Thursday, 23 November 2006

Fast Food Nation Arrives

Already familiar to my American friends, the film "Fast Food Nation" hit these shores recently, following in the footsteps of Morgan Spurlock's 2004 comedy "Super Size Me".

A flick through one or two reviews suggests that the film has been universally panned for failing to successfully translate the sentiments of Eric Schlosser's damning analysis of the American junk food industry from book to screen.

The industry is fighting back hard, and no doubt has done its bit to help promote a critical reception for Richard Linklater's film. But things are, at last, slowly moving on the fast food/obesity issue.

Burger King has already announced that it is to stop advertising in Britain during children's TV programmes from December 22. This decision was an attempt to pre-empt (and possibly affect) the decision by UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom on whether it should introduce a total ban on fast food ads and promotion before the 9pm. watershed.

In any event, Ofcom's decision has now been announced and it is for a total ban at all times for programmes with substantial numbers of under-16 viewers. Other fast-food chains are looking nervously at the anti-junk message and seeking ways to improve their image.

In the meantime, the "most overtly political American film since Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11" has arrived in Britain. For those who have not seen it, here are two extracts. The first is a promo clip and the second is part of a behind-the-scenes interview with Director Linklater.

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