Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat

Killer at Large: Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat is a probing documentary that 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. 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, especially 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 also 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 explaining why we have 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. Government subsidies are provided for food that is bad for us, thus making junk food much cheaper and pervasive in our culture. The nutrition has been taken out of our processed food. Most supermarket food is processed junk. Even the vegetables are crappy. It is very difficult to resist the bombardment of cheap food and advertisement that is so widespread in America. Food industries & agro-business cover their tracks with huge expenditures on feel-good advertising blanketing our population, creating intense propaganda campaigns which undermine parental authority and facts, with their emotional food fantasy messages. It’s simple economics, and not as much individual choice to blame. Also, what kind of personal choice can a student make if the only foods available at their cafeteria are junk foods? Anyone removing responsibility from the corporations and putting it solely on individuals is completely misguided. The film illustrates the lip-service, propagandistic government calls on children to do more exercise, while in the real world they cut budgets for nutrition and physical education, often turning our school into effective dumping-grounds for inferior junk food. The FDA is seriously influenced by the Food Industry whose major passion is to protect their bottom line at the expense of the health of America. One of the ways they do this is to market their junk food to children. What stands out for me was the parents passing junk food through the fence to their children because it was banned in the school. The film did an excellent job laying out the case for getting rid of processed foods and for the conspiracy and manipulation of the public by the USDA and lobbyists for the meat, dairy, and corn industries. This film shows how the government & business (although we can’t tell the difference anymore) has orchestrated the obesity epidemic simply based on cost, profit, and the infiltration of corporate titans into the USDA. It’s a fact that American food is making not only Americans fat and sick, but also is influencing the diets and health of people in other countries. I actually stayed interested in this movie the whole way through, and it made me want to re-examine my eating habits. Even if you buy fruits and vegetables from a regular supermarket, they are loaded with pesticides and will have long-term negative effects on your health. Local organic food really is the answer.  As a college athlete, I was not overweight but when I cut out processed food and drinks I felt better, had more energy, slept better, got sick less, and performed better in my sport. So thinking that food that has been processed doesn’t have an effect on health and vitality, you should really think again. I’m an organic vegetarian, and it is a new thing to me, but it has changed my life for the better in every way possible. I love supporting my local organic farmers, and I love not giving my hard-earned dollars to giant food conglomerates who don’t care a twit for us. As a single mother, I raised three sons alone. We had one TV in the house, it was in my bedroom, no cable until they were 12, 10, & 9. They watched what I approved of. Believe or not I would watch their programs with them. If there was something I thought was questionable, I would talk to them about it, think about the show’s impact on them and ultimately it was my decision if they would continue to watch that show or not. Same with food. They could scream all they wanted for Happy Meals (they just wanted the toy), and with sugar laden cereals, the newest toy was all they wanted. I was the parent. Who said it would be easy to raise kids? Buck up people. Well, they are all grown-up now and they do not like fast food, and have no hatred of Mom for not bending to their every whim. And most importantly…they are not over-weight! So educate your children, don’t give in to their cries for more poisonous junk food because they are propagandized by mass media & Disney Inc. who use Shrek & other cartoon characters to lure lifelong junkies to cheap & bad ‘foods” & “snacks”. Children enjoy the good food, too. We have to look out for ourselves, because our government and big business never will. Yes, we need to take personal responsibility, but it would also help if fat/sugar wasn’t subsidized by the government and marketed heavily to our children as something yummy to eat. They’re creating a culture where we’re rewarded socially and monetarily for eating poorly when they could just as easily create a culture of good, responsible food behavior. Since that doesn’t make them money, though, that doesn’t happen. The American people have to get smart and stop drinking the sodas and eating fast food. It is time America comes together to say no more to allowing McDonalds, Monsanto, Domino Sugar, Frito Lay, and Meat industry determine who dies. Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, neurological & gastrointestinal disorders are out of control. They’d be out of business if people didn’t go to them. I know McDonald’s and all those places won’t get my money anymore! The overeating of junk food, steadily “pushed” by a highly-funded industry and its allies, is but symptomatic of a much larger shift from government “by the People” to government “by the corporations.” The relationship of government to the People must be seriously re-examined and changed — government would have to actually listen to the people, physicians. nutritionists, in an open democratic fashion, instead of taking its marching orders from industry which is only interested in “bottom-line” profits and which seems unable, unwilling, or both, to comprehend the notion of the Societal Bottom-Line, where the health and well-being of our young is both security and profit for the whole nation This must change to have effective wide-spread and long-term solutions for the obesity symptom of our democracy problems. I felt this documentary was clearly informative, to the point, and clearly shows our children and adults are under assault by corporations via our government. Both are clearly not interested in public nutrition and wellness. Then we head for our doctors with weakened immune systems related illnesses, obesity related complaints, i.e. back pain, knee pain, foot pain because our skeletal system clearly was not designed to carry this kind of excess weight. So then to rid us of our misery, in steps labs/pharm. filling Rx from doctors (who I believe do not want to see you get better because then you are not feeding into the bottom line.) Clearly this is a hidden assault on the populace for more profits. The jail system gets $9 billion dollars in just California alone to house prisoners, but only $7 billion is given to the whole nation’s school lunch programs to feed 30 million children. I definitely recommend this documentary. This surpasses any of the “mainstream” films that were released in past decade on issues such as fast food & food industry. I wish they would air all these types of documentaries on TV round the clock for about a week. Waking people up to the truth is taking too long, in my opinion. I believe most people have no idea what is really going on. I think if they realized the extent of it, they would change. How can you change when you don’t know there is anything wrong. Please, watch this video. I say this because I care about people and I want all of us to have happy and long lives, without all the medications, without all the doctors’ bills, without government conspiring with food corporations to decide what we eat. It seems obvious to me, and it’s a shame that more people don’t connect the dots, even after seeing a documentary like this that clearly explains this connection. Decent documentary I guess. Nothing I haven’t heard before. Still ate a couple of cheeseburgers, large fries and large Coke while watching. Freedom baby. I’m lovin’ it. Wait… why am I watching sitting in my recliner watching a Netflix documentary about poor diet and lack of exercise instead of getting up and putting away the snacks and going for a walk? Documentary 2008 NR 1hr44m. (If in the event that you would like to know some of the details as to how people actually do get fat, then Google “Sugar the Bitter Truth” by Robert Lustig.)

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