Winner at Sundance, director Morgan Spurlock's social experiment in fast-food gastronomy sees him attempting to subsist uniquely on food from the McDonald's menu for an entire month. In the process his weight balloons, his energy level plummets and he experiences all sorts of unexpected -- and terrifying -- side effects.
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So I worked at Mcdonald's on and off for a total of 4 years. Being a Manager we got free food, and since you are getting paid so little, I would eat the food, usually 2 meals a day. I actually enjoyed McDonald's back then, though I almost never eat it now simply cause my diet and habits have changed. However, while eating 2 Mcd's meals a day, 5 days a week for the time that I worked there, I was very healthy and did not have ANY negative health effects from it. The regional supervisor for our 6 stores was a skinny asian guy that weighed 120 lbs, and worked 6 days a week, eating Mcdonald's every day. The guy had more energy and positivity than probably 90% of managers and bosses I've work with since. The GM that ran the store I was assistant manager at had worked for McDonald's for over 20 years, and ate their food every day he worked there, even multiple times on long days. Again, healthy and not overweight and no known health problems as far as I knew.
If I cooked beef burgers and made home made oil fried french fries every day, while eating over 3000-4000 calories of food, drinking a 2 liter of soda and eating ice cream for 30 days, while not working out/being active I would gain weight and eventually start to have health problems. That is called the science of how your body works! This guy is an "idiot" for trying to clam Mcdonald's will cause all these health problems for you, when he is obviously overeating. A normal person eating fast food once a day, while also being active physically is not gonna have these kinds of health problems.
I will say this though, I worked for McDonald's in the early 2000s, and after watching the "Founder" movie about Ray Kroc and the immoral person he was, I have definitely had my doubts about the companies willingness to have the best ingredients for their customers. Just have to say that as someone who worked there for years and met people who worked there for decades, this movie is way overexaggerated...
This movie is like when you were a kid and wanted to prove something obvious with your science fair experiment, like "what happens if I give one plant water and one plant Coke for a month straight?" You know what's going to happen, even as a kid, but it looks impressive and drastic and yeah, maybe you'll actually consider drinking water after seeing the results. But probably not.
No sane, rational person thinks that a diet entirely of large quantities of fast food and soda is healthy - you can see the results of binging on such food, lack of portion control, and less exercise in the average American today. The filmmaker decided to take such behavior to an extreme to prove what we, as a county, have been slowly proving year after year already, while ducking away from cameras.
Not surprising, eating a (questionable) 5000 calories a day of anything wrecks your body. Living on sugary drinks, fatty food, and reducing exercise wrecks your body. That plant over there being given water? It's looking awfully smug right now.
This seems to be a reality TV style docudrama, hyped up to look worse than it is, with no real surprises until you look into it further after the fact. I won't bore you by detailing every article about why the calorie count doesn't add up, or potential alcohol use, or his vegan girlfriend using it to launch a detox diet... But I will question why the detox diet started with large glasses of fruit juice, which is essentially more sugar.
There are sensible ways to indulge in any foods, and reasonable options on any restaurant menu if you look long enough, which is another thing this film completely ignored. (Oh, except for a cameo from Jared, Subway rep, speaking with school children. That clip didn't age well.)
Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2019
the information provided in this movie is eye opening and very relevant. However, I have to question the "experiment". It played a bit like a reality TV show where his reactions to eating mcdonalds food every day. The first day he supposedly couldn't eat his supersized meal and after forcing it down, he threw it up! then he stated he was "depressed" implying it was his fast food diet. Then it supposedly caused headaches. I get that a diet of 100% mcyDees can make you feel bloated, listless and tired. but I don't buy the throwing up or the difficulty breathing or heart palpatations. I also don't buy his choices -- why is he buying two burgers on his first day!
I've seen this documentary more than once and the more I watch it the less I actually understand the point. He introduces his 30 day long "McDonald's Binge" by saying that it was silly for American's to sue McDonalds and McDonald's responded by saying that no one should eat McDonald's every meal. I would think a good way to go about the documentary is show that it's about the choices you make and not necessarily where you are eating...that would prove his point wouldn't it? What is the benefit of super sizing food? What is the benefit of eating there for every meal? Anyway, in a contradictory documentary called "Fat Head" Tom Naughton eats McDonalds for every meal and loses weight AND lowers his cholesterol. This actually helps PROVE Morgan's idea that there is personal responsibility to the size of obesity. It doesn't make sense for there to be corporate responsibility as McDonald's does offer healthy options but unhealthy options always. It is a person's responsibility to make choices they feel are best for them.
An experiment in eating nothing but fast food, endangering his health, but highlighting the terrible effects of this junk. Should be required viewing for all those who predominately eat nothing but the various types of fast food. It might be wake-up call for them.
4.0 out of 5 starsWill not put you off eating McDs - but it give a sobering thought
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 14, 2012
Where this documentary-self-experiment fails is that it takes it purely from a medical standpoint in assessing the danger of eating a diet like Mc Donald's constantly. To be honest, I still found myself watering at the thought of munching through one of those super-sized burgers! LoL We know its bad - but it tastes SOO GOOOD!!!
If the program makers showed you how they make McDonalds and the bad food hygiene that sometimes takes place behind the counter - then it would paint a very different picture and have a different affect on the viewer. If they showed you how the cows are industrialized and made to live in their own excrement - you'll be thinking twice about the yummy-ness of those quarter-pounders!
The greater mistake the program made, in its conclusion, was that it did not make enough of a case against the high sugar content in the Soda, the bread and even the fries. It's the sugar that makes the McDonalds diet dangerous, not the fat! The addictive substance is the sugar! The sugar is what made this guy ill - not the protein in the burger or the fat! I believe, a McDonalds is safe to eat - provided you don't have the Soda or the desserts!
5.0 out of 5 starsa very funny inspiring and very factual movie
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 29, 2012
I give it a 5 star because the person in the film who volunteered to go on this sort of diet was very brave if not a bit foolhardy, as he had physiological measurements taken before and after the supersize me eating regime. It really does go to show that the americans shjo themselves in the foot with the health promotion initiantives, they don't have any, i mean what sort of a nation dosen't employ such initiatives, it works well over here in the UK and with promising results and changes in dietary habits!
4.0 out of 5 starsInformative, yet subjective view of the fast food industry
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 9, 2011
A man decides to eat nothing but McDonalds for 30 days. He must have everything on the menu once and, if asked, he must supersize. He keeps in contact with medical professionals, who monitor his progress throughout. Bought this to use as stumulus for a Media class. Bear in mind that it is a 12 so it has swearing in it. Otherwise one of my favourite documentaries alongside Grizzly Man  [DVD] and Bowling For Columbine [DVD] . A very interesting, but very biased study related to the fast food industry, which confirms our idea that for many in America, diet and health is secondary to having something tasty.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 2, 2008
There's been a lot written about the subject of the fast food giants selling us all up-the-river with their pointless and harmful wares. Spurlock makes his point in a simple and persuasive fashion, much like the fast food giants do when peddling their message.
This is not Shakespeare. It's a simple message in a simple format. Watch the move and you decide.
I haven't been to McDonalds since I saw this 12 months ago.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 26, 2016
Brilliant, if a little dated, film. Clear signs of wear and tear on it, and has obviously been to several different charity/thrift shops before it reached me. DVD itself was scratched and falling out of the case, but it worked fine