Fed Up exposes new and old truths about the American obesity epidemic, much akin to An Inconvenient Truth’s global warming revelations. It is a film equal parts alarming and motivational. Fed Up is in theaters May 9th.
“For the first time in 200 years, the current generation of children are expected to live shorter lives than their parents.” Similar sobering statements are densely packed in Stephanie Soechtig’s 92-minute expose´ of the food industry. There’s enough evidence presented in Fed Up to alarm and motivate a parent to question the choices lining their pantry and refrigerator.
In 1977, a government report titled, “the McGovern Report” presented new dietary goals for Americans. It outlined practices for eating healthier.
Presently, childhood obesity is at an all-time high and it is expected to plague 95% of the population in the next 20 years. 57,000+ cases of children having developed type-2 diabetes were reported in 2010, compared to zero in 1980. But if we’re following the dietary guidelines, why are we getting fatter and sicker? -and why is the government looking the other direction?
These are questions Couric and Soechtig present to numerous experts, dietitians and political figures (including Bill Clinton) in their quest to debunk the myths generated by “Big Food” and perpetuated by our public schools and the misinformed general population. Soechtig utilizes families with obese children to highlight this concern. It is a victimization tactic, but nonetheless effective.
In the aftermath of the McGovern Report, the food industry responded with a gluttony of fat-free products, but they increased sugar for taste. The body turns sugar to fat, and sugar (as it turns out) is highly addictive. The food industry directed our attention to calories and physical exercise by funding private studies and marketing campaigns. Government officials were “influenced” to look the other way. Ever wonder why there’s not a “% of daily value” for sugar on those food labels?
So here we are today, fatter and sicker. Healthcare costs continue to rise and life expectancy is starting to drop.
The filmmakers hope to inspire change, after all, we defeated “Big Tobacco”. But changing food habits has its own set of challenges -mostly the U.S. economy leans on the food industry. So, the attention needs to be on schools and parents.
Fed Up uses a fair amount of unnecessary content (i.e. rants about cheese) to stretch the length. In that regard, it’s not on par with its bigger brother, An Inconvenient Truth. I would expect Fed Up to perform subpar in theaters, but it may be the catalyst to get these findings into the hands of parents.
Read a detailed score breakdown and more on FilmObsession.com