Sitting in a theatre with three teenagers viewing the movie Fed Up was a revelation. This nation will be theirs soon! And yet their generation is under attack by the sugar industry like no generation in history. If nothing is done, spiraling health costs alone from obesity and sugar-spawned disease (diabetes primarily) will saddle their U.S. with huge costs.
Did they care? Boy, did they! I glanced at them now and then during the movie and their eyes never wavered from the screen (despite the fact that I’m sure all three of them have smart phones).
Lulu, Garrett and Camille are all 18-year-olds at High Tech High in San Diego. Afterwards, I asked if they could jot down a few thoughts about the experience. I’d like to share them with you. They give me hope! They have also joined the Fed Up Challenge, and we encourage you do too.
Eighty percent of processed foods on U.S. store shelves contain added sugar.
Lulu Smith: The movie Fed Up, a documentary about the obesity epidemic in America, was truly amazing and eye-opening! While this movie talks about the obvious fatty and unhealthy processed and “fast” foods that surround us in America, a main focus was actually on those foods that many people thought to be beneficial to overall health and—especially—weight loss!
Many adolescents and their parents were interviewed in this film, as well as doctors that specialized in the area of weight loss and diseases caused by obesity. Viewers have the chance to get inside the mind of four different overweight children of varying ethnic backgrounds, one as young as 12. One girl exercises almost non stop throughout the day—yet she cannot lose weight. Another has bariatric surgery—he’s over 400 pounds and that desperate—while in his early teens. Yet another wonders why he’s the “fat kid” in his family, then learns that his leaner siblings really aren’t healthy either—they just have dangerous fat hidden inside.
In their homes, many of the parents buy foods labeled “fat free,” “sugar-free” or “fewer calories” to help with their family’s weight loss, yet they would actually continue to gain weight, which confused many. I was shocked in the end to hear that when foods are advertised as lower in fat, there is much more sugar added to keep the product tasting yummy and sweet, which is the real obesity-causing issue.
I have not seen such an honest, educational, and to-the-point documentary like Fed Up before. I knew a lot of the information already, but was astonished by some facts that literally made my jaw drop. If you want to have many of your ideas about what’s healthy, and what’s not, shaken to the core, and the role of sugar in this health disaster, view Sugar: The Bitter Truth by Robert H. Lustig, MD—his lecture on YouTube—and don’t miss seeing Fed Up!
Garrett Fischbheck: This weekend I was given the opportunity to see the movie Fed Up with a few of my friends. I am always interested in documentaries and films that uncover a hidden truth, especially when it comes to the mega-food industry. This movie documents obesity in America as well as the tricks and miscommunications of the food industry. I feel as though this movie was made intentionally to teach the public important information about everyday grocery shopping, as well as to help those directly affected by the obesity in America.
Throughout Fed Up, viewers have an up close and personal perspective on a few young people’s lives and their everyday struggles with obesity—a sensitive topic! The stories told by these pre-teens pulled at my heartstrings quite a bit.
We discover that when a food product is labeled “fat free,” or “reduced fat,” yes, the fat has been eliminated or reduced, but only to add an excessive amount of sugar (and often salt) to keep the product tasty.
I also learned the history of cheese and why it became so popular. Apparently, in the last half century, when women became more body-conscious, products like skim milk or fat-free milk became popular. With skim milk, a large amount of fat is removed, which then gave food corporations access to a by product that could be turned into cheese!
I enjoyed watching this film and would definitely recommend it to all. Even though I knew some of the information already, I feel as though Fed Up provides an important take-away message that most people should consider, and it’s this simple: Make your own meals using real food!
Camille Gloster: I’m now "fed up" with the food industry! And it wasn't pleasant learning that one of my role models, Michelle Obama, basically condoned the consumption of crappy foods when her Let’s Move campaign came under pressure from major food companies.
I, an 18 year old, was blown away and truly inspired by the bravery, perseverance, and honesty of the obese children profiled in Fed Up.
I saw what life was like for these individuals. I felt their heartache. They inspired me to start making small changes, and potentially change my whole lifestyle/diet around.
At the end of the documentary, we viewers learned that after all that hard work and progress, some of the kids gained the weight back. This was indeed saddening to hear, but I know that they will soon realize their health is more important than "yummy" fast food.
After the film, we all went to the nearby health food store, spent some time reading the labels with new eyes, and left with a bag full of good food, mostly vegetables!
For more info about "Fed Up":
- "Fed Up" (Official movie site)
- Take the "Fed Up" Challenge (Sugar-Free for 10 Days)
- Follow "Fed Up" on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
- "The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time" by Laurie David
- Atlas Films
- Dr. Mark Hyman
- Follow Dr. Mark Hyman on Twitter
More info on obesity: