesterol one McFlurry contains. Most people, however, choose to ignore the nutritional information when they order their meal; that is solely those people’s own fault. The 270-pound teen did make one intelligent comment when talking about her lawsuit. She claimed that McDonald’s made her fat. It undoubtedly did. Spurlock proves that eating McDonald’s makes you fat; he himself gained 25 pounds. But is this really a mystery? According to the McDonald’s Web site, a Big Mac contains 590 calories and 34 grams of fat and an order of large fries has 540 calories and 26 grams of fat. Clearly, eating their food will pack on some pounds. Spurlock and those who sue the company, however, are blaming everyone but themselves. I have never heard of the McDonald’s Corporation forcing people to eat massive amounts of its products. Only one person makes the choice to consume such foods, and that is the consumer. It is sad that some people cannot acknowledge the fact that they are accountable for their own actions. I certainly will not pay to see “Super Size Me: A Film of Epic Proportions” and put money in Spurlock’s pockets. His fundamental message is flawed, his “guinea pig” experiment is foolish, and he is unable to realize that that the consumer is never forced to eat junk food. It is frightening to see that people across the nation play the blame game and sue for profit. Morgan Spurlock’s film adds fuel to the fire and eats away our sense of accountability.