Fast Food And Obesity Working Together Toward A Bigger World


Independent film maker Morgan Spurlock embarked upon a 30 day diet modification plan consisting of only products on the McDonald menu. He did this in order to demonstrate that the fast food industry in the United States of America is responsible for the rapidly escalating obesity rate of the country.

The purpose of this exercise was to show the world the way the fast food industry continually promotes unhealthy eating with financial gain being it’s main, if not only, interest. The global issues of the health and weight epidemic were focused on in the 2004 Academy Award nominated movie, Super Size Me which made every effort to prove that the fast food industry and obesity were working hand in hand towards creating a bigger world.

Obesity And Fast Food Provide Ground Rules For Documentary Film

Spurlock?s dietary requirement for the film included 5,000 calories per day of McDonald?s menu items. He was required to eat at the restaurant three times per day, consuming every item on the menu at least once in the thirty-day period. Prior to beginning his experiment, Spurlock was a thirty-two year old, healthy man that stood 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighed 185 pounds. He gained 24.5 pounds in 30 days. His Body Mass Index (BMI) went from 23.2 to 27.

Bearing in mind a healthy BMI for someone of Spurlock’s age, height and weight should fall between 19 and 25, it was clear to see that he had gone from the healthy to overweight bracket in a relatively short period of time when following the McDonald’s eating plan. This proved to many people that his claim of the relationship between fast food and obesity was duly substantiated. In fact, during the first five days alone of following the fast food diet he gained nearly ten pounds in weight.

Fast Food and Obesity Experiment Results

Spurlock?s movie made a very big impression on America and other countries that support the McDonalds fast food industry. McDonalds soon phased out the ?supersize? menu option and though they denied that it was due to the impact of the movie, the action was taken shortly after the movie was released. In addition, McDonalds began offering ?healthy? choice menu items such as salads.

It has to be taken into consideration that some of the so called healthy offerings consist of fried chicken portions and salad dressings just oozing with fat. These particular choices contain more grams of fat and calories than the burger and fries option. McDonalds, however, have never actually agreed that fast food and obesity are closely related; in the same way that they never admitted that the items on their menu are a recipe for obesity.

Regrettably, even though the McDonald’s menu provides a healthy option to its many fat-filled fast food meals, the customer is not obliged in any way to choose the healthy food, simply because it’s on the menu. Choices which are lower in fat can be ordered from the menu, but the majority of customers don?t bother to make such personal ordering modifications.

This would lead us to believe that training the customer to think about what they eat holds more importance than pointing the finger at big businesses. Subway have made a concerted effort to broadcast their healthy eating practices and the options available on their menu whilst McDonald’s have continued to sell the products which have made them so well known, ignoring for the best part any health guidelines whatsoever. Therefore, it would appear to be the responsibility of the consumer to make the right decision about exactly what they eat.

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