Think a Bit Thursday: Super Size Me and Fast Food

Hello everyone! This week on Think a Bit Thursday, we talk about something that has struck America hard: obesity. For those who have not seen Super Size Me, what happens is this. A man who is in great physical condition eats nothing more than McDonald’s for a whole month. He does this so he can show what fast food does to your body. We slowly see his condition worsen, his liver fail, and the overall toll it takes on his body.

The question this week is: Whose fault is it that there is an obesity epidemic? The fast food chains’ or the consumer’s?

In other words, why is America fat? Are we fat because of McDonald’s, or because of ourselves? I believe that the answer is quite obvious, but many people disagree with me. It is completely our fault. Completely. See, nobody is forcing anybody to eat McDonald’s. People make a conscious decision to consume fast food. Calorie counts are displayed at fast food chains right next to the meals. If you are eating that food and accusing fast food for your obesity, you are mistaken. YOU are the cause. Not McDonald’s, not a shady corporation, YOU. There is not one person in this country that doesn’t know that McDonald’s is not good for you.

You cannot blame fast food for the obesity epidemic. Fast food chains are essential to the economy, and are a product of hard work and determination. Allow me to explain. People love unhealthy food. This is why soda and chips are a huge market. Coca Cola, Sprite, Fanta, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper. I could go on for hours. The creators of fast food franchises know what sells. Because they are trying to make money, they create a franchise that serves unhealthy food. Why? Because people eat it. Fast food didn’t spawn out of nowhere and cause obesity with it. The desire for high fat foods was here long before fast food chains.

I guarantee you that if there were as many competitors selling different kinds of salads and fruits, fast food chains would be built upon salads and fruits rather than burgers and fries. If apples and oranges were as big of rivals as Coke and Pepsi, there would be a surplus of apples and oranges being sold at fast food stores. You cannot hate fast food franchises, because the owners of them are smart. Not just smart, but intelligent. They started a business that makes quality money, because they are great with marketing, advertisement, and demographics. Do you think I want to defend fast food chains? Heck no. But McDonald’s is not responsible for obesity.

When we aren’t able to control ourselves and our eating habits, there is nobody else to blame. Yes, fast food is tempting. There is some kind of fast food restaurant at every corner. But there is self responsibility required in our lives. We have to make choices and claim responsibility for them. Here in America we are educated about food and health. We cannot turn a blind eye to the calorie counts and nutrition facts that are so clearly presented to us. There is fast food all around the world, and yet the United States is the most obese country. Yes, we do have four times the amount of McDonald’s than Japan, the country with the second highest amount of McDonald’s locations. That is a solid fact. But we are informed individuals. Just because there is more fast food does not make it alright for us to get fat off of McDonald’s. It is our fault that we are obese, not fast foods.’

The question this week was: Whose fault is it that there is an obesity epidemic? The fast food chains’ or the consumer’s? Let me know what you think in the comments below. Thanks for reading!



6 comments on “Think a Bit Thursday: Super Size Me and Fast Food

  1. I agree with you, it’s our fault…but it’s not as simple as that. People have the choice whether or not they eat garbage food just as much as they have the choice to smoke. The problem arises when you can go to McDonald’s and get enough food for a family for 4 cheaper than you could go to the grocery store and get ingredients to make a healthy dinner at home. This kind of forces families to eat stuff like McDonald’s rather than going home and making a salad. Hell, you can even get a huge burger from a fast food place cheaper than one of their own salads.

    • Yes, fast food is cheap. It is conveniently located everywhere for a quick bite. I get that people are busy. But it still falls on top of self responsibility: Hmm, should I cook a healthy meal for the kids, or should I go with a less expensive yet more unhealthy option…fast food is very convenient, don’t get me wrong. I get that it’s cheap, quick food. And some of it is pretty good. But it still comes down to us: WE make the choice. Thanks for the thoughful comment!

  2. I loved this documentary when I saw it in high school. It has stuck with me ever since. One of the more surprising parts for me was how it affected his mental health as well – he got depressed after eating McDonald’s for so long. Isn’t amazing the type of affects something like fast food can have not only on you physically, but mentally as well?

    I disagree with you, but only partly. Yes, it’s our fault if we consume this food, but it’s also the fault of the corporation for supplying it. Dangle a piece of meat in front of a dog and they’re going to go after it. Is it their choice to eat it? Of course. But isn’t it your fault for putting it there in the first place? Did you honestly think the dog wouldn’t go after it?

    Things are never as black and white as they seem. I think a huge, huge problem with obesity in this country comes from poor eating habits and the choices that we make. But, on the other hand, I think corporations such as McDonald’s also have a responsibility to make sure that what they’re selling isn’t killing their customers. It’s a give-and-take, and it’s not the fault of one or the other, but a combination of both.

    Great post. I’ve been meaning to watch this documentary again. I think this is my sign. 😉

    • Great analogy with the dog. You know that I can’t battle an analogy. But why is it McDonald’s responsibility to supply healthy food? The reason why McDonald’s supplies fatty food in the first place is because we demand it. Until we stop buying their product, they are going to look at their sales and keep thinking,’Everything is alright. We’re making big bucks.’ But if we stop buying, they will reevaluate their product. We say that we want change, but we are still eating fast food, so nothing seems wrong. Imagine a guy saying, “Yep, fast food is so terrible,” as he eats a Whopper or Big Mac. It is almost hypocritical. If we truly want to blame these fast food restaurants, we can’t keep supporting their selling of fast food. Thank you for the comment! And I hope you revisit the documentary. It truly is a great, thought provoking film.

      • It’s a vicious circle. McDonald’s started the fast food craze and we keep it going, and because of that they keep it going. Around and around it goes. I think – as human beings who should care about other human beings – they do have a responsibility to supply healthy food. But, obviously, greed usually overtakes that notion.’Tis how life works, unfortunately.

  3. Pingback: Search Term Sunday: British Slang, Cougars, and Fast Food | GAMERSCENE.WORDPRESS.COM

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