I remember taking my son, then 11-years-old, to see Super Size Me when it was released in theaters. For years and years after that, he refused to eat fast food at all (and only rarely does now), and he gave up soft drinks completely, a ban that persists to this day.
If you read a lot about food, there’s nothing particularly new in the documentary Fed Up, but it is an extremely useful educational tool that packages very important information about how the food industry (with government cooperation) is fueling the obesity epidemic in America and the host of health problems that go along with it.
I’ll give you some clues: calories are not all the same, exercise alone is not the answer, and sugar is the real culprit in our massive, national weight gain over the last 30 years.
Even if you know the basics, we all need a reminder, and Fed Up, which clocks in at a brisk 92-minutes, covers a lot of ground while also sharing some emotional moments with several teenagers (and family members) from across the country who are struggling with their weight.
The most exciting sequence to me (because it feels fresh) is the comparison between the tactics of big food and big tobacco. The similarities are eerie, and – I hope – convincing enough to rebut a lot of the “personal responsibility” rhetoric floating around, which is another topic addressed in the documentary.
This is a great family film. Kids need to see it. We all need to see it. It’s sort of like a feature-length public service announcement, but the pacing is good enough to sustain the message.
You know the old saying about how you shouldn’t eat any foods that your great-grandparents wouldn’t recognize? That’s about right. Eat real food.