Super Size Me - 300 - © 2004 - Warrior Poets

Morgan Spurlock: Auteur of ‘Super Size Me’ Dead at 53

He was a serious film maker, and an intrepid risk taker. He tackled issues no one else would touch. Like what happens when you eat only junk food for a whole month. Morgan Spurlock passed away last week from ‘complications of cancer’…

Morgan Spurlock - © 2024 - Entertainment Tonight

Food sphere denizens will remember Morgan Spurlock as the guy who ate only McDonald’s food for 30 days, and lived to film the tale. His cult classic Super Size Me (2004) was made on a shoestring. But it became a viral hit netting $22 million at the box office.

A harrowing tale

Spurlock had no qualms about using himself as a guinea pig in the Super Size Me experiment. He ate the same three McDonald’s meals every day for a month. And set a rule from the outset that he would always say ‘yes’ when the counter staff asked him the (in)famous question: “Can I Super Size that for you?”

At intervals through the experiment, he subjected himself to detailed physical assessments. The news got worse and worse as the month wore on.

At the end of the experiment the then-32-year-old Spurlock had gained 24.5 pounds (11.1 kg), a 13 percent body mass increase, increased his cholesterol to 230 mg/dL (6.0 mmol/L), and experienced mood swings, sexual dysfunction, and fat accumulation in his liver,” Wikipedia records.

Amid fallout from the controversial documentary, mighty McDonald’s discontinued it’s popular, high-profile Super Size Me promotion.

‘Renaissance Man’

Spurlock was a kind of Renaissance Man among documentarians. He nailed the Junk Food issue. But he also racked up an impressive directorial resumé including explorations on a wide range of other topics.

In the 13 years following Super Size Me, Spurlock and his production company, Warrior Poets, created almost 70 other documentaries and television series. He lent his unique eye to the US war in  Afghanistan, the minimum wage, mirgant workers, marketing manipulation, trophy hunting, body modification, elder care, gambling and many more social issues of his day.

He even updated his original McMasterpiece with Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! (2017). It looked at how the Fast Food industry had rebranded itself as healthier since his original film appeared, knocking the industry for a loop.

Gone too soon

Morgan Spurlock was indisputably a great film maker and social commentator. Who knows what he could have achieved if he’d lived to a ripe old age? Alas, he passed away this past Thursday at the age of 53, from ‘complications of cancer’.

But his legacy will definitely live on. I will always think of him as the man who proved that the camera is, indeed, mightier than the spatula…

~ Maggie J.

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