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McDonalds the movie: "Supersize Me"


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Just caught this frustrating but understandable story...

'Super Size Me' Gets Downsized by MTV

Film documentary "Super Size Me," a critical look at the health impact of a fast-food only diet, has been downsized at cable network MTV which has refused to air advertisements for the film, its distributors said on Wednesday.   

Roadside Attractions and Samuel Goldwyn Films said in a statement the cable TV channel targeted to young audiences has told them the ads are "disparaging to fast food restaurants."

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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Roadside Attractions and Samuel Goldwyn Films said in a statement the cable TV channel targeted to young audiences has told them the ads are "disparaging to fast food restaurants."

I think this statement gets the "Duh!" award. :raz:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
Junk tastes good. It's fast and cheap and it fills my gut, which is the point of eating. There's no better junk than McDonald's.

An article in the Chicago Daily Herald Suburban Living section claims that the author lost weight, felt better eating McDonald's every day. Disses French cuisine. Shill or honest truth? You be the judge.

Could be a shill, but then at the end of 13 days, he gets his bloodwork results back and despite having lost 3 pounds (1 lb fat) he found out that

My cholesterol shot up from a "normal" 181 to a "borderline high" 201. And my "bad" cholesterol shot up from 102 to 116. At 130, doctors start thinking about "treatment."

Keep in mind, this happened during a period where I was burning more calories than I was eating.

"It's pretty startling to see the rapidity with which your cholesterol increased," the doc said. "It just goes to show you that McDonald's is so high in saturated fats, within two weeks, you overwhelmed those mechanisms that your body uses to keep cholesterol in check."

If he's a shill, he's not doing his McJob.

Edited by jschyun (log)

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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Apparently the guy had 2 cholesterol readings - one "before" - and one "after". "Normal" readings for a person can vary quite a bit - certainly more than the variation between these 2 readings. I'm not endorsing this diet - I'm just a little skeptical about the blood work results. Robyn

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Was just watching Korean tv and saw this piece on how fat Korean kids are getting. It was like I was watching the Austin parts of Supersize Me except in Korean! :shock: There's so much junk food and the kids aren't exercising as much. The piece ended with the announcer saying how one should eat lots of fruits and vegetables and of course, exercise. The funny thing is, Korean stars are so skinny, just like the stars here.

A starving North Korean sees fat kids for the first time

And although I could somewhat accept big bellies on grown men, but I could not understand how young children could develop bellies just as big. All I could do at the moment was to just stand there and stare, forgetting the fact that I was attracting my own share of stares as well, looking like some malnourished survivor of an African famine as I was.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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If my calculations are right, this guy has been eating two Big Macs a day for 26 years.

The question is, what was his diet to age 23 and why did he switch?

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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  • 5 weeks later...

Not only is Gorske in the movie, but his cholesterol is 140. And he doesn't supersize, or even eat fries.

I did finally see the movie. The flick was entertaining and well-made, and I enjoyed it. But I thought it was very deceptive in subtle ways.

Of course they quoted obesity rates for today and years ago, and of course the comparison didn't indicate that much of the increase is related to a change in standards. Many of those people became obese overnight, the day the standards changed.

Someone noted that he supersized only 9 times, which I might not have read on the screen at the end had I not stayed when my companions were trying to get me to leave. That's once every 3 days. I'm sure they showed us the video of every supersizing incident, and few if any of the non-supersizing purchases, even though they only asked him to supersize 10% of the time.

But remember, the dietician told him to eat 2,500 calories a day, and he consumed 5,000, even though he was only supersizing 10% of the time. So where did all those calories come from? Think to the ordering segments. Every time he stepped up to the counter, he ordered two jumbo sandwiches, large drink (including shakes) and large fry. Every time.

That's not normal, and it wasn't part of the listed protocol. He ordered 4800 calories of food a day, twice what he needed, he ate it all, and then some. Now everybody's saying that's just what the kind of people who eat at McDonald's do, because they can't help themselves, because they're victims of a BIG BAD CORPORATION. Well, no, maybe not you or me, but those people, the ignorant masses...bunch of classist dreck.

I don't eat fast food, so I'm not writing as any sort of McDonald's supporter. I just think the film has been given a lot more credit than it deserves, as far as providing meaningful insight.

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I didn't see this topic posted so I thought I'd post my thoughts about this documentary.

The producer/director/lead character is a healthy young guy who is normally on a vegan diet (clue 1: he's on a mission!). He gets a health checkup and blood work and several doctors and nutritionists tell him he's in great shape, low cholesterol, low body fat, etc. OK, now you the audience are set up.

