Super Size Me is a 2004 American documentary driven by and starring Morgan Spurlock, an American independent filmmaker. Spurlock’s film adheres to a 30-day duration from February 1 to March 2, 2003 throughout which he consumed just McDonald’s meals. The film papers this lifestyle’s drastic effect on Spurlock’s bodily and also mental health, and also discovers the junk food industry’s corporate impact, including just how it encourages bad nourishment for its own profit.

Spurlock ate at McDonald’s restaurants 3 times every day, consuming every thing on the chain’s menu at the very least once. Spurlock ate a standard of 20.9 megajoules or 5,000 kcal (the equivalent of 9.26 Large Macs) every day during the experiment. A consumption of around 2,500 kcal within a healthy well balanced diet is a lot more generally suggested for a male to preserve his weight. Therefore, the then-32-year-old Spurlock obtained 24 1/2 lbs. (11.1 kg), a 13 % body mass rise, boosted his cholesterol to 230 mg/dL, and experienced mood swings, sex-related disorder, and also fat build-up in his liver. It took Spurlock fourteen months to shed the weight acquired from his experiment using a vegan diet managed by his then-girlfriend (now ex-wife), a chef who focuses on premium vegan dishes.

The reason for Spurlock’s examination was the increasing spread of excessive weight throughout U.S. society, which the Surgeon General has proclaimed ‘epidemic’, and also the corresponding legal action brought versus McDonald’s on behalf of two overweight ladies, which, it was declared, came to be obese as a result of eating McDonald’s food (Pelman v. McDonald’s Corp., 237 F. Supp. 2d 512). Spurlock explains that although the claim against McDonald’s fell short (and also consequently many state legislatures have actually enacted versus product responsibility activities versus producers and suppliers of ‘junk food’), a lot of the exact same objection leveled against the tobacco companies uses to convenience food franchise business whose item is both physiologically addictive and literally harmful.

The documentary was nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Attribute. A comic e-book relevant to the film has actually been made with Underdog Comics as the publisher including tales based upon numerous cases of junk food health scares.

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As the movie begins, Spurlock is in physically above typical shape according to his personal instructor. He is viewed by 3 medical professionals (a cardiologist, a gastroenterologist, and a general practitioner), in addition to a nutritionist as well as a personal instructor. All of the wellness specialists forecast the ‘McDiet’ will certainly have unwelcome impacts on his physical body, yet none expected anything as well drastic, one citing the body as being ‘very adaptable’. Before the experiment, Spurlock consumed a varied diet plan however always had vegan night meals to appease his partner, Alexandra, a vegan cook. At the start of the experiment, Spurlock, that stood 6 feet 2 inches (188 centimeters) high, had a physical body weight of 185.5 pounds (84 kilograms).


Spurlock adhered to specific regulations regulating his consuming routines:

  • He should fully consume 3 McDonald’s dishes per day: morning meal, lunch, and dinner.
  • He should take in every product on the McDonald’s menu at the very least as soon as over the program of the Thirty Days (he handled this in 9 days).
  • He should just ingest items that are supplied on the McDonald’s food selection, consisting of bottled water. All outside consumption of meals is prohibited.
  • He need to Super Dimension the meal when provided, but just when offered (i.e., he is not able to Super Dimension products himself, Spurlock was supplied 9 times, 5 of which remained in Texas).
  • He will certainly attempt to stroll about as significantly as a regular United States resident, based on a suggested figure of 5,000 standard range actions each day, yet he did not carefully adhere to this, as he walked a lot more while in New York compared to in Houston.

On February 1, Spurlock starts the month with morning meal near his house in Manhattan, where there is a standard of 4 McDonald’s locations (and 66,950 residents, with two times as many travelers) each square mile (2.6 km ²). He aims to keep the distances he walks in line with the 5,000 actions (around two miles) strolled each day by the typical American.

Day 2 brings Spurlock’s first (of 9) Super Dimension meal, at the McDonald’s on 34th Street and Tenth Avenue, which takes place to be a dish constructed from a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Super Dimension French fries, and also a 42-ounce Coke, which takes 22 mins to consume. He experiences gradually raising tummy soreness throughout the procedure, then throws up in the McDonald’s parking lot.

After five days Spurlock has gained 9.5 extra pounds (4.5 kilograms) (from 185.5 to regarding 195 pounds). It is shortly before he discovers himself experiencing anxiety, and he claims that his spells of depression, sleepiness, as well as frustrations can be soothed by eating a McDonald’s dish. His general practitioner describes him as being ‘addicted’. At his 2nd weigh-in, he had gained one more 8 extra pounds (3.5 kg), placing his weight at 203.5 lb (92 kilograms). By the end of the month he weighs regarding 210 pounds (95.5 kilograms), a rise of regarding 24.5 extra pounds (concerning 11 kilograms). Considering that he could just consume McDonald’s food for a month, Spurlock chose not to take any kind of drug at all. At one weigh-in Morgan shed 1 lb. from the previous weigh-in, and also a nutritional expert assumed that he had lost muscle mass, which considers greater than a similar quantity of fat. At an additional weigh-in, a nutritionist stated that he acquired 17 pounds (8.5 kg) in 12 days.

