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Super Sized Communication Essay

760 words - 3 pages

Messages distributed by institutions such as the media have the potential to reach very large and anonymous audiences in a process called mass communication. In the movie Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock documents a month of eating McDonald's, only to prove how food media affects the way Americans are living extremely unhealthy lives. According to The Mediated Communication Process (modified Westley-MacLean model) communication starts with an event, which in this case is the two teenage girls that decided to sue McDonald's for their obesity, then there are sources, a message, a communicator, another message and then the audience.

There really are people in our country that are suing a food company for "making" them fat. This is the events portion of the communication method. This case was taken to court and the judge decided that if they could show that McDonalds was the only reason they were overweight then they would have grounds for a trial. When Spurlock takes information from these teenage girls he has to then interpret what they might be feeling or thinking, this is all part of the mass communication process, in science, this would be called human error.

Morgan Spurlock uses many different sources, but the main source remaining McDonalds. McDonalds was where Morgan was to eat three meals a day for a month and at the end it would be determined whether or not the McDonalds binge was life threatening. McDonalds advertising is mostly directed towards children through merchandise, television, toys, etc. "a child sees 10,000 food advertisements on television per year" and those are only food advertisements. McDonalds spends over 1.4 billion dollars a year on advertising and according to Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, Chair of Nutrition and Food Supplies, NYU, "The most heavily advertised foods are consumed the most, no surprise." That leads us to the message, which is, to eat more!

What kind of message is the food industry sending when "one-fourth of the McDonalds in Manhattan don't have any nutritional information whatsoever"? On the streets of New York random people were asked what a calorie was and not one person could define the word "a calorie is the measure of the energy content in food." Wouldn't it be wise of...

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