Then he goes on a 30-day all-McDonald's diet. He does not allow himself even to drink water or take an aspirin. If it isn't sold there, he won't ingest it. He eats 3 meals a day and films himself eating, driving around, getting woozy and even vomiting (OK we got the point already). His girlfriend says he's tired and just can't get it up like he used to (tee hee).

Point is, he doesn't eat at McDonald's the way normal people do, meaning occasionally. Not only does every meal come from there, he eats the BIGGEST meals, the supersized sandwiches, fried, and sodas. I don't think I ever saw him order a salad. No wonder he's throwing up.

He does intersperse his eating scenes with observations and interviews that make interesting points. One is about the snack food and sodas available in schools. I did not realize (having myself gone to school many eons ago) how much candy, chips, and sugar-filled drings are available to the kids in vending machines and in school cafeterias. (In my day we had milk and meatloaf - yuck!). Other points he makes are about the huge portion sizes, and the amount of advertising directly to kids. In one scene he shows kids pictures of various figures (like George Washington) and the only figure they all recognize immediately is Ronald McDonald. (OK, advertising to kids is evil).

At the end, he's gained 25-30 pounds, the doctor tells him his liver is sick ("it's like pate!"), and he proves his point that fast food is bad for you. Vegan chef girlfriend prepares him some "cleansing" meals.

All in all, it's what you'd expect, with some interesting facts thrown in that you may not know. 2.5 stars :smile:

*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

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I didn't see this topic posted so I thought I'd post my thoughts about this documentary. 

The producer/director/lead character is a healthy young guy who is normally on a vegan diet (clue 1: he's on a mission!).  He gets a health checkup and blood work and several doctors and nutritionists tell him he's in great shape, low cholesterol, low body fat, etc.  OK, now you the audience are set up.

Then he goes on a 30-day all-McDonald's diet.  He does not allow himself even to drink water or take an aspirin.  If it isn't sold there, he won't ingest it.  He eats 3 meals a day and films himself eating, driving around, getting woozy and even vomiting (OK we got the point already).  His girlfriend says he's tired and just can't get it up like he used to (tee hee).

Point is, he doesn't eat at McDonald's the way normal people do, meaning occasionally.  Not only does every meal come from there, he eats the BIGGEST meals, the supersized sandwiches, fried, and sodas.  I don't think I ever saw him order a salad.  No wonder he's throwing up.

He does intersperse his eating scenes with observations and interviews that make interesting points.  One is about the snack food and sodas available in schools.  I did not realize (having myself gone to school many eons ago) how much candy, chips, and sugar-filled drings are available to the kids in vending machines and in school cafeterias.  (In my day we had milk and meatloaf - yuck!).  Other points he makes are about the huge portion sizes, and the amount of advertising directly to kids.  In one scene he shows kids pictures of various figures (like George Washington) and the only figure they all recognize immediately is Ronald McDonald.  (OK, advertising to kids is evil).

At the end, he's gained 25-30 pounds, the doctor tells him his liver is sick ("it's like pate!"), and he proves his point that fast food is bad for you.  Vegan chef girlfriend prepares him some "cleansing" meals.

All in all, it's what you'd expect, with some interesting facts thrown in that you may not know.  2.5 stars  :smile:

I'm not sure if he himself was vegan, just that his girlfriend was. Certainly he was eating better than a sizeable chunk of the US populace. I haven't regularly eaten fast food for years and the last two times I did (Wendy's and KFC) I was pretty sick afterwards.

I think that the strength of the film was less in the central gimmic and more in exposing the eating habits of Americans and cutting to why we are an increasingly obese nation. Where I work it's not unusual to see someone eating the "super value sized" burger n' fries lunch every day, and as you pointed out the school lunch segments were unsettling.

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I didn't see this topic posted so I thought I'd post my thoughts about this documentary. 

The producer/director/lead character is a healthy young guy who is normally on a vegan diet (clue 1: he's on a mission!).  He gets a health checkup and blood work and several doctors and nutritionists tell him he's in great shape, low cholesterol, low body fat, etc.  OK, now you the audience are set up.

Then he goes on a 30-day all-McDonald's diet.  He does not allow himself even to drink water or take an aspirin.  If it isn't sold there, he won't ingest it.  He eats 3 meals a day and films himself eating, driving around, getting woozy and even vomiting (OK we got the point already).  His girlfriend says he's tired and just can't get it up like he used to (tee hee).

