Sugar, come out with your hands up!
The food industry is responsible for fuelling a sugar dependency that is creating an obesity epidemic, and it’s spreading around the world, the makers of the new US documentary, Fed Up, charge.
Director Stephanie Soecthig teamed with narrator and famed ABC TV journalist, Katie Couric, and executive producer, Laurie David, a prime force behind the Al Gore doc An Inconvenient Truth, to create the hard-hitting look at why millions of children are growing up obese despite media attention and government guidelines.
The principal culprit is sugar, they say, which is added to many products, including ketchup, pasta sauce, salad dressing, breakfast cereals, juice and energy drinks, baked goods, yoghurt and even baby formula.
Says Prof Marion Nestle, arch US food industry critic, “Fed Up! is a stunningly hard-hitting exposé of the food industry’s role in promoting unhealthy diets and childhood obesity. It spares nothing in showing the devastating effects of obesity on kids (I found those parts painful to watch).
“The film’s main message is that the food industry, in collaboration with government, is responsible for creating a food environment that promotes poor health.”
Watch the trailer here…
This review by Rolling Stone…
Forget zombies and vampires, the scariest thing onscreen anywhere right now is Fed Up. Even Godzilla can’t rival Big Sugar as a weapon of mass destruction.
In this no-frills, no-bull documentary, executive producer Laurie David, a prime force behind the Al Gore doc An Inconvenient Truth, teams up with director Stephanie Soechtig and narrator Katie Couric to tell it like it is about obesity in America. It’s not a pretty picture.
Since 1980, we’ve doubled our sugar intake, seen an epidemic of Type II diabetes and watched overweight kids ascend from the exception to the norm – all thanks to processed foods.
Fed Up is not a sermon, it’s a wakeup call. As the film makes alarmingly clear from interviews with dieticians, doctors, and even former President Bill Clinton, exercise is far from the cure-all. Few workout regimens, including Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program, get at the root of the problem – that exercise without diet won’t get you very far.
Another myth busted is the panacea of low-fat foods. Here’s just one dirty little secret: as fat is removed from food products the manufacturers replace it with sugar to improve the taste and keep us all addicted. Junk food = junkie America. Why does this happen? Let’s start with collusion. David and her team have a two-headed Goliath to battle in the form of the Feds and the food industry. With fat profits come political influence, which means processed foods and expanding waistlines will be here to stay unless we all get mad as hell and refuse to take it anymore.
Fed Up, unbothered by its often crude mode of attack, is definitely mad as hell. And its muckraking spirit, an anomaly in the age of giving in, is inspiring. The filmmakers wisely and powerfully focus on the children who fall victim to the system’s emaciated values. Fed Up has a fire in its belly to change things. Naïve? Maybe. So what. I say, Godspeed. Here is something rare at the multiplex: a movie that matters.
Response to Fed Up from by IFIC, the International Food Information Council
While “Fed Up” is only the latest documentary to excoriate the modern food system, it joins many that have gone before in perpetuating misperceptions and scientifically unsupported assertions. In particular, its excesses include the fallacies of confusing anecdote with scientific data, and conflating correlation with causation.
Alarmism and emotion might further the filmmakers’ goal of getting national distribution or awards, but they also sweep important facts and context under the red carpet.
We are keenly aware of the poor health status of many Americans and the need to find long-term solutions to the health problems facing our nation. Chronic disease prevalence is of great concern to us, and many health professionals and organizations have focused their full attention on obesity.
Although a definitive cause has yet to be determined, the film would have you believe that a single dietary villain (sugar) is uniquely responsible for obesity in America. Interestingly, we’re not so far removed from fat’s supposed role as bogeyman. Just as decades of research has revealed beneficial and complex roles of dietary fats in healthful diets, the science on sugars is evolving, and answers for many important questions about the role of sugars in health continue to be investigated….
IFIC: Read the full article
Why all of us should be ‘Fed Up’ – comment by Food Safety News
What does it mean when the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents the world’s packaged food and drink industry, puts out a defensive press release about a documentary before it is released? I’d say it means they are scared, and, after viewing the new film “Fed Up,” I can understand why.
Fed Up takes an unvarnished look at America’s unrelenting epidemics of overweight, obesity and related chronic disease by following the lives of several articulate and unusually introspective overweight children who struggle with bullying, their health and repeated attempts at weight loss.
The documentary, which was executive-produced by Katie Couric (who also narrates the film) and Laurie David (“An Inconvenient Truth”) and directed by Stephanie Soechtig (“Tapped”), does not mince words. It places the blame squarely and fairly on a purely profit-driven food and drink industry and our government, which, instead of protecting consumers, has long been unusually solicitous toward food and beverage industry needs.
As Harvard’s Dr. David Ludwig unsparingly points out in the film, America’s approach to the obesity epidemic has been a “systematic failure” because “we’ve placed private profit and special interests ahead of public health.”…
Food Safety News: Read the full article
‘Fed Up’ documentary lays blame for American obesity on … Los Angeles Times
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