The Impact Of Supersize Me Documentary On The American Fast Food Industry

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In 2004, an American producer named Morgan Spurlock created a documentary film called ‘Supersize Me’. It was created in response to the unsuccessful legitimate fits against McDonald’s fats food, the film carries to light Spurlock’s own experiment with eating only McDonalds for 30 days. Most importantly, he addresses those Americans who are fixated on undesirable cheap food. The movie producer played out the sweep for a month, for the length of which he ate suppers just from McDonald’s and watched the impact of fast food on his physical and emotional well-being. The more he ate McDonald’s, the more side-effects he encountered, which were, exhaustion, sexual issues, migraine, depression and chest pain. The camera catches all enthusiastic and substantial modifications which show up in Spurlock. Throughout the film, Spurlock is constantly checking up with different specialists such as a gastroenterologist, cardiologist, and health doctors. who brings to attention the differences in his physical and mental realm (Sheehan, 2005, p.69). The idea that Spurlock is constantly refereeing to throughout the film is that McDonald’s fast food is contributing to the increase of obesity in the United States. As demonstrated in the documentary, Spurlock’s weight before the experiment was 84kg. In a term of one month, his weight had increased up to 95 kg. Notwithstanding the weight increasement, his cholesterol levels changed from 168 to 230. Watching such a harming impact of fast food on a patient’s wellbeing, the therapeutic specialists recommended that Spurlock should stop the experiment on eating only McDonald’s.

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Although “Supersize Me” was a low-budget film (with a financial limit exclusively $65,000), it has gotten astounding acknowledgment among the international and national public because of its basic social discourse on the issue of gaining weight. Spurlock’s film comprises not exclusively of his own appearance and examinations, yet also of an arrangement of interviews which he took during the time of his experiment. Through his meetings with nutritionists, cooks, doctors, gym teachers, lawyers and other different specialists, the movie producer attempts to gather various stakeholders on fast food and the fast food culture in modern America. In addition to his interviews, Spurlock also hands out a survey among children and discovers that they know perfectly well who Ronald McDonald is and know nothing about Jesus or George Bush. As is demonstrated through Spurlock, McDonald’s urges children to eat fast food by hosting and organizing birthday parties and giving free toys in their Happy Meals. To make his film extra distinctive, intuitive, and accurate, Spurlock utilizes cartoon animations (e.g. showing how McNuggets are produced), statistics, and photographs. Some measurable information is rather upsetting; for example, the evidence accumulated by the film producer proposes that more than 60 percent of Americans experience the ill effects of obesity and diabetes because of the reality of eating fast foods (Fazekas, 2005, p.144). In addition, 10,000 fast food ads appear on TV every year, drawing in attention of both grown-ups and adolescents.

All through the documentary, the film producer utilizes the shock techniques to evoke powerful emotions and responses in his viewers. For example, he delineates liposuction medical procedure, his very own vomiting all through the second devouring of McDonald’s dinners, the severe pictures of obese Americans, and school kids’ addictive ingestion of harmful food. Spurlock likewise, constantly comes back to his own desire for fast food, exhibiting that he feels good when he eats McDonald’s fast food. While at the beginning of his experiment Spurlock looks and feels healthy, but with the progression of the experiment his emotional state starts to worsen. Spurlock’s girlfriend recognizes that he smiles considerably less than previously, he is sexual dysfunctional and depressive moods. Spurlock additionally exhibits his own feelings of fear over the health problem which occurs during the experiment. For example, he delineates that one night he wakes up because of his inability to breathe. He is so scared of the side-effects that he questions whether to continue the experiment that may threaten his life. Nonetheless, Spurlock chooses to complete the experiment even at the expense of his physical and emotional wellbeing. At the stop of the film, Spurlock stuns his watchers by methods for proclaiming that he re-established his substantial and passionate wellbeing for around 14 months. He additionally shows a gravestone for the comedian Ronald McDonald and asks his watchers: ‘Who do you want to see go first, you or them?’

In addition to the shock techniques that were used, the film producer furthermore comparative techniques. For example, he contrasts American school with fast food meals and soda machines in school for troubled teenagers in Wisconsin, where the food is substituted for natural food. As Spurlock illustrates, the food changes have positively impacted kids’ passionate prosperity and conduct. The producer gathers individuals’ opinions and visits McDonald’s not just in Manhattan, but in also other cities in America such as, Texas and California. By utilizing both shock and comparative techniques, Spurlock attempts to engage the general public into talking on the issue of fast food eating. He likewise urges parents to rethink their children’s eating decisions regarding McDonalds and other fast food chains. As Spurlock earnestly shows in the documentary, that parents and caregivers are responsible for developing healthy eating habits in their children. Otherwise, the punishments of their neglect will be adverse for their kids.

Notwithstanding guardians’ irresponsibility, Spurlock likewise denounces continually expanding promoting of fast food. In spite of the fact that McDonald’s cases that the organization doesn’t bear obligation regarding individuals’ choice to eat inexpensive food, it burns through billions of dollars on publicizing its items. To exacerbate the situation, Spurlock analyses the measure of cash which fast food organizations spend on notices to the measure of cash which healthy food organizations spend on promotions. The figures he brings to the fore unmistakably show that the financial limit of healthy food associations is altogether lower than the spending limit of fast food organizations. Notwithstanding his interests to parents, advertisers, and the overall public, Spurlock additionally advances to the American government which completely disregards the purposes behind individuals’ visits of McDonald’s and utilization of undesirable fast food. For example, he shows the network which has no play area for their children; thus, having parents go to McDonald’s on the grounds that it has a play area. In different scenes, the film producer centres around school dinners, showing that schools regularly buy fast food for students since it is less expensive to purchase fast food sources than to prepare fresh foods. In perspective on such restricted decisions, kids have to consume fast food as opposed to healthier food choices. Every one of these models referenced in Spurlock’s documentary mean that both the government and educational establishments keep up the fast food culture to gain their own benefits.

