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Scholars Day 2008, Wednesday, April 9

Super Size Me to the Hospital

Morgan Spurlock spent February, 2003 traveling around the US eating only at McDonald's Restaurants. The experience landed him in the hospital and almost killed him. The film Spurlock made about his experience became the convergence point for criticisms about the role the fast food industry plays in the growing obesity epidemic. And it received an Academy Award nomination for best documentary of 2004. This paper examines Super Size Me and its role in exposing the fast food industry's corporate influence in America and its role in leading folks down the path of poor nutrition to obesity and its attendant health risks by making those risks concrete and personal. In the process, the paper examines the rhetorical tools Spurlock used to draw audiences to his subject and entice them to accept his arguments about McDonald's and the fast food industry generally and the uses and gratifications audiences took from the film as a way of understanding its popularity and impact.

Presenter: Andrew Skwarek (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Communication
Location: 107 Holmes
Time: 3:45 pm (Session V)