Study Guide For Super Size Me


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Written by jelo singson The film “” is a 2004 part documentary film, part health experiment directed by and featuring American Indie filmmaker, Spurlock. In the film, he records the effects of a 30-day period of time (Feb. 1 – March 2, 2003) in which he ate only McDonald’s food. In the process of documenting the results of the “McDonald’s diet” or “McDiet” upon the director’s physical and psychological health, Spurlock is both surprised and appalled as he discovers not only the detrimental effects of the fast food giant’s products upon himself but also the vast influence that the fast food industry has over the lives of it’s customers-including how it promotes poor nutrition for the sake of profit. Spurlock initiates this documentary as a response to the “epidemic of obesity” as declared by the US Surgeon General as well a careful study on his opinion that fast food franchises, much like tobacco companies, fail to properly label and categorize their products as they are both physiologically addictive and physically harmful-in much the same way as cigarettes are. During the start of the movie, Spurlock subjects himself for evaluation by a team of professionals, including a personal trainer, cardiologist, gastroenterologist, nutritionist, and a general practitioner. This is done to establish his physical condition and to provide them with a baseline “before” measurement.

The teams give their inputs and unanimously agree that Spurlock is in above average shape and in generally good health for a man measuring 6’2 weighing 185 lbs. They also predict that the “diet” would have some detrimental effects, such as weight gain at worst, but nothing too dangerous, stating that the human body would cope well as it is “extremely adaptable.” The experiment would be carried out with the following guidelines: 1. All three main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and all food to be eaten must come from McDonald’s only.

Super Size Me Facts Super Size Me FILM SYNOPSIS What would happen if you ate nothing but fast food for an entire month?

Every menu item at McDonald’s must be eaten at least once over the course of 30 days. He must SUPER SIZE MEALS only when offered by McDonald’s staff and if offered the option he must always take it. He will must not engage in any exercise beyond that which the typical US citizen engages in, pegged at approximately 5,000 standardized distance steps per day. The experiment officially began on February 1, and on the second day of the experiment Spurlock was offered the first of a total of nine super sized meals. He is given a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Super Size French Fries and a 42-ounce soft drink. Unaccustomed to eating that much food in one go, he undergoes stomach pains then proceeds to throw up in the parking lot.

In five days Spurlock manages to gain a total of 9.5 lbs. And begins to experience sluggishness, headaches and depression.

Eating a McDonald’s meal, the director claims, could relieve these symptoms and at this point one of his doctors described him as addicted as he was showing physiological signs very similar to substance dependence. Upon his second weigh-in Spurlock had gained another 8 lbs.

And by his last weigh-in he was a total of 210 lbs. From his previous weights of 185 lbs.-an astonishing 25 lbs.-in a mere 30 days. His girlfriend, vegan gourmet chef Alexandra Jamieson, reports that he had been extremely lethargic during the later parts of the experiment, noting a particularly pronounced decrease in his sex drive, and he even began to experience heart palpitations on day 21 of the 'McDiet.'

Spurlock successfully completes the 30 experiment, faithfully adhering to the conditions set. He then promptly goes though a battery of medical exams to fully evaluate his health. The medical team was extremely shocked at how quickly and drastically Spurlock’s overall health worsened. Most especially since they initially made predictions that the 30-day McDonald’s diet wouldn’t have any major, negative impact upon his health. He then begins a detox-recovery program and reports state that it took a total of 14 months to gradually lose the 25 lbs. That he had gained in one month.

The film ends with a question directed to the viewers: “ Who do you want to see go first, you or them?” simultaneously showing an editorial cartoon featuring a headstone of Ronald McDonald. This mirrors the first time this cartoon was used when it was featured first in an article in The Economist magazine in an issue tackling the morality of turning children into a primary market demographic.

A brief coda is added to the film detailing how McDonald’s has discontinued the super sizing of their meals six weeks after the film’s release as well as in the inclusion of healthier menu offerings and a market campaign featuring a more active, sporty Ronald McDonald. McDonald’s has refuted claims that these actions were carried out as a response to the film. Update this section!

You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this section. After you claim a section you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback. How To Cite in MLA Format singson, jelo. 'Super Size Me Summary'.

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Extracts from this document. Introduction With reference to Morgan Spurlock's 'Super Size Me' examine and evaluate how linguistic, structural and presentational devices are used in this polemical documentary. In Morgan Spurlock's polemical documentary 'Super Size Me', he uses a wide variety of techniques to persuade his audience that McDonalds is harmful to their bodies. These in include: humour, emotive language and rhetorical questions. He uses these techniques in order to make the audience laugh, to shock them and to make them question their own morals and motives. The purpose of Morgan Spurlock's documentary is to explain to us what McDonalds is doing to children and adolescents, but also to adults. He attempts to achieve this by using strong imagery and shocking vocabulary.

However, this documentary is biased because McDonald's point of view and their opinion is not included; it only consists of Morgan Spurlock and his girlfriend, the doctors, and the health advisor's perspectives, which all attack the McDonalds Corporation. Although there are some comments from people on the street that are positive about McDonalds, they are only on the screen for a short amount of time. Right at the start of the documentary, the technique of verbal irony is used. In the opening scene of the documentary, the children sing the well known song, 'A pizza hut, a pizza hut, Kentucky fried chicken and a pizza hut.' Another part of the same song says: 'I like food! Middle It is very hard to keep your entire body that perfectly healthy and also taking into count that he doesn't eat meat or eggs so he wouldn't get the right amount of iron and protein unless he takes a supplement.

His results are more than likely not to be true. As this documentary is biased we cannot be completely sure that those results are actually his. They may have embellished the results to make the contrast between the results at the start of the experiment and the results during and at the end of the experiment more shocking and more drastic. They may have done this to show the severe health defects that can be obtained from eating too much fast food or to shock the audience into submission, which means they will not eat McDonalds to any further extent. When talking about McDonalds, its food and its effects on his body he uses plays on words better known as puns.

He says: 'You know when you got the McGurgles going and the McTingles well I've got the McStomachache'. This is a pun on the word McDonalds as he takes the 'Mc' prefix in the word McDonalds and places it before words that describe what McDonalds is doing to him. These plays on words or puns are appealing to the audience because it makes them laugh. Conclusion Parallelisms are used several times in this documentary. Two examples are: 'The consumers are paying not just with dollars, but with their waistlines as well.'

Also, 'everything's bigger in America. The biggest food, a finally the biggest people.' Using parallelisms enables Spurlock to place negative alongside the positives of America and McDonalds, showing contrasts within one sentence. This technique worked quite well as these kinds of sentences are easy to remember, so the audience we be left remembering the positives but also the negatives that McDonalds can bring.

To conclude, Morgan Spurlock uses a large amount of linguistic, structural and presentational devices to persuade and explain his point that McDonalds is bad for you to his audience. He uses a number of different techniques under each category which all help him to achieve the purpose of his documentary which was explained earlier on in this evaluation of the devices used in the polemical documentary 'Super Size Me'.

However, not all of his techniques were successful as we could see through his superfluities of the truth. Although he was ineffective in some of the devices he tried to use, the majority of them were successful and he managed to persuade the audience to some effect even though he did not manage to persuade me. Spurlock uses presentational and structural devices very well but his linguistic devices that are used to try and persuade the audience to be anti-McDonalds weren't very effective.????????


Sherlaine Hinds 10H.

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