After Thanksgiving dinner in 2002, Morgan Spurlock sat on his couch to relax after his huge Thanksgiving feast. As he flipped through the channels, he came across news about two women who were suing McDonalds for making their children obese. This report made him question fast food and its nutritional value, and stimulated him to make a daring and risky choice. He wanted to prove a point and educate people about the dangers of fast food by changing his diet for a month to strictly McDonalds and to get it all on video. Spurlock, 33, was physically fit and healthy, weighing 185 pounds, being six foot 2 inches tall, and having an average cholesterol level of 168, at the start of his mission, but things became very shocking. His cholesterol shot to a stunning 230, he gained over 25 pounds, his liver became toxic, and he became dangerously sick. Later, he released the video of his experience, which he called “Super Size Me”, at the Sundance Film Festival and won the title of best director of a documentary.
Is the fast food industry to blame for getting him so sick? His experiment shows that regulating your diet to eating just McDonalds could get you unhealthy and sick, but that’s where the problem lies. If one limits their food intake to just fast food, problems will arise. He also lacks other argumentative factors that are needed to justly accuse McDonalds. It is wrong to blame fast food corporations for making people overweight and unhealthy, because they are given the freedom to choose what they eat and are not being forced to eat at the fast food establishments.
In August of 2000, “The Onion”, a satirical newspaper, published a joke with the heading “Hershey’s Ordered to Pay Obese Americans $135 billion.” Its article was about a lawsuit against Hershey for marketing their unhealthy candy bars to children. Even though this was a joke, in the summer of 2002 a stunningly similar, non-comic, class-action case attempted to enter the New York court rooms. This case wasn’t about candy bars, but about fast food, and its unhealthy consequences.
The complaint to the courts was filed by Caesar Barber, 56, of Bronx County New York who was struggling with heart disease. He said, “For years I ate fast food because it was efficient and cheap […] I had no idea I could be damaging my health.” (Tyre, 1) His class-action lawsuit, run by Attorney Samuel Hirsch, is for people who have consumed/purchased fast food from McDonalds, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and/or Wendy’s “and as a result thereof, have become obese, overweight, developed diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and/or other detrimental and adverse health effect and/or diseases.” (Caesar, 1) The suit also shows the preliminary stages of the argument against the fast food corporation’s “marketing towards children” and not informing the pubic about the ingredients and nutritional value of their food.
Obesity is a major concern in the...