Filmmaker to Challenge Fast Food Perceptions
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Richard Morrison, 202.331.2273
Audrey Mullen, 202.861.5677
<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Washington, D.C., March 31, 2004—Educator and filmmaker Soso Whaley is taking on personal responsibility, obesity, and the victim mentality in a new project focusing on the fast food industry. Whaley will document her experience of eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at McDonald’s for the month of April to dramatize the debate over public health and what has been termed America’s “obesity epidemic.” By making prudent menu choices, she will demonstrate that no one should blame the nation’s food purveyors for being overweight or unhealthy – even if fast food really were their only choice.
The project will challenge the conclusions of such splashy efforts as Super Size Me, a recent film by Morgan Spurlock which documented its director’s McDonald’s-only diet and his resulting negative health effects. “I’m disappointed that people who should know better are actually accepting the premise of Super Size Me as valid scientific test results,” said Whaley. “While Spurlock’s film was, as he describes it, a ‘satirical jab in the stomach’, many seem to be following its implied message – that evil fast food companies are preying on hapless, unhealthy Americans – to a ridiculous extreme.”
Starting April 1, 2004 Whaley will eat only food available over the counter at McDonald’s for 30 days to prove that she can not only can maintain a healthy lifestyle, but even lose weight while doing it. As a supporter of personal responsibility in lifestyle choices and the importance of teaching critical thinking skills to the public, she will document her month-long adventure in writing and on video to create a comprehensive response to Super Size Me and its conclusions.
During the course of the 30 days Whaley will explore different issues related to our eating habits including biotech food, fad diets, and dietary habits. With the help of Dr. Mark Dickey of the Holistic Family Health Center, who will monitor her progress, and others, Ms. Whaley will explore the issue of personal responsibility in eating and lifestyle choices. She will also focus on the issue of the use of junk science which too often today passes for legitimate science.