Friday, January 28, 2011

Supersize Me

My husband and I lead a movie-watching small group at our church.  We love movies almost as much as we love food.  The two hobbies marry quite nicely, actually.  Dinner and a movie, anyone? 

Recently our small group watched the Morgan Spurlock documentary “Supersize Me”.  This was a second viewing for Jake & I.  We watched it several years ago, closer to when it originally came out (2004). 

I was astonished when we viewed it the first time.  The second time I was ashamed.  Mostly because I knew this information, I’d had access to it, and I still chose to ignore it (for the most part). 

If you haven’t seen it, you should.  It’s on Netflix Instant, for crying out loud. (Or at least it was.  That changes quickly sometimes.)  Doesn’t get much more accessible.

Mr. Spurlock is a blast.  He’s interesting to watch and fun to listen to.  Our whole group recalled with glee his plan to punch his kids in the face when they pass a fast food restaurant so they’ll correlate pain with fast food.  (This is in reference to the idea that kids associate happiness with McDonald’s, as that is the place they share early memories of birthday parties, Happy Meals with fun toys, family dinners with parents, playgrounds, cartoon characters / mascots like Ronald McDonald which are aimed directly at children.)

The physical results of his 30-day McDonald’s experiment are shocking.  Not just to him and us, the laypeople.  But to the doctors who monitor him as well. 

One of the most frustrating comments made during the movie, however, is by a middle school employee who is in charge of the food service at that school.  She says they try to teach the students about health and “hope they make good choices” for their daily lunches.  This is said in reference to the fact that many students choose French fries and candy bars for their lunches, since they’re given that option.  I’m sorry, but since when do we just “hope” that children make good choices?! 

I appreciated one public school that was making the choice to serve healthy, entirely homemade meals that cost the same as the prepackaged government meals other schools were serving.  They banned soft drinks as well and saw an incredible improvement in their students.  These students also happened to be “behavioral problem” students, though after the healthier food service changes were made, significant improvement was seen in & outside of the classroom. 

It’s amazing what food can do.  The right food, that is. 

It was also amazing to see what the wrong food can do.  The wrong food, much like alcohol, can apparently pickle a completely healthy person’s liver in about 30 days.  Just FYI. 

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