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Narrated by Katie Couric, Fed Up blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and exercise, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry aided by the U.S. government to mislead and confuse the American public. Exposing the hidden truths contributing to one of the largest health epidemics in history, the film follows a group of families battling to lead healthier lives and reveals why the conventional wisdom of exercise and eat right is not ringing true for millions of people struggling with diabetes, childhood obesity and other serious conditions. Including captivating interviews with the country's leading experts, this vital information could change the way we eat forever.
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Buy the movie, show it to family and friends (who are willing to watch it), and change their lives like my sister did ours. Great Movie!
Just in case you were wondering the other documentaries we seen were: Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead; Forks Over Knives; Hungry for Change; Food Matters; Vegucated; and The Beautiful Truth.
Why have they gotten to this point? It's not the kids' fault, the experts say. Junk food, foisted on us by the processed food and fast food industries, is leading us to a health catastrophe. The food, with its high percentage of sugar, salt and fat, is addictive and omnipresent. Its empty calories are converted to dangerous internal fat more readily than the calories in nourishing food. Additionally, these companies market their food to children on television, on the Internet, and by taking over school lunch programs, making sure that our children develop an early affinity and lifelong dependence on processed/junk food. The movie goes into great detail about how the US government is complicit in this problem by promoting the interests of big agribusiness and food companies over the health of our children. It then predicts that a tsunami of health problems will soon follow if we don't find a solution and the costs will dwarf our current national debt, .
What's the answer? Well, it's not just exercise. For example, if you drink a soda, you would have to bike well over an hour to work off the calories. Add potato chips and you have to bike twice as long. While Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative is laudable, it's not enough (and it is being "helped" by such companies as Coca Cola and Kellogg, which means the real solution was eliminated from the program for political reasons). The movie suggests that we start solving this problem by 1) changing the way we produce and consume food - a difficult process that involves pressuring our government to get its priorities straight, make laws that protect our health, and quit subsidizing the very industry that is making us sick; and 2) giving people knowledge and tools to cook healthy, real food meals at home...the movie directs you to the Fed Up website to get started with the Fed Up challenge.
I thought this was an excellent overview of a very real problem. There are other resources that provide more thorough coverage, but this is a good start. If you want to know more, I would suggest you first watch Robert Lustig's Sugar: The Bitter Truth (Google the transcript if you don't want to watch for 1.5 hours). This will tell you all you need to know about the biochemistry behind how our body processes and stores food. Lustig's book, Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease goes into more detail and gives suggestions for moving to a real food diet. Michael Pollen's Omnivore's Dilemma, Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss, and Pandora's Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal will tell you how our food arrived at its seemingly hopeless state. The movie did not address obesity caused by eating in response to stress, but The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David Kessler reiterates the role of processed food in compulsive and emotional eating while giving concrete steps for overcoming the pull of "highly palatable" foods through a form of cognitive therapy. Other great resources for kickstarting healthy eating are the website www.100daysofrealfood.com and the smartphone app, Fooducate (also a website) that allows you to scan a barcode and see a food's grade based on its processing and nutritional content.
If it does nothing else, I hope this movie will stir people to think about what they eat and dietary changes they can make to sustain their own good health and that of their family. Making personal changes will be a piece of cake compared to changing the political and economic supports for food that is making us sick, but we can make our positions known to lawmakers and hope for the best.