Fed Up is a documentary that focuses on the causes of obesity in the United States. It presents evidence showing that the large quantities of sugar in processed foods are an overlooked root of the problem. It points to the moneyed lobbying power of “Big Sugar” in blocking attempts to enact effective policies to address the issue. This eye-opening documentary examines the underlying causes behind the obesity epidemic, including the marketing strategies of major U.S. food producers. The film is effective at demonstrating the seriousness of our current epidemic of obesity. Throughout all past ages, food had been scarce and populations were often hungry or starving. Since World War Two, for the first time in human history, people have access to too much food in the USA! We know that people gain weight in a world where foods have become easier to access and relatively cheap, foods have become increasingly palatable with increasing caloric content, and our culture increasingly values pleasure while also becoming sedentary. No big surprise that this combo leads to gaining weight. But how did 60% of the country get so fat? 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight, with 1 in 3 adults considered obese. Childhood obesity has become an ever-more serious medical issue in the United States. The film includes touching video self-portraits by young people who belong to the almost 17 percent of children and adolescents, ages 2 to 19, who are considered obese. Lack of interest in accepting any kind of personal responsibility for this historic result is stunning. Everyone who is truly culpable gets a pass — i.e., our know-everything leaders — and the obese parents who raise obese children. Pssst…Why aren’t they in the least bit curious as to how they’ve become 300 pounders when their ancestors were all normal? This film is an expose of the food industry’s pedaling of sugar-rich junk food to kids and the epidemic of obesity that has resulted from it. It rightly points to the chief villain in our food choices–sugar–as addictive and toxic. Sugar is clearly added to food products that historically had none in an effort to elicit a crave factor, so you can’t stop eating them. Experts in the film compare the addictiveness of sugar to cocaine – a fascinating concept! And seeing how it affects the brain was disturbing for me. It is true that sugar is addictive — which is one reason why it is so hard to eat healthy after eating junk food for years. The film presents a strong case against the hidden sugar is processed foods that results in too much sugar intake. Dr. Robert Lustig has given a famous sugar lecture on YouTube that you can watch, and there are other films concerning this issue. When all the facts come together the results are astounding. Americans primarily consume processed foods, and are ignorant as to what healthy food actually is. The widespread aversion to “health food” is revealing, because who in their right mind would reject food that is good for health? The film nailed it when said, “Nobody is comparing junk food with cooked food, but only other junk food…like ‘Now available 50% less fat!’ Junk food is junk — even though it may be slightly less junky!” This is a great documentary about how the food industry really works. Experts in the film indict the food industry for their abhorrent pattern of marketing foods that are making America sick, and as a result accelerating the costs of health care. It may not be totally fair to demonize the food industry, which has done a lot of good by providing a greater variety of safer food to more people at lower prices. As recently as 70 years ago during the Great Depression many people couldn’t get enough to eat, and in many parts of the world that is still true today. Originally processed foods served the useful purpose of having longer shelf-life than fresh foods which spoiled quickly, thereby avoiding losses and increasing profits. It is true that adding refined sugar is just giving people what they have craved ever since their ancient ancestors were living on wild fruit in the forest and developed a taste for sweet that helped them survive. But the food industry has crossed a moral line by adding sugar to food products that historically had none to elicit the addictive crave factor in order to increase consumption of their products, and thereby increase sales and profits. We must share the responsibility with the food industry for junk food proliferation, because their less-healthy offerings continue to appear on food store shelves in response to public demand, since large numbers of people have chosen to buy those products because they don’t know any better. People need to understand that eating ‘non-food’ is very unhealthy and leads to diseases. However, I’m sure the food companies are already starting campaigns to destroy the information in this expose Fed Up. It’s up to the consumer to decide. Something important failed to happen 30 years ago. This film shows how the first dietary guidelines issued by the U.S. government 30 years ago overlooked the role of dietary sugar in increasing risks of obesity, diabetes, and associated ill-health outcomes, particularly in children. Look at the labels on food — sugar doesn’t have any RDA percentages listed. Curious! Since these guidelines effectively condoned unlimited addition of sugar to foods consumed by children, sugar consumption has greatly increased, obesity has skyrocketed, and generations of children have grown up far fatter than their parents. These children face impaired health and shorter lifespans as a result. The World Health Organization proposed Maximum Daily Sugar Intake Recommendations in their Health Research Report. It is a stunning eye opener to realize that both Democrat and Republican congressmen in Washington united to threaten the World Health Organization with withdrawal of our 300 million dollar annual funding support if they did not remove the Maximum Daily Sugar Intake Recommendations from their Health Research Report, and succeeded in getting them removed from the Report. I always knew they were self-serving, but I did not think that they would actively support spreading illness throughout the U.S. citizenry merely to garner campaign contributions from sugar and food lobbyists. They say it’s personal responsibility of what to eat or not eat — BUT if the food industries discredits all the medical information about junk food in order to make more money, then what is a parent or anyone expected to believe? How can everyone be expected to make the right food choices? So we must stop leaving it to the government and taxpayers to protect us from junk foods. Parents should pick up a book on nutrition and read it to educate themselves. As the relationship between the high-sugar diet and poor health has emerged, entrenched sugar industry interests with almost unlimited financial lobbying resources have beaten back attempts by