Spurlock’s partner, Alexandra Jamieson, vouches for that Spurlock shed considerably of his energy and also libido during his experiment. It was not clear at the time whether Spurlock should be able to complete the full month of the high-fat, high-carbohydrate diet plan, as well as friends and family began to express concern.

On Day 21, Spurlock has heart palpitations. His internist, Dr. Daryl Isaacs, recommends him to quit exactly what he is doing right away to avoid any type of severe health and wellness troubles. He contrasts Spurlock with the lead character played by Nicolas Cage in the motion picture Leaving Las Vegas, that intentionally consumes himself to fatality in a matter of weeks. In spite of this precaution, Spurlock chooses to proceed the experiment.

On March 2, Spurlock makes it to day 30 and also achieves his objective. In thirty days, he has ‘Supersized’ his dishes nine times along the road (five which remained in Texas, 4 in New York City). His medical professionals are shocked at the level of damage in Spurlock’s health. He keeps in mind that he has actually consumed as numerous McDonald’s meals as most nutritionists claim the regular person needs to consume in 8 years (he consumed 90 meals, which is close to the variety of meals taken in when a month in an 8-year period).


An end content states that it took Spurlock 5 months to shed 20.1 pounds (9 kilograms) and also another 9 months to lose the last 4.5 extra pounds (2 kilograms). His then-girlfriend Alex, now his ex-wife, began overseeing his recuperation with her ‘detoxifying diet regimen’, which became the basis for her book, The Great American Detox Diet.

The flick finishes with an ornate question, ‘That do you intend to see go first, you or them?’ This is come with by a comic strip headstone, which reads ‘Ronald McDonald (1954-2012)’, which originally appeared in The Economist in an article resolving the principles of advertising and marketing to children.

A short epilogue was enhanced the movie. Although it revealed that the salads could consist of much more calories than hamburgers if the customer includes liberal quantities of cheese and also dressing prior to usage, it also explained McDonald’s discontinuation of the Super Dimension alternative 6 weeks after the movie’s premiere, as well as its current focus on healthier food selection products such as salads, and the launch of the new grown-up Pleased Dish. McDonald’s refuted that these adjustments had anything to do with the film.


Super Size Me very first premiered at the 2004 Sundance Movie Celebration, where Morgan Spurlock won the Grand Jury Prize for directing the film. The film opened in the united state on Could 7, 2004, and grossed a total of $11,536,423 worldwide, making it the 18th highest-grossing documentary movie of all time. It was nominated for an Academy Honor for Best Documentary yet lost to the movie Born into Brothels. Super Size Me received two thumbs up on At the Movies with Ebert and also Roeper. The movie general gotten favorable evaluations from other doubters, in addition to movie-goers, and also holds a 93 % ‘Qualified Fresh’ ranking on the movie testimonial collector Rotten Tomatoes.

Caroline Westbrook for BBC News specified that the buzz for the documentary was appropriate ‘to a certain degree’, due to its significant message, and also that, in general, the film’s ‘high funny element as well as over-familiarity of the subject concern provide it less effective compared to various other recent documentaries – however it still makes for satisfying, thought-provoking browsing.’

Criticism and statistical notes

Critics of the movie, consisting of McDonald’s, suggest that the author intentionally eaten approximately 5,000 calories each day and did not workout, which the outcomes should have been the very same despite the resource of overindulging. One customer aimed out ‘he’s informing us something everybody currently recognizes: Junk food is bad for you.’ Robert Davis of Paste suggested the movie is an instance of ‘exactly how the ignorance of, or intentional distortion of, fundamental clinical techniques is used to adjust popular opinion.’

In the funny documentary reply Fat Head, Tom Naughton ‘recommends that Spurlock’s calorie and fat counts don’t accumulate’ and also slams Spurlock’s refusal to publish the Super Size Me food log; The Houston Chronicle reports: ‘Unlike Spurlock, Naughton has a web page on his Internet site that details every thing (including dietary information) he consumed throughout his fast-food month.’ The film addresses such objections by highlighting that a part of the reason for Spurlock’s degrading health and wellness was not merely the high calorie intake however also the high quantity of sugar loved one to minerals and vitamins in the McDonald’s food selection, which is similar because respect to the nutritional web content of the food selections of a lot of various other UNITED STATE fast-food chains. Regarding 1/3 of Spurlock’s calories originated from sugar. His nutritionist, Bridget Bennett RD, advised him concerning his excess consumption of sugar from ‘milkshake or smoothies and cokes’. It is revealed toward completion of the movie that over the training course of the diet regimen, he consumed ‘over 30 extra pounds of sugar, and also over 12 lbs. of fat from their food’.

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In the United Kingdom, McDonald’s placed a short ad in the trailers of provings of the movie, indicating the web site The advertisements specified, ‘See exactly what we disagree with. View exactly what we agree with.’

The movie was the inspiration for the BBC tv collection The Supersizers… in which the speakers eat on historic dishes as well as take medical tests to ascertain the effect on their health.

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