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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Movie Review: Fed Up

12:53 PM Posted by Stephanie Horgan , , , ,
Yesterday I went to see a new movie that came out, called "Fed Up." It was at the independent theater nearby me, and I would highly recommend making time to see it. The documentary was produced by Katie Couric with Laurie David, a producer of "An Inconvenient Truth." The core of the movie asks, "Are all calories created equal?" The resounding  answer is no. All that "just decrease calories in, and increase your exercise" stuff that we have been told- it just isn't that simple. As the nighties told us to cut down on fat, all the products that were marketed to us, merely swapped the fat for added sugar.
I had read some reviews of the movie before it came to Chicago. Now, having seen it, I agree with some of the critics who say that the movie strongly demonizes sugar and can oversimplify the complex issue of obesity. However, I did like that it is raising awareness of the many chronic diseases that obesity and sugar contribute to. It describes sugar as a chronic, dose-dependent liver toxin, and one that leads to many of the chronic illnesses we have blogged about in the past.

Here are some more facts from the movie:
Nearly 17% of children in America are obese.
Lifespan projections are, for the first time, getting shorter generation over generation.
In the last thirty years, the number of cases of Type 2 Diabetes in adolescents went from 0 to 57,638.
I appreciated the time the movie spent addressing those who have limited food choices, such as kids at school who receive free lunch. So many of them do not have healthy options for their school meals. That is something we can press on our government about to change. But what about adults who live in poverty? I wish the movie had addressed food deserts and the tremendous challenge for those who don't have access to healthy food in their neighborhood. Some people have access to healthy food, but no money to buy it. It reminded me of the various mayors who have completed challenges to live on food stamps for a week. So who wants to take on a food challenge? Perhaps you'd like to try living on the $4/day you get when you are on foodstamps? Or maybe you'd prefer to go for 10 days without added sugar?  
This challenge of going 10 days without eating foods that have added sugar is given at the end of "Fed Up." There are so many foods with hidden sugar, and just today at lunch, I am amazed by how much I have already consumed by lunchtime. So grab a friend, go through your cabinets, and invest in some healthy choices. Your body will thank you. And while you are at it, write your legislators and tell them about how the big business of food has too much control! Together we can change this epidemic one person at a time.