I watched the Super-Size Me film. Morgan Spurlock made this documentary in 2004. Fast food is eaten by many Americans daily. The obesity and illnesses levels are increasing. It has a different impact on each person. Two teenage girls grew tremendously at age 14 from 4’10” to 170 pounds. A 19-year old at 5’6″, grew to 210 pounds. The second most common cause of death is obesity, right after smoking. McDonalds has the largest number of fast food chains. McDonald’s is available almost everywhere.

Morgan Spurlock embarks on an adventure to determine if the obesity epidemic in America is caused by fast food. Morgan Spurlock begins this experiment by committing to eating McDonalds every meal of the day for 30 days. He first sees three doctors, including a general physician, gastroenterologist,and cardiologist. He is given a medical checkup, which includes his height, weight and family history. Numerous tests are also performed to determine if he’s safe to do the experiment. Also, he visits a nutritionist in order to obtain a log of food intake. He then visits an exercise specialist to assess his health. He starts the experiment.

Morgan lives near New York City, which has a lot of McDonalds. Manhattan in particular is home to the majority. Morgan has an Egg McMuffin as his breakfast on the first day. Morgan has a BigMac for lunch. He decides on the rules of his experiment. Over the next thirty-days, he will only be able to eat McDonalds. He has to eat lunch, dinner, and breakfast. The only time he can eat a larger portion is if someone asks him to. According to Dr. David Satcher, obesity is a “national epidemic”. Morgan, on the second day, goes to a drive-through for a double 1/4 pounder cheese meal. He is asked to make it bigger. He is struggling to finish his meal half way through. He stuffs it down to get it over with. He explains his feelings at the end and calls it a McStomachache and McGas. He throws the meal away later. Fast food, especially for children in American families is very popular. In the past 20 to 25 year there has doubled the number of overweight or obese adolescents. On Day 5, he orders the double cheeseburger and supersizes it. Morgan was prescribed a diet of 2,500 calories on the fifth day by his nutritionist to maintain Morgan’s current weight. It was determined that he had been eating 5,000 calories per day. At the time of his weigh-in, he weighed 194 pounds. On Day 6, he visits Los Angeles and tries McNuggets. He started to feel pressure on his chest by Day 7. He was feeling depressed by Day 9. Don Gorske had been eating Big Macs for quite some time. He would eat at least three a day. He ate as many as 19,000 Big Macs during 2004. Food advertisements are made every year in 10,000. 95% of food ads are for sugary candies, cereals or fast foods.

Morgan decided to visit different McDonalds and see if the nutrition sheets were visible on walls. Most of the restaurants did not display nutrition information. Morgan was 17 pounds heavier when he returned to his nutritionist. Morgan went to schools as well, believing that fast food is affecting the kids. He noticed that the majority of kids didn’t eat much. The majority of the kids ate sweets and fries. He spoke with a cook in the school who confirmed that many items were frozen. They are then heated and served to students. In a troubled school, the vending devices were switched from sodas to healthy snacks and water. Students’ engagement and attitudes improved. Morgan began experiencing headaches and fatigue by Day 19. Only when he was eating did he feel good. A fatter liver could also lead to liver disease. He was close to death from this high-fat food diet. He was told to stop half-way through his experiment by doctors before he could do any harm. “At most 100 nutritionists have been asked about eating junk food. Only 2 said they should consume it at least twice per week. Another 28 said one or two times per month. And 45 said to never eat any fast food. Morgan consumed McDonalds for 30 consecutive days. He was taken to the doctor for his final test. In a single month, he gained 185-210lbs. Ses cholesterol levels increased. He doubled the risk of developing heart disease and failure. Two teenage girls who sued McDonalds for their injuries were not able to prove that McDonalds was responsible.

Answering this question is important because advertising is an important factor in whether or not we purchase products. Advertisements are everywhere: on TV, billboards and the internet. Advertisements are everywhere. We see a lot of food ads. The commercials of the shows we watch usually feature new offers from all major food chains. Whenever they introduce new products we are often tempted to buy them. We are always drawn to the ads that look delicious and colorful. We are more likely than not to buy a burger if it is advertised with crispy fries, melted cheese, and bright green leaves. Advertising can also make us feel like eating right then and there. Advertising can also be a factor for parents with children. It’s easy to bribe children with their favorite food. You can bribe them with a cereal that is sugary and causes cavities.

The majority of commercials are now designed to attract children’s attention in order to persuade their parents to purchase the product. More and more ads are being broadcasted today that highlight healthy lifestyles. A fruit bowl in Publix would make me more inclined to purchase it if the fruit was colorful, juicy and fresh. Advertising the product and the price also plays an important role. Fast food chains often advertise specials like “4 for 4” meals or $5 meals with a drink and a side. The young adults with a low budget and students are the ones who usually notice this. If people were offered discounts on healthy products, they might want to buy them. In addition to wanting to try something new, seeing food can make us feel hungry.

In a newspaper article from 2009, an experimental study was conducted in order to find out if people would snack more on foods that they could easily get. The article stated that “advertising of food and drinks communicates powerful food consumption clues, such as images of attractive models snacking, eating at times other than mealtimes, and positive feelings …”. It seems that this is a recurring theme in the commercials. Total of 118 participants. 56 girls, 62 boys. The students were divided into two groups. One group watched cartoons with commercials between them, and the other group had games and entertainment ads between. The cartoons were shown to both groups. The experimenter then weighed the bowls of goldfish after the kids had left to determine their intake. The hypothesis held true, as children who were exposed to food advertisements consumed more goldfish. Advertising is a big factor in the choices we make about food, whether it’s healthy or unhealthy.


  • arthurmacdonald

    Arthur Macdonald is a 39-year-old educational blogger and school teacher. He has been a teaching assistant for 10 years, and has taught middle and high school students in the Atlanta area for the past 5 years.