This educationally enhanced DVD is touted as “perfect for students grades 6–12.” That may be a marketing stretch, but the movie is interesting, witty, and at times effectively nauseating. If you want your students to get the message about the ill effects of bad eating habits,
Super Size Me will get their attention.
Director Morgan Spurlock stars as a self-appointed guinea pig who endures an all-McDonald's diet for 30 days straight. The catch: Not once can he waver from his diet, and whenever he's asked whether he wants his order “super-sized,” he must say, “Yes.”
Before beginning his quest, Spurlock visits a general physician, a cardiologist, and a dietician. The six-foot, two-inch filmmaker weighs 185 pounds before feasting on Big Macs, McNuggets, and sodas. His recommended daily calorie intake is 2,500. After only five days of burgers and fries, fish sandwiches, and processed chicken, he weighs 194 pounds, and his daily calorie intake shoots up to almost 5,000.
The DVD is highly entertaining, despite a few helpings of corporatebashing sound bites. The film's valuable message about the short- and long-term health risks of eating fast foods will not be lost on today's video generation. Kids who overindulge in shakes and fries may not eschew McDonald's after watching Super Size Me, but they will be amused and engaged, and they will learn from the array of health facts that flash across the screen and the clever pop-quiz features on this educationally enhanced interactive disc.
The DVD comes with a booklet for teachers on how to use the DVD for classroom instruction and includes activities for grades 6–12 that can easily be integrated into daily lesson plans in health, mathematics, science, and life skills classes. Both the teachers' guide and the DVD enhancements were developed by Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL).
The interactive DVD Super Size Me: An Educational Tool of Epic Proportions (100 minutes) can be viewed on a standard DVD player or with a DVD-ROM drive, which enables users to access the interactive features. The enhanced DVD ($39.99) ships with a 24-page teachers' guide. It's available from Hart Sharp Video, 575 Broadway, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012; 212-475-2888;