My Review of Fed Up the Movie
Dian and I got to go see the Fed Up documentary tonight. Unfortunately this movie isn’t available in wide release (we had to drive an hour to see it and we live in one of the biggest metropolis’ in the country) but I sure wish it was required viewing for everyone struggling with their weight.
Sugar Sugar Everywhere
To be clear, this wasn’t a weight-loss film, at least not directly. The main thrust of the movie is how much our food supply has been adulterated by Big Food adding (among other terrible things) sugar to dang near everything we eat. There are 600,000 food items on the shelves today and 80% contain sugar. 80%!! Believe me, as I have gone through My Sugar Free Journey, it has been absolutely stunning to me how difficult it is to find ANYTHING without sugar added to it.
Big Food Wins the Day…and We Lose
The documentary did a very good job of outlining how we got into this mess. Specifically, it was the McGovern Report of 1977. In the beginning it had the problem mostly right, asking us to avoid things like excess red meat, dairy, salt and sugar. However, once the different components of Big Food that were threatened found out what was in the report, the banded together to pressure the politicians to remove those recommendations from the report. Once gutted, about the only thing left in the report was to reduce the amount of fat in our diet and to exercise.
Reduced Fat Oreos? Who Are We Kidding?
Because of this change in the report, we saw our supermarket shelves flooded with “reduced fat” options of virtually every single food item available. The problem is, when you take the fat out of food, it tastes horrible. No one wants to buy food that tastes horrible. So what solution did they come up with? That’s right, dump tons of sugar where the fat used to be.
We Ate What Were Told and Worked Out…and Got Fatter
The kicker here is that we all did what we were told. As a Nation, we bought the low-fat food and joined the gym. However, the more low-fat food we ate and the more we worked out, the fatter we got, what was going on? The answer was we were dramatically increasing the amount of sugar we were eating.
We Are Designed to Be Thin, Fit and Healthy
In a nutshell, the danger of sugar is this. We have a very highly sophisticated system of hormones that controls our appetite. Our blood is chemically “sampled” and as we get enough fat or salt or glucose in our bloodstream, we release hormones that tell us we are full. The problem happens when we eat Fructose. (Fructose makes up half of sugar (sucrose) and most of High Fructose Corn Syrup) Our hormones can’t “see” fructose so our appetite suppressant hormones aren’t triggered. For example (and I am just pulling these numbers out of the air, this wasn’t in the movie) if you eat a meal that is 1000 calories but 300 of those calories come from fructose, your body doesn’t “see” those 300 calories. So that’s 300 calories you ate before your body turned on the hormones that turn off your appetite. How dangerous is this? If you eat one more calorie than you burn off every day for 20 years, you will be overweight. And that’s just ONE calorie! Most of us are eating far more calories than we burn off every day.
Pizza is a Vegetable?
The other aspect that the movie covered was how our Government has allowed Big Food to meddle in the dietary recommendations and twist the laws for their own ends, to our detriment. For instance when school lunch recommendations were changed mandating more fruits and vegetables on every student’s plate, Big Food pressured Washington to allow pizza and french fries to qualify as vegetables. That’s right, our government allowed fast food companies to continue to feed our kids junk, but call it healthy vegetables.
Let’s Move…How the Food Companies Say
Another example was how Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign was originally focused on changing how our kids ate. Food companies like McDonalds and Kellogg’s didn’t like that so they offered to “help”. Her message quickly moved away from food to getting your kids to exercise more.
You Must See This Movie
There was so much more to this movie and I could talk about it for days but let me just bring this review to a close. It’s a powerful movie with a message so incredibly jarring it will cause you to reexamine every piece of food you put into your body. I wish it was available in wider release so everyone could see it. The real tragedy here is the small number of theaters will probably keep it away from the people who need to see it most; the poor, minorities, families with young children. Go see it. Take your whole family and for the love of your health, stop eating sugar. It’s killing you.
Disclainer: No one paid me to see this movie. I was not given tickets. I drove over an hour in ridiculous traffic because of how badly I wanted to see it. All opinions are mine.