Talk:Super Size Me

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What the film is about...[edit] more than Spurlock and his month-long McD. binge; if you watch the thing, about half of the movie is taken up by an analysis of various food-related issues: school lunches, talking to people about diet, talking heads talking about the political economy of food, etc. The Spurlock story is all anyone takes from the film, and I find that frustrating, 'cause most of what he says in the rest of it is worth thinking about...TheoryOfPractice 06:02, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Strange, you may be right, but I've watched it a half-dozen times. If all I took from it was the Spurlock story, maybe he's a shit story-teller? And, yes, the "rest" is good, I just stuck up a stub from a CP: page link. Please feel free to emblazon with your words, indeed! ħumanUser talk:Human 06:11, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
really, that is what is so worrying. super size me is a wonderful movie that has done a lot of good and talks about a lot more than mcdonald's... yet very few are actually going to see it that way.
to most people, ssm is nothing more than an attack on either mcd's specifically or on fast food in general, and has been responsible for the bandwagon of "mcd's is satan" as much as it's been responsible for mcd's cleaning up their act. it could easily be said that the various counters to ssm don't miss the point of the movie at all, because "the point" is something completely different (yet painfully more shallow and "obvious") than anyone behind ssm would have guessed.
this is more or less the same principle behind the whole "living language" thing. (talk) 12:18, 21 August 2014 (UTC)


I rewrote a majority of this because I did not like it. It is better now.--ADtalkModerator 11:01, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Cool. -- Seth Peck (talk) 20:01, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

I'd just like to press an anecdote of mine that he's an utter fucking puss. During my lunch break at work, I walk to McDonalds (which is about ten minutes away from my work) and I usually order a double Big Mac meal, supersized, provided I have the cash on hand. And it just fills me. It's no more different in my opinion in portion size or construction from a Double Quarter Pounder. If he pukes from that, he has no constitution. lol — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

So the fuck what? --Seth Peck (talk) 17:11, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
He puked because McDonald's meals are high in fat and grease. Since he was a vegetarian before the movie, he probably consumed very little to no animal fat or grease. When I eat bacon I feel pretty sick too for similar reasons. It isn't because he's a puss anymore then you getting dysentery in Mexico means you're a puss.--Just relax, and stay funny (talk) 18:00, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Problems with this article[edit]

For one, it doesn’t seek to give any sort of neutrality regarding criticisms, flat out defending the documentary’s opposition as “missing the point” when they’re calling it out on a lack of professionality and flaws within its methods. “Spurlock wanted to make a documentary that was not just informative, but also entertaining and marketable” isn’t sufficient because these things get into the way of its informativeness & turn it into a documentary full of lies. This includes the mention of the follow-up documentary Fat Head. It claims that Fat Head made straw man claims but doesn’t back it up or point out where or how. Readers are apparently supposed to trust this claim on blind faith. Indeed, all I saw was a clip on YouTube on Fat Head trying to theoretically create meals which reach Spurlock’s 5000 calories per day & came to a conclusion that Spurlock couldn’t have made 5000 per day on normal occasions without much padding with deserts or extra food & drink. Next, numerous other researchers have had comments about the truthfulness of the claims in the film, noting that Spurlock’s results were uncertain (we cannot even see his food log), hard to repeat as a result & just about nobody managed to replicate the results in various more professional studies. Therefore, the article doesn’t do a rational job of showing everything. — Unsigned, by: / talk

