Maybe you’ve seen it or at least heard about it. Narrated by the familiar voice of Katie Couric, Fed Up was released to moviegoers nationwide in May 2014—to an array of reviews—but its message is yet another wake-up call about the diet and health of our nation.
It takes aim at our country’s overconsumption of sugar and processed foods as a health villain. Including interviews with doctors and dieticians alike, it points out that, as a nation, we’ve doubled our sugar intake—including sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and other forms that go by no fewer than 56 names—and have seen an “epidemic” in type 2 diabetes and being overweight or obese as a result of a sugar-saturated diet and more.
Sugar’s not the only culprit, however. It’s the food industry pushing it on an unsuspecting public. The documentary focuses more on the effects of our diet on children and their families, which shows the viewer the fallout firsthand. In fact, one example depicts both the unsuspecting, if not uninformed, public as well as the fallout. A mom is helping her obese teen with more healthy options. The mom says she recently switched to a “lean” microwaveable processed meal versus the “regular” kind.
Fed Up also sheds light on the sugar in low-fat foods, something many of us have known for some time now. Here's what happens: when fat is taken out of foods, manufacturers replace the fat with sugar to “improve taste” and feed our sugar addiction.
Rolling Stone calls Fed Up “the scariest thing onscreen anywhere right now’ and to “forget zombies and vampires” because our country’s diet and health are scarier, saying that “even Godzilla can’t rival Big Sugar as a weapon of mass destruction.” They sum up their review by saying Fed Up is “a movie that matters,” “something rare at the multiplex.” The Washington Post suggests that sugar may not be the real problem, but sugar education—getting consumers to know how addictive and actually poisonous sugar is, citing an expert’s calling sugar a “chronic, dose-dependent” liver toxin.
Other highlights include:
- the idea that a calorie is not just a calorie. For example, a handful of cashews is not the same as a handful of chips. They metabolize differently in the body.
- that 80 percent of food products in our nation have added sugar.
- at the current rate, 95 percent of Americans will be overweight or obese by 2035.
- a growing number of nutritionists who believe sugar to be a poison that can be even more addictive than cocaine is.
- eighty percent of high schools in the U.S. have contracts with soft drink companies and 50 percent of schools serve fast food.
- that it takes two hours of exercise to burn off the calories from one can of a name brand soda.
- that even “thin” people have fatty livers and concentrations of belly fat, making them overweight or obese on the inside.
So, who’s fed up with our country’s standard diet? Apparently, more and more people.