parents, schools, states, and Congress to provide a healthier diet for children. It is no secret that American government works in tandem with big corporate and industry players either through subsidiaries or lobbyists. But prepare to be outraged and disgusted with our government for their complicity in the obesity epidemic we face. It is abhorrent that many politicians support food companies that are making America sick, and as a result accelerating the costs of health care. And the documentary points out how even Michelle Obama’s “Move” Campaign for better health in the war on childhood obesity was co-opted by the junk food giants. In the film it is sad to see these doomed overweight children exercising like mad to little avail! Watching this you can’t help but notice the similarities between how nicotine and cigarettes were targeted to our children much the same as sugar-filled junk foods are being advertised now. A very good parallel is drawn with the tobacco industry, how they continued to fight for decades against the overwhelming evidence that their product cause cancer. Now the big food industry is doing something similar, desperately calling efforts to modify food, particularly processed junk food, as the actions of ‘a nanny state’. I completely agree that this sounds like “big tobacco” back in the 80’s and 90’s. So please don’t buy into the lies of the food companies. Do your food homework, learn what is and isn’t healthy, make right choices, and learn how to eat healthy. Everyone who is just beginning research on this issue will find this documentary an excellent primer. The film is clear, concise, and filled with great information on this issue. It definitely possesses valuable information with segments from credible experts. I think this movie is very informative and eye-opening. The film will undoubtedly do some good by helping raise public awareness of childhood obesity and of the danger of hidden sugars in processed foods. This is about getting out the right information. I believe vital components in reclaiming our health are discussing America’s lack of food intelligence, our increasing consumption of fast foods, why we believe it is acceptable to serve and eat processed junk, and exploring when and with what generation this change has occurred. This film gets its warnings across loud and clear — we need to change what we eat. It is very eye-opening. This documentary gave me something to think about. I don’t believe that I will clean my cupboard or be able to rid myself of sugar completely, but I will start to think about how much sugar my family and I consume. In fact we can make the decision to not eat those junk foods, and we should do so, especially if we want to get or stay healthy. I stopped eating junk food the day after seeing this film, but went back to eating it two days later. Now I have been off of processed and packaged foods since the New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve learned it IS cheaper to eat real food as opposed to processed foods. I agree with the concept of “lifestyle changes” as I just spent the last year changing everything about my diet by cooking for myself and getting off processed foods, sugars, caffeine and going to whole foods & low carb. I lost 56 pounds in this year long process and am now healthier than ever at the age of 56. In the spirit of moderation, I try to eat a healthy diet, but I enjoy an occasional sugary treat or fast food meal, and I appreciate the convenience of packaged, processed foods when I don’t have a lot of time to shop and cook. I see no compelling reason to think it is impossible for people to lose weight on a diet that is overall nutritious and calorie controlled but that allows small amounts of even the “worst” foods. If we just go back to cooking and eating real food, we could start to reverse these terrible trends of unhealthiness and obesity. At what point does the responsibility for child obesity fall upon the parents? What happened to personal responsibility? The parents in this video should be wiser and stronger about their own diets, then their children’s. Most telling was the father of a teenager who is over 400 pounds saying, “I have no control over what he eats” while the child’s mother says, “Bigger is beautiful and it’s a sign that you’re healthy”, and all the while the child is too large to do much beyond lumber to a chair and watch TV. These fat kids are victims! Our country has yet to address the issue of toxic foods being served to our children in school cafeterias. Our school does community snacks where every day the kindergarten and first grade kids are given fruit loops, pretzels, Oreos, 100 calorie snack which are considered healthy! Aside from the school setting, children are dependent on what their adult parents purchase and serve them. Personal and parental responsibility is almost written off in favor of business culpability, after showing kitchens full of chips and soda — and fat kids eating Nutella. If it’s hereditary it’s one thing, but ruining our children’s health with one’s own hands is inexcusable. Can we not say it’s another kind of child abuse when we put our children in such a miserable state? I watched this doc with my kids so that they understand I am not such an evil mom to emphasize healthy eating rather than Cheerios for breakfast. I pack fruits as snacks and let them eat a junk snack served at school once in a while as a treat. (Is there still a concept of treat nowadays?) A great documentary. It is very informative and well done. This is a film that every parent should see to understand the way in which they could be risking their children’s health, and their own, with excessive and dangerous sugar consumption. This makes a very compelling argument. The film lays out what’s wrong, and some possible solutions — to take or leave at our discretion. This movie is absolutely a MUST SEE for all Americans, a must-see for everyone who values their health. Watch it with kids — it’s must-education, in my opinion. Every parent and child in America should have an opportunity to view this together. This is well-worth your time for your own well-being and that of your children. Definitely worth a look. I recommend watching it. I urge you to see this movie and make up your own mind. Produced and narrated by American journalist and TV personality Katie Couric. Documentary 2014 PG 90 minutes.
BOOKS about sugar addiction:
Book titles about why sugar is addictive, and about reducing, minimizing, or even totally eradicating too much sugar from our diets:
Little Sugar Addicts
Why Diets Fail: Because You’re Addicted to Sugar
Suicide by Sugar
Overcoming Sugar Addiction
Beat Sugar Addiction Now
I Quit Sugar
The Sugar Addict’s Total Recovery Program
Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat
Super Size Me
Fast Food Nation
Must-See Movies—For What You Need to Know
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