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Super Size Me
SUBJECTS — U.S./1991 - present; Medicine;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Taking Care of Yourself;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Responsibility.
Educational Version: Age: 11+; MPAA Rating PG; Documentary; 2005; 100 minutes; Color.
Super Size Me shows what happened when Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but fast food (all from McDonald's) for 30 days — breakfast, lunch and dinner. He was thoroughly tested by doctors before he started his "diet." By the end of his experiment, the changes in his blood chemistry and the stress on his organs approximated the liver failure seen in advanced alcoholics, his cholesterol had risen to dangerous levels, and he had gained 24.5 lbs. Spurlock was fast on his way to becoming another casualty of the obesity epidemic.
The TeachWithMovies.com Movie Lesson Plan for Super Size Me contains a detailed student handout, lecture notes, discussion questions, class projects, and a comprehension test with an answer key. The film and the Lesson Plan can be a major weapon in protecting children from the obesity epidemic. Students will never see fast food in the same light. The movie and the lesson plan will satisfy important requirements for any health class in middle or high school.
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Super Size Me is an essential for any health curriculum.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Movie Lesson Plan for Super Size Me can be used by teachers to fight the obesity epidemic and expose the dangers of fast food, soda, snack food and other convenience food, we have set out an excerpt from the lecture notes section of the lesson plan:
TeachWithMovies.com has found seven reasons that might convince teenagers to reduce or eliminate their consumption of fast food and resist the obesity epidemic. Different themes will work with different kids. Some will reject everything now but the seeds of change will be sown, hopefully to blossom later.
- As people who aren't yet adults, there's one thing you can control. It's what you eat; what you put into your body. (Teenagers often feel powerless. What they eat is something that they can control.)
- Convenience foods are loaded with fat, salt, sugar, refined carbohydrates, and chemical additives. They often don't contain the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber that we need for optimal physical and mental development. Convenience foods are major contributors to the obesity epidemic which sickens and kills millions of people each year. (This is the health argument made in the movie and the student handout.)
- The executives from the convenience food companies are not trying to kill us, its just that our health often gets in the way of their companies' profits. ...
- The food that's sold is often not the kind of food that grows in the ground. (In order to reduce costs, improve color, or to enhance taste, the prepared food industry adds chemicals that change the nature of what we eat. They add chemical flavoring and color and change the chemical content of food to make fake foods like trans fat and high fructose corn syrup.)
- Advertisers can't be trusted to tell the truth and they've already got their hooks deep into all of us from when we were very young.
- And then there's compassion, an ethical value endorsed by the Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions. (Each year millions of cows, pigs, turkeys, and sheep, as well as billions of chickens are raised in factory farms in conditions of abject misery. Then they are transported to slaughter houses where they are brutally killed. The only way to reduce the suffering these animals endure is to reduce consumption of meat and poultry....)
- And last but not least, there is vanity. (Thinner and healthier people look better and are more desirable. Eating fast food is an excellent way to look fat and frumpy.)
The Learning Guide to the film Super Size Me contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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