Films on Junk Food

Fed Up

Documentary 2014 PG 90 minutes. The film 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 monied 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. 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. The obese parents who raise obese children — 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. See Full Review

Killer at Large:
Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat

Documentary 2008 NR 1hr44m. This probing documentary explores the ever-expanding issue of obesity in America from individual, political, scientific and cultural perspectives. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the US today. 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. There are poignant moments, such as a 12 year old girl having liposuction. The film gives a range of reasons why we have this issue regarding obesity in America: school junk food, too much sugar, lack of information about high fructose corn syrup, portion sizes, television, intense advertising aimed at children, cozy cartoon characters hawking sugar, parents, food companies, politics, lobbying, greed, and economics. See Full Review

Super Size Me

Documentary 2004 PG-13 98 minutes. Director Morgan Spurlock takes a hilarious and often terrifying look at the effects of fast food on the human body, using himself as the proverbial guinea pig. For one month, Spurlock eats nothing but McDonald’s fare. See Full Review

Fast Food Nation

Drama 2006 R 113 minutes. Richard Linklater’s fictional tale (inspired by Eric Schlosser’s 2001 nonfiction book of the same name) critiques the junk-food juggernaut that’s arguably responsible for America’s alarming obesity rates. Greg Kinnear plays Don Henderson, a corporate exec of a national fast-food chain, who follows beef’s journey from the corrals to the slaughterhouses — and ultimately to your stomach. Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette and Bruce Willis co-star.

McLibel

Documentary 2005 NR 85 minutes. Using carefully reenacted courtroom scenes, director Franny Armstrong brings the other trial of the century to life, chronicling the world-famous libel suit brought by fast-food franchise McDonald’s against British activists Helen Steel and Dave Morris. The two activists were sued my McDonald’s for handing out fliers critical of Mc Donald’s. They refused to apologize, and the trial lasted over a year. They did not have a lawyer and represented themselves in an attempt to prove that their claims were not false. This is the story of a big corporation making a mistake and suing people for speaking their mind… which leads to these same people still speaking their mind, except now they have a national (and unltimately international) stage. It shows the extent that companies are willing to go to, simply to protect their profit. Far from focusing on hamburgers and fries, this fascinating documentary tells the story of two ordinary folks who endure a Big Mac attack of epic proportions — just for asking a simple question. This is an enlightening, frightening, and intriguing documentary, of two working-class folk and their court battle against a global corporation’s attempts to quell dissent and free speech. It is also a revealing expose of the bombardment of advertising that is squarely aimed at children (“they exert immense influence on their parent’s choices of where to eat”); unsanitary and barbaric food processing; mechanized working environments and paltry wages; and fast food’s influence on obesity and health problems. Equally as appalling was McDonald’s expenditure of millions of dollars to hire a high-powered legal team, whilst David and Helen ended up representing themselves in court. Drained but determined, these two managed to fight their own battle, and also to establish a Web site to keep the spotlight burning. The documentary is a wake-up call for more responsible consumerism, and even more significantly, for greater participation in the world in which we live.

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

Documentary 2010 NR 97 minutes. Focusing on two men whose bodies have been trashed by steroids, obesity and illness, this documentary chronicles the rigorous healing path — including a two-month diet of fruits and vegetables — that both attempt in a bid to rescue their health. See Full Review

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2

Documentary 2014 NR 1hr29m. With the help of experts, Joe Cross details the eating and lifestyle changes that can help others match his weight loss and health achievements. You definitely need to watch the first movie to get a good grounding of what this one is about. After that, this is an awesome next step on how to move beyond the juice-fast and into the lifestyle while dealing the with pitfalls that are bound to happen. The movie is highly entertaining and merely looks back at the what has happened in the lives of the people and communities Joe visited in the original movie. It takes an honest look at the successes and failures of those ordinary people and paints a very realistic picture of the struggle many people go through to get healthy. The advice is 100% true. A plant-based diet does truly revolutionary things for your health, weight, happiness, and overall well being. Love the message. Very well done!

Forks Over Knives

Documentary 2011 PG 96 minutes. Focusing on research by two food scientists, this documentary reveals that despite broad advances in medical technology, the popularity of animal-based and modern processed foods have led to epidemic rates of obesity, diabetes and other diseases. See Full Review

Food Matters

Documentary 2008 NR 80 minutes. With a staggering number of Americans suffering from obesity and other food-related maladies, this film takes a timely and hard-hitting look at how the food we eat is helping or hurting our health, and what we can do to live (and eat) better.See Full Review

A Place at the Table

Documentary 2012 PG 1hr 24m. Using personal stories, this powerful documentary illuminates the plight of the 49 million Americans struggling with food insecurity. It is a startling fact that so many millions in the US don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Food insecurity is an invisible, but very real problem in our country. Of the developed world, the US ranks 23 in food security. Our country has a lot people who are both fat and undernourished. I have always wondered about the obesity epidemic in our country. Obesity results from hungry people eating cheap low-nutrient junk foods of empty calories.  See Full Review

Waging a Living

Documentary 2004 NR 85 minutes. This thought-provoking documentary tests the mantra “get a job” to see whether low-wage jobholders — otherwise known as the “working poor” — can pull themselves and their families out of poverty. Filmed in California, New York and New Jersey over a three-year period, the film tracks the ups and downs of four ethnically diverse Americans living below the poverty line as they face a persistent struggle to make ends meet.See Full Review

See also: The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio.

Books about sugar addiction:

Little Sugar Addicts

Sugar Blues
Sugar Nation
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

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