Industry News | April 1, 2004

Filmmaker Plans Response to Super Size Me

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Educator and filmmaker Soso Whaley is taking on personal responsibility, obesity, and the victim mentality in a new project focusing on the quick-serve industry. Whaley will document her experience of eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at McDonald's for the month of April to dramatize the debate over public health and what has been termed America's "obesity epidemic." Whaley hopes to demonstrate that no one should blame the nation's food purveyors for being overweight or unhealthy -- even if fast food really was their only choice.

The project will challenge the conclusions of such splashy efforts as Super Size Me, a recent film by Morgan Spurlock that documented its director's McDonald's-only diet and his resulting negative health effects. "I'm disappointed that people who should know better are actually accepting the premise of Super Size Me as valid scientific test results," said Whaley. "While Spurlock's film was, as he describes it, a 'satirical jab in the stomach,' many seem to be following its implied message -- that evil fast-food companies are preying on hapless, unhealthy Americans -- to a ridiculous extreme."

Starting today, Whaley will eat only food available over the counter at McDonald's for 30 days in hopes of proving she can not only maintain a healthy lifestyle, but even lose weight while doing it. As a supporter of personal responsibility in lifestyle choices and the importance of teaching critical-thinking skills to the public, she will document her month-long adventure in writing and on video to create a comprehensive response to Super Size Me and its conclusions.