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Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock on losing weight

By Steve Ramos · May 19th, 2004 · Reel Answer
Morgan Spurlock
Morgan Spurlock

Fast food restaurants have taken over the American landscape, rising from every strip mall and intersection. From these high-calorie burgers and fries, especially those made at McDonald's, independent filmmaker Morgan Spurlock makes a cinematic polemic using himself as his own experiment.

For Super Size Me, his first feature film directing effort, Spurlock ate only McDonalds for 30 days straight. His girlfriend, a vegan chef, watches worriedly as his health deteriorates. The impact of an all-McDonald's diet on Spurlock's heath is immediate and frightening. He gains 5 pounds in the first week alone, and that's just the beginning.

"I'm finally back to my original weight and waist size," Spurlock says, speaking recently from his New York production office, a few hours before appearing on CNN to debate a McDonald's executive. "It took me close to a year to do it after a strict diet and exercise."

Still, Spurlock's first-person experiment has paid off. Super Size Me won a directing prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and is playing art-house theaters nationwide (It opens in Cincinnati on Friday). The film has also made an impact on McDonald's, which recently announced a healthy menu and plans to eliminate the "super-sized" portions.

"Of course, they (McDonald's executives) say it has nothing to do with the movie," Spurlock says, laughing. "Their disclaimers are the best advertisements the movie could ever get."



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