"Super Size Me" is a Super-Sized Distortion of Reality, Not a Documentary

As campaign to get movie into public schools ensues, "facts" are disproved and bias shows
National Health Organization Calls Movie Misleading and Bad for Classrooms

The following statement was issued today by the Citizens' Council on Health Care. CCHC is an independent, non-profit, free-market health care policy organization located in St. Paul, Minnesota. This statement should be attributed to Twila Brase, R.N., president of CCHC.

As a health professional, it's incomprehensible to me that Morgan Spurlock's movie "Super Size Me" would be considered a documentary - which by definition lends itself to assuming the nominee is using factual information -- let alone win an academy award for best documentary. Documentaries are based on accurate details, not personal agendas, but that's exactly what Spurlock is selling in his film. He has recently embarked on a campaign to get his film into public schools across the nation as education material. For many reasons, including bias, vulgarity and disrespect for persons, this is unacceptable material for classrooms and relays no positive messaging about nutrition.

In it, the producer and star Morgan Spurlock goes on a 30-day eating binge during which he eats nothing but McDonald's food, concentrating on high-fat, high-calorie items from the menu. He also intentionally limits his exercise, something not under control of any fast food restaurant. Much to his surprise - but not to the surprise of anyone who knows anything about health and nutrition - Mr. Spurlock gains weight and feels lousy throughout the entire time. Of course, he blames fast food for his woes instead of taking responsibility for his food choices. Personal responsibility, portion sizes, and exercise are never discussed in the film. It's all about blaming someone else.

Here are several reasons why this movie should not be considered a documentary, or an educational film:

Despite the Centers for Disease Control recently admitting that the 400,000 obesity-related deaths figure is grossly overstated, there is no sign that Morgan Spurlock has corrected, or is planning to correct those statistics in the movie. Mr. Spurlock shows bias. He demonstrates his personal vendetta against fast food, and McDonald's in particular, by using strong language. He models disdain and disrespect for the severely obese by repeatedly filming their buttocks. Despite admitting that McDonald's classifies "super heavy eaters" as those who eat at McDonald's "three, four, five times a week and up," Mr. Spurlock goes out of his way to eat at McDonald's 21 times a week, something most people could not afford to do, or would even enjoy doing. He disobeys doctor's orders. And he gorges himself. The movie shows him with two drinks at a time and at least four cream containers for his coffee.

This film should be kept out of the public schools system. Not only does it not reflect the typical person's consumption of fast food or provide a rational discussion of nutrition and personal food choices, but more alarming, it encourages unhealthy behavior: the demeaning and disrespect of overweight classmates. Morgan Spurlock was a 30-day victim of his own bad choices, not a hero or a mentor for students. All that Mr. Spurlock has documented is his own poor behavior and personal bias, non of which belong in the classroom or on the Academy stage.

Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President and Co-founder
Office: 651-646-8935