September 17, 2004
The 'Super Size Me' debate

I went to see "SuperSize Me" with some friends at the cinema last night. Before going, we ceremoniously ate our last burger meal, not at McD's ;-)

The film is pretty slick - not unlike Michael Moore's propaganda-like style in his documentaries - and scary: maybe most so for the clueless people director Morgan Spurlock has dug out of the woodworks and the interviews with kids more readily identifying Ronald McDonald than George Washington or Jesus... Although noone has ever doubted that McDonald's food or fast food in general isn't particularly healthy, it's the marketing machine, the focusing on "recruiting" new, young diners and the political lobbying that should wake people up.

A side note: The last ad before the movie started was from no other than McDonald's, advertising their site with responses to director Spurlock's accusations, included here for fairness & to let you make up your own mind: supersizeme-thedebate.co.uk

Something almost all people and even the film gets wrong is the subtle difference between a calorie and a kilocalorie. A calorie is defined in physics as (one of many slightly different definitions):

the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 g of water from 14.5 C to 15.5 C
A lot of people mix this up and refer to kcals as "calories" although those are a thousand times more (the prefix kilo- means one thousand or "a thousand times"). I.e. technically, if your chocolate bar has "only 20 kcals" it actually contains 20 000 calories. Avoid the hazzle and use the SI-unit Joules instead.

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eliot: Only a nerd... (September 17, 2004 07:02 PM)
"Can turn a movie review into a discussion on the common mis-usage of calorie and kilocalorie: The 'Super Size Me' debate Need more proof of Anders' nerdiness? "

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