In 2004, a documentary “Super Size Me” was released and changed the food world for the better. The star, Morgan Spurlock, suffers this thirty-day challenge of constant McDonald’s consumption. He must eat everything McDonald’s for thirty straight days for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The film showcases the drastic health effects on his physical and mental state throughout the month. He digs through the industry and it manipulates the the message of “poor nutrition” to sound encouraging. He consumed around 5,000 calories a day, gained 25 pounds, experienced mood swings, sexual dysfunction, and fat accumulation in his liver. After the documentary, it took him fourteen months to lose the weight on a strict diet.
It was a basic documentary, which followed Spurlock around for those thirty days, which were edited around his eating habits throughout the month. The reasoning behind the documentary was the drastic increase of obesity across the nation, which was declared as an epidemic. Many of the same criticisms about tobacco companies were used to compare to the fast food industry; both products are both physiologically addictive and physically harmful. The budget was definitely not small; the budget being $1,065,000 and in the box office, it raised over $30 million in the box office. It was distributed through the main stream media and slowly picked up excitement throughout the country. Everyone wanted to know how truly bad fast food was for you, and this documentary really answered that question.
I think the documentary really influenced the fast food franchise and how people looked at the food after the fact. This whole experiment told the world something that we already knew, however, that “fast food is bad for you.” No one would deny that. With this movie, many people responded in various ways. Today, almost ten years after the documentary, the fast food industry has really changed for the better, to help the customer more. There are now nutrition facts on the containers and the menu, so that the customer knows what they are eating. I think this documentary really helped the franchise, rather than hurt it.