Is "Supersize Me" Scientifically Valid? Analytical Essay by Nicky

Is "Supersize Me" Scientifically Valid?
An analysis of the scientific validity of Morgan Spurlock's experiment in his documentary "Supersize Me".
# 146864 | 1,655 words | 5 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Jan 21, 2011 in Medical and Health (Nutrition and Exercise) , Film (Documentary) , Nutrition (Food)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper examines Morgan Spurlock's documentary "Supersize Me" as a scientific study on the effects of fast food on the body, and fast food's role in contributing to the obesity epidemic. The paper discusses the problems in the construct of the experiment and explores a more scientifically valid and reliable means of measuring the potential effects of consumption and activity levels on weight. The paper outlines the European Space Agency and Nystrom experiments but shows how the only study that is more scientifically valid is a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research that used actual fast food consumers to show that proximity to fast food increases weight over time.

From the Paper:

"Morgan Spurlock's documentary Supersize Me is so entertaining it is easy to forget that the viewer is actually watching an experiment. The experiment takes place over thirty days and is in the grand tradition of scientists who, in the absence of willing test subjects and in the face of ethical guidelines, decide to use themselves as their own willing test subjects. Spurlock is challenged by the spectacle of McDonald's defending itself on what were called frivolous lawsuits that blamed the fast food behemoth for teenage obesity. Fine, says Spurlock--if McDonald's is so healthy, I will eat nothing but McDonald's for thirty days. His hypothesis of course, is that he will gain weight and his health will deteriorate. Spurlock also placed certain additional constraints upon himself--every time he was told to supersize his order, or take advantage of special deals, like 2 for 1 offers, he had to take the bait--and chow down. He also limited his physical activity to that of the average American."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bergouignan A., D. A. Schoeller, S. Normand, G. Gauquelin-Koch, M. Laville M. (2006). Effect of physical inactivity on the oxidation of saturated and monounsaturated dietary fatty acids: Results of a randomized trial. PLOS Clinical Trial 1(5): e27. doi:10.1371/journal.pctr.0010027
  • Blomkvist, Marten (2006, September 7). Only another 5, 500 calories to go. The Guardian. Retrieved March 26, 2008 at
  • Rabin, Roni Caryn. (2009, March 25). Proximity to fast food a factor in student obesity.The New York Times. Retrieved March 26, 2008 at
  • Pelham & Blandom. Conducting Research in Psychology: Measuring the Weight of Smoke.3rd Edition.
  • Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation. New York: Harper Perennial, 2002.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Is "Supersize Me" Scientifically Valid? (2011, January 21) Retrieved February 07, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Is "Supersize Me" Scientifically Valid?" 21 January 2011. Web. 07 February. 2023. <>