Point is, he doesn't eat at McDonald's the way normal people do, meaning occasionally.  Not only does every meal come from there, he eats the BIGGEST meals, the supersized sandwiches, fried, and sodas.  I don't think I ever saw him order a salad.  No wonder he's throwing up.

He does intersperse his eating scenes with observations and interviews that make interesting points.  One is about the snack food and sodas available in schools.  I did not realize (having myself gone to school many eons ago) how much candy, chips, and sugar-filled drings are available to the kids in vending machines and in school cafeterias.  (In my day we had milk and meatloaf - yuck!).  Other points he makes are about the huge portion sizes, and the amount of advertising directly to kids.  In one scene he shows kids pictures of various figures (like George Washington) and the only figure they all recognize immediately is Ronald McDonald.  (OK, advertising to kids is evil).

At the end, he's gained 25-30 pounds, the doctor tells him his liver is sick ("it's like pate!"), and he proves his point that fast food is bad for you.  Vegan chef girlfriend prepares him some "cleansing" meals.

All in all, it's what you'd expect, with some interesting facts thrown in that you may not know.  2.5 stars  :smile:

To set the record straight, Spurlock is not on a (vegan-pushing) mission. He loves his steak and he's not ashamed. He does live with a vegan chef, which is where the confusion might be. She expressed dismay more than once about his crazy McDonald's 30 day diet and he kind of ignored her. After the movie wrapped, he went on a vegan diet that his girlfriend concocted for him, and after he lost all the weight and felt good again, he went back to his meat-eating ways.

Whether or not he eats McDonald's the way "regular people" do, is irrelevant. He was trying to test out a premise which he clearly states in the movie.

I really don't understand how anyone could say that this movie has a political agenda, which is essentially what you're saying. This movie was entertainment. He's mugging for the camera. He's doing it for laughs. If it's awareness you're talking about, okay. But I don't see the agenda other than making some fast cash on a good idea.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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One thing I was questioning was the time between his meals and when he got his blood drawn for the various tests he was taking.. I think alot of those tests require fasting for a certain period of time.. And i dont know if you can fast and eat three meals a day at the same time. :rolleyes:

I also thought that there was some politcal agenda in this.. It definately was an anti-corporate piece which tries to relieve people of responsibilities for there own actions.. He went to lengths in the movie to point out things like Mc Donalds has a clown and playgrounds so kids are basically helpless from refusing the food. His main "expert" was a lawyer who sued the tobacco company and was consulting with the lawyers that were sueing Mc Donalds.

I also thought it was ridiculous that not one DR. he used was knowledgeable enough to know that such a drastic unhealthy change in their patience diet would have an adverse affects? I wonder how many DR.S he had to interview before he got ones ignorant enough to tell him what he wanted to hear.

All in all there should have been more throwing up and less preaching.

Edited by Daniel (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...
One thing I was questioning was the time between his meals and when he got his blood drawn for the various tests he was taking..  I think alot of those tests require fasting for a certain period of time.. And i dont know if you can fast and eat three meals a day at the same time.  :rolleyes: 

 

I need to respond to a couple of your points having just watched the movie last night. His blood glucose was not monitored on the screen. That is most definitely best monitored as a fasting test. The cholesterol might have been affected, butactually all one needs is an 8 hour fast for a reasonable level. The leiver function tests, which werer the most profound results are not a fasting test. This was indeed revelatory and a major concern. Were the results due to the fats in the diet, the sugars, the chemicals or a combination of the above? Who knows, but as a physician and a parent the results are indeed alarming.

I also thought that there was some politcal agenda in this.. It definately was an anti-corporate piece which tries to relieve people of responsibilities for there own actions..  He went to lengths in the movie to point out things like Mc Donalds has a clown and playgrounds so kids are basically helpless from refusing the food.  His main "expert" was a lawyer who sued the tobacco company and was consulting with the lawyers that were sueing Mc Donalds.

A political agenda? I suppose so, but then anyone making a point has a political agenda. Neither this movie nor Fast Food Nation are opposed to fast food as a concept, but the costs of the culture have gone way beyond the simple cost for a hamburger.

I also thought it was ridiculous that not one DR. he used was knowledgeable enough to know that such a drastic unhealthy change in their patience diet would have an adverse affects?  I wonder how many DR.S he had to interview before he got ones ignorant enough to tell him what he wanted to hear.

