Super Size Me Storms Capitol Hill
In events sponsored by PCRM, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock brought his cautionary message to Congress July 22-23. The response—like a waistline on a steady diet of Big Macs—was huge.
Nearly 400 congressional staffers and other guests, including Rep. Brian Baird (D-Washington), packed rooms at the Library of Congress to see Super Size Me, Spurlock’s award-winning movie about the harrowing health effects of his month-long, all-McDonald’s diet.
The next day, two Capitol Hill briefings drew high attendance and enthusiastic response.
Spurlock came to Washington to challenge the Commonsense Consumption Act, earlier publicized as the Cheeseburger Bill. Passed by the House, the bill is awaiting action in the Senate. The legislation would preempt consumer lawsuits against food manufacturers, distributors, and sellers for their role in the nation’s obesity epidemic.
Super Size Me is “a tongue-in-cheek—and burger-in-hand—look at the legal, financial and physical costs of America’s hunger for fast food,” Spurlock says. In the course of filming, his weight ballooned by 25 pounds and his cholesterol shot up by 65 points. One doctor compared the effect of the diet on his liver to binge drinking. After filming, Spurlock regained his health through a vegan diet.
Super Size Me, the fourth-highest grossing documentary in film history, appeared on DVD September 28. Spurlock has donated discs for distribution to every member of Congress. This January the filmmaker plans to release a “family friendly” version that eliminates some of the more graphic language and images, making the documentary more suitable for use in schools.