I wholeheartedly support this comment. This article is far from neutral in tone and dodges what the opposition is claiming. Ironically, this article itself heavily misses the point on the film's criticisms and does no better a job than straw-manning its opponents. Its claims of wanting to be entertaining is no defense for bad method which any scientist would find a problem with. It also doesn't find problems with Spurlock's claim of being addicted to the food, in spite of many similar quotes saying he hates it within the documentary or how easily he quit and went back to his vegan girlfriend's diet. When discussing Fat Head, the article proceeds to make claims about it being "unfunny" when such a thing is irrelevant to informativeness. This is definitely an attempt to discredit or make Fat Head seem worse without any intellectual value. Next, it doesn't even address "why" the claims made by that documentary are false. It just asserts it. The reader of this article is meant to blindly swallow this. For a "Rationalist" wikia, this article is not rational nor well-argued.-- (talk) 04:27, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly disagree with the above comments. And I disagree with the idea that watching a clip of a movie on YouTube (or the debunking of a movie in a clip on YouTube) is sufficient to analyse its scientific claims. The RW article devotes a lot of space to criticisms of Spurlock. It points out flaws in some detail, while noting that Spurlock is arguably exaggerating for effect. The article perhaps could devote more time to explaining Spurlock's actual arguments about public health, which nobody has yet debunked, rather than his burger-eating, which is more questionable. A debunking of Fat Head would perhaps be useful, but enough is available online to justify the RW article's claims. Here's a lengthy debunking by a nutritionist: "I don’t consider Fat Head to be on the level of a scam, but it is filled with quite a bit of misinformation, manipulation, and disingenuous statements."[1] And here's a film critic: "As a whole, Naughton's vague message is hard to swallow."[2] But does Fat Head deserve an in-depth analysis? Rotten Tomatoes lists no critics' reviews and the user reviews are mixed.[3] Fat Head also attempts to deny the widely-accepted Lipid hypothesisWikipedia, but shouting abuse at Morgan Spurlock is no match for decades of scientific studies. --Annanoon (talk) 15:50, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
And I wholeheartedly disagree with this above comment. If this degree of defence and is “a lot of space to criticisms to Spurlock” then Encyclopedia Dramatica is an unbiased source. It also claims things like “nobody has debunked” when much of Spurlock’s sayings are from poor scientific method, with absolutely nobody who replicated his experiment managing to replicate his results. That debunking is also dubious as the comment section includes a huge number of negative replies, many calling the writer out on various reasons and numerous comments also give citations. Personally, I find that link to be a highly immature and childish rant which is barely even coherent. The name calling is just childish. Regardless of content or whoever’s right or not, why cite that one? Rotten tomatoes also isn’t a reliable scientific source. I’m not even speaking from a pro-fat head POV. I’m speaking from one which questions if the above is suffering from large confirmation bias and failed to examine his/her/xer own citations and ensure they’re of proper scientific quality. Being as objective as I can, I can say that it’s bad, I might as well cite an equally biased citation, which is a subreddit on the keto diet I found from a google search a minute ago. -- (talk) 15:43, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
Which nobody has yet debunked? Just about any of the science in Supersize Me is junk science. Why is RationalWiki defending Supersize Me? At all? The documentary which implied McDonald's had something to do with its creator's liver issues when the guy was, by his own admission, frequently drunk? This same documentary had EVERYONE who followed in its footsteps unable to get the same results. The documentary which refused to release its food log, if it exists, to anyone? This entire documentary is dishonest crap. It's bad science through and through. Who cares about this Fat Head follow-up? There's enough debunking just about every millisecond of Supersize Me.-- (talk) 17:27, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
Beyond the bald assertions of "bias" and "neutrality" and "objectivity" and "intellectual value" from the BoN, I feel the criticism of the methodology is still missing the point to an extent. Yeah, maybe they should release the logs, but I need to hear out why they don't want to, like respecting medical privacy or something. I feel like the central point being made in the film is the problem of portion sizes and nutrient intake being out of control, and the flavor of fast food is tailored for people to keep eating it. Thus, people who rely on fast food daily can develop problems especially since they miss out on the variety of fruit and vegetables, particularly those not soaked in oil, dressing, or other things. Also, I think that study in Sweden has a limitation being a really small and not particularly representative sample and can't determine the longer term impacts of lack of fruits and vegetables. Wall Street Journal poopy butt paywalled source too. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 19:02, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