Spurlock’s documentary comprises of a few segments, every one of which uncovers another factor for his criticism of fast food eating. The film producer regularly utilizes humour and parody in his talk of a major issue. From one perspective, this makes his documentary essentially engaging. Then again, Spurlock prevails with regards to creating a dark parody which intensely depends on the components of satire to spread some pivotal messages. This is particularly obvious in the scene when the American family attempts to play out the Pledge of Allegiance close to the White House, however overlooks the words and starts singing McDonald’s tune. Although such scenes inspire snicker, they additionally make individuals think. Spurlock purposefully acquaints funny elements to destroy people’s barriers and encourage them to perceive crucial information. As ‘Supersize Me’ has obviously appeared, this technique was really successful as people tend to create barriers around somebody else’s views and opinions, but most importantly believe the speaker. The producer additionally incorporates music (for example Fat-Bottomed Girls by Queen) and new expresses, (for example, McStomach Ache or McTwitches) into his documentary to make a more appropriate mood and atmospheres. Additionally, Spurlock gives extraordinary consideration to details (for example a hair in his food), using entertaining pictures while changing the scenes, and successfully consolidates video and designs. The utilization of every one of these strategies signifies that Spurlock is attempting to create not only a reflexive film, but in addition a highly experimental and dynamic film. Because of an amazing juxtaposition of techniques, Spurlock gradually connects with his viewers into the discussion.

In any case, rather than giving a balanced standpoint, the film producer communicates an essentially biased view on popularity of fast food eating in the United States. Accordingly, the consequences of Spurlock’s non-logical examination can be presented to some criticism. For example, Guy Russo, the CEO of Australian McDonald’s, contradicted the view communicated by Spurlock by guaranteeing that individuals don’t eat fast food consistently, three times a day. Russo additionally scrutinized Spurlock’s choices not to do physical activities and to double his intake of fast food during the experiment. In his perspective, such irresponsible and extreme activities, but fast food eating had no detrimental effects on Spurlock’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Klosterman (2006) focuses at the way that Spurlock misrepresents the negative effect of fast food on his wellbeing since it is difficult to ‘sell a motion picture about eating fast food and feeling fine’. Klosterman (2006) likewise declares that as opposed to putting the blame for eating fast food on an individual, Spurlock puts the significant fault on McDonald’s and the American government. Be that as it may, in the perspective of Klosterman (2006), McDonald’s just gives ‘individuals the item they need’.

In spite of the critical remarks, Spurlock has succeeded with regards to delivering a significant documentary which addresses expanding popularity of fast food eating and causing the general society and the American government to think about the issues of unhealthy food and obesity. The film producer has made dynamic strides in perceiving a difficult issue and in working up individuals’ emotional reactions to the issue of unhealthy fast food and poor eating choices. All through the documentary, Spurlock attempts to persuade viewers that fast food is a downright awful decision; by exposing his memories of his childhood dietary patterns (for example at the point when his family assembled and ate home-made food), the film producer exhibits that such dietary patterns are fundamentally more healthier and more beneficial for kids more than visits to McDonald’s cafés. Concerning Spurlock’s biased views on fast food eating, it is important to consider that the producer attempts to create a point of view documentary which draws on the emotional methodology and ‘is strongly skewed toward a certain viewpoint’. As per this particular perspective, it isn’t just unfortunate menus of McDonald’s and other drive-thru eateries that represent a danger to the physical and mental prosperity of kids and grown-ups, yet the effect of the fast food culture on individuals’ values and lifestyles. Spreading fast food culture all through America, companies serve their very own advantages, while completely ignoring the needs and interests of common people.

In spite of the fact that McDonald’s brisk dinners is more affordable and delectable, the unbalanced consumption of fats food (as Spurlock has genuinely appeared in his narrative) may moreover be poisonous to the body of an adult, let alone the body of a child. Spurlock’s determination to focus on McDonald’s eating places does not mean that the film producer has a personal dislike for McDonald’s. His craving is clarified with the guide of the truth that McDonald’s is the greatest organization in the American fast food industry. Henceforth, by means of assaulting McDonald’s, Spurlock communicates his criticism of the whole fast food industry which manipulates individuals and makes them develop unhealthy eating habits. Although in some cases Spurlock goes to exaggerations, his documentary is seen as a reasonable account of the situation with America’s fast food eating. The film producer intentionally exaggerates a few facts to accentuate the seriousness of unhealthy eating and obesity. Because of Spurlock’s documentary, McDonald’s has diversified its menu with healthier alternatives and has removed the supersizing option. Also, McDonald’s has moreover begun to provide records on fats content and calories with the goal that McDonald’s site guests can decide for themselves what to eat. In that capacity, Spurlock’s film has inspired moderate changes in the American industry of fast food. 

16 August 2021

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