I doubt you will find a controlled study out there looking at this. None of his doctors thought it would be good for him and none recommended the diet. That they were all shocked by the extremity of the diet's effects is not shocking to me. They couldn't have predicted it ahead of time. During the movie they were continually recommending that he cease the diet.

All in all there should have been more throwing up and less preaching.

Actually I don't think there was that much preaching. It was expostulation to draw one's one conclusions based upon his experiences. That someone can eat at McDonald's and not gain weight and still appear to be reasonably healthy is not really the point. Of course that is possible, the same way that some people can smoke cigarettes and not get cancer or emphysema or heart disease. If one can predict that ahead of time power to you. Most people cannot. While many people may have enough personal wherewithall to limit what they eat and drink at FF joints many do not. I vehemenently think that each person has to be responsible for him or herself in every endeavor in life including eating at McDonald's and such and to those of us who have the knowledge of what the potential is and still choose to do so no blame can be cast onto the fast food companies. Unfortunately most people nowadays either don't know what is involved, feel they have no choice or are inculcated at an early age. This is probably the most insidious part of the whole thing. The comparisons to Joe Camel are not far off the mark.

I watched the movie on DVD. One of the most interesting extras was a piece on how various products left out in a jar broke down. Most of the sandwiches and a control sample of regular restaurant french fries broke down normally. Eerily the McD's fries, however, never did. While this proves nothing one does wonder why not and what the potential repercussions may be.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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A political agenda? I suppose so, but then anyone making a point has a political agenda. Neither this movie nor Fast Food Nation are opposed to fast food as a concept, but the costs of the culture have gone way beyond the simple cost for a hamburger...

The major problem I have with these "media events" is that the problem isn't only MacDonald's - or fast food - it's that high fat high calorie diets are bad for you. Doesn't matter whether you're stuffing your face with a bunch of Big Macs - or a steady diet of traditional "southern food" cooked by the best chef in town - it's too much fat - and too many calories - and frequently much too much salt - as well as little or no dietary fiber. I mean the same people who denounce Big Macs will sing the praises of more "gourmet" type food which is equally bad for you.

BTW - the guy in the movie was eating about 5000 calories a day - which is a ridiculous amount of calories for a normal person.

I don't have the best eating habits in the world - but a lot of what I see makes me look like a saint. Robyn

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A political agenda? I suppose so, but then anyone making a point has a political agenda. Neither this movie nor Fast Food Nation are opposed to fast food as a concept, but the costs of the culture have gone way beyond the simple cost for a hamburger...

The major problem I have with these "media events" is that the problem isn't only MacDonald's - or fast food - it's that high fat high calorie diets are bad for you.

High fat diets get a lot of blame, although it is not absolutely clear that that is what is primarily at fault. The Atkins diet, although flawed has demonstrated this. A more hidden culprit is the role of simple sugars such as is found in soda and interestingly enough as a significant additive in a lot of McDonald's and presumably other FF products. The consumption of soda has skyrocketed in this country and remains the predominant beverage of the FF industry. While diet sodas may lack the caloric component, they are full of other chemicals that may or may not have short or long-term effects of their own. At best, this is an extremely difficult study to design.

The movie obviously took FF to an extreme and used McDonald's as an example that could probably be extrapolated to most if not all of the major FF Companies. It did so to make a point. Is it awful for most people who only eat it once in a while? Probably not significantly so. The real point of the movie though is that that style of eating fast food is not necessarily an aberration and as such has its consequences. Buyer beware.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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  I mean the same people who denounce Big Macs will sing the praises of more "gourmet" type food which is equally bad for you.

The difference is that most people eating gourmet food such as many eGulleteers have at least some access to nutritional information and alternatives. Many of the people targeted by the FF industry don't or are unaware of better alternatives. A perfect example from the movie are the school lunch programs that are essentially FF joints. That IMO is the most disgraceful part of the whole thing.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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docsconz, Nov 21 2004, 02:12 PM:

A perfect example from the movie are the school lunch programs that are essentially FF joints. That IMO is the most disgraceful part of the whole thing.
Right. When we talk about choice and personal responsibility, we should bear in mind that the greatest volume of instruction that children get, and the most expertly targeted, is from TV commercials. They form children into mutually reenforcing pressure groups against those among them who, from their own or their parents convictions, try to hold out. And when the schools join the conspiracy, the nonconformists haven't a hope in hell. Classroom education, in the words of Marshal MacLuhan, is reduced to "a form of civil defence against media fallout".

John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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