As someone who's aided someone conduct a scientific study in his life, methodology is highly important. It doesn't matter what conclusion they get as much as it matters how they've gotten to their conclusion. A lucky, blind guess can get a right answer, it's correctly proving that answer that matters. It's like how a fallacious argument can have a correct conclusion, yet we would still say the argument is fallacious. So methodology is of extreme importance. Tell me, have you done anything remotely alike helping someone conduct a scientific study before? Even helping ensuring questions on a survey aren't misleading or biased for one side for example? By the looks of it, you have 0 experience. Also, releasing the food log, upon request from fellow researchers, is absolutely important too. It helps legitimize the study a lot & refusing raises many eyebrows. It's a food log, it's not his credit card number. It's a list of foods they ate. Replication is vital in a modern scientific setting so the most charitable eyebrow-raiser is the highly increased difficulty in replication. At worst, it implies their study is either poorly documented, to refuse to show it out of fear of scorn for low quality, not documented, which would be even worse, or worst yet, signs of fabrication or fearing releasing the logs will lead to the documentary being discredited. The latter is a worst-case scenario but you can easily see how even a best-case answer provides large problems for other researchers and scientists. This is not some nonsense about medical privacy, this scientific method.-- (talk) 02:26, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
Dude, you're sounding like Andrew Schlafly in the Lenski affair. We all know what scientific method is. But there's a difference between an article in a peer-reviewed journal and a stunt in a documentary film. Just as there's a difference between a discussion on the Daily Show and an interview conducted for qualitative research in sociology. --Annanoon (talk) 09:08, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
You know that's no excuse? "Oh it's a documentary so it's okay it's giving bad information based on bad methods." The nerve of you people. People before were just citing articles in support and against this documentary's truthfulness and this comes out? -- (talk) 20:06, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
Adding to the above, method is pretty important. This documentary had a message, it tried backing it up with an experiment, etc. If either of those things is problematic, it undermines their message significantly. -- (talk) 00:22, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
What nonsense. If privacy is the problem then why’s he filming himself making a documentary meant to give a message? Especially one that ended up shown in schools. Under this logic, it would be okay to exclude vital information under medical privacy. And as it turns out, Spurlock did miss vital information. He was an alcoholic who had been drinking for a considerable time. The documentary made it look like food he consumed was the cause when it was due to factors completely unrelated. This is a bald face lie in the documentary. Can medical privacy be used to justify this vital exclusion? -- (talk) 00:17, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
What the fuck is all these troll BoNs coming in a-trollin' and poisoning the well about an article about a docu-tainment film, made on an obvious principle (eat too much! gain weight!), that already has plenty critical in the article on its methodology?
If you want The Science, fast food restaurants may or may not be a proxy for obesity, but a lot of fast food is unhealthy and the portions are often too high. No surprise, of course.
A lot of criticism on the Google scholar however has to do with the impact of fast food advertising, particularly with children (1)(2)(3). Which I think was more the point of the film, that fast food encouraged unhealthy habits for their profitable benefit (of course, the future increased health care costs are of no worry to them), in a tobacco industry like manner. It would have been better if it was not made in a ham fisted way that ideally really shouldn't have used a corporate boogeyman like McDonald's with a ham-fisted "experiment". (Much that can be said about fast food actually can be said about restaurants and the food industry overall, to be honest.) But, in practice, sensationalized viral shit sells, such is life. If you know what you are doing it is possible to lose weight even with McDonald's meals, but many people don't know what they are doing, and the debate on how much Big Food is responsible for obesity rages today. Fast food's role in obesity and comparisons to Big Tobacco was the topic du jour of the time -- the Economist in 2002 imagined a scenario where fast food would decline, like tobacco, under the weight of massive class action lawsuits. That, of course, didn't happen -- many sued, no one won, and Republicans banned the fast food lawsuits suits as "frivolous", etc. However, observation seems to indicate that fast food is having to up its game a little bit with the rise of the fast casual market, whose offerings sometimes trend a bit healthier (again, of course, only if you know what you are doing). PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 01:11, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
To be fair, unless you scrutinize the nutrition facts, it's going to be hard to tell which option is best. People often hugely underestimate the calorie count of food, are served with portion sizes where medium is much larger than large from decades ago, and the salad can be worse than a burger, more often than you think. Anyhow, I'm just adding to your points; I don't disagre. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 01:51, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
That’s not what poisoning the well means. If you read these criticisms, it’s that “missing the point” as the article tries defending the documentary is insufficient defence when there’s straight up lies. There’s a part to the article which claims Spurlock wanted to be informative but also entertaining and marketable. He most certainly failed the former in favor of the last and any attempts to defend the documentary are completely counter to impartial objectivity. Also, eat too much and gain weight? It’s also about metabolism and many complex factors. It’s an oversimplification and a misleading one at best. Odd calling anyone but yourself a troll. -- (talk) 09:48, 26 December 2021 (UTC)

Oh god there's a sequel[edit]

Anyone want to get into it? It's called Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! and was released in 2019 apparently. (talk) 20:36, 30 October 2023 (UTC)