Sunday, February 27, 2011

Supersize me?

I'm a few years behind the times, but I finally watched Supersize Me last night.  I have to say I wasn't impressed.  So many people I know said "Oh, you gotta watch this movie, it'll change your life".  Let's ignore the presuppositions made by the person who assumes that a movie about the evils of fast food is going to change my life and look at the movie.

Spurlock talks about the "obesity epidemic" at the beginning of the movie - and the inference all along is that all fat people eat only fast food and don't exercise.  I found this to be offensive, and damaging.  Damaging to the naturally thin person, as feeding the myth that your size is an indicator of your health allows the naturally thin person to think they are healthy simply because they are thin.

The other problem I had with the film was the methodology of the "study".  He not only did not exercise the entire time, he reduced the amount of normal physical activity by taking cabs when he would normally have walked.  Small wonder he had the lab results and weight gain that he experienced.  If I uppped my fat intake and reduced my physical activity, the same thing would have happened.  Perhaps it would have been more realistic (but less dramatic for the cameras) to have not changed his normal physical routine.  How much of the damage would have been mitigated by that activity?

I'm not suggesting that we start getting all our food from the drive thru.  I agree with Mr. Spurlock there; fast food should be rare.  I also think that if we make them taboo, it makes them that much more attractive.  "Ooh, look at me being bad, eating this cheeseburger".

Or you could follow the principles of intuitive eating and allow yourself to have the Mickey Dee's.  After I stopped going to Weight Watchers, I "let" myself eat whatever I wanted.  It didn't take long for me to get sick of the fast food, and I am getting close with sit down restaurant food as well.  Even the Angus burger isn't enough to make me want McDonald's that much.  It took 27 meals for Morgan Spurlock to start feeling like eating was a chore.  I don't remember my own time frame, but it was far less meals than that.  (on a basis of once or twice a week, not all day every day)

So did I ever have a point?  Well, sure.  Use your noggin when you watch a documentary like this.  Common sense tells you not to eat fast food every day.  Apply some critical thinking, and don't take what you see without an internal debate about it.  It's easy to take what someone else says as truth; this doesn't require any work on our part.

In the future, take a minute to decipher what is true.  Separate the wheat from the chaff, as it were.  A lot of good information was buried under the sensationalism of the movie.

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