Just a quick link to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution interview with Morgan Spurlock, director of Super Size Me. The interview will likely disappear in a few days, but Spurlock’s take on the issue of personal responsibility within the fast food industry is similar to mine (I originally had some trouble articulating this in the comments below):
Q: The government and the food industry say that personal responsibility and physical activity are key to reversing the obesity epidemic. What’s your take?
A: They need to accept some responsibility, especially the corporations. If you’re McDonald’s and you serve 46 million people a day, and you tell me you have no obligation to educate your consumers and help them make the right choices. . . . That’s absolute malarkey. This is a two-way street.
True, we Americans make bad choices every day. We overeat and underexercise. When your big sellers are fries and shakes and you’re going to educate to the point where we’re not going to eat those, why would you do that? Your bottom line is going to get hit.
Q: At the end of the movie, you throw responsibility for what we choose to eat back to consumers. What do you think they’re going to do?
A: For me this film is a snapshot of your life, that we make bad eating choices, health choices, exercise choices every day. I want people to walk out of this film and say, ‘I need to take more responsibility in my life, I need to eat better. I need to exercise more, I need to be a better role model for my kids.’
Parents need to understand if you eat out three or four times a week and don’t exercise, you’re going to raise kids who do the same thing. The biggest place where we need to focus our energies in this country is the schools. We’re educating kids in the classrooms and damaging them in the lunchrooms. We’re giving them a diet filled with fat and sugar and junk and we’re saying it’s OK to eat this, it’s fine.