I had the opportunity to go with my local Farm Tour group to a screening of the recently released Fed Up. There is some great information in there. But if you’re a foodie, you probably already know a lot of these facts. Here’s a synopsis, and a trailer, of Fed Up:
“Fed Up is the movie the food industry doesn’t want you to see. It blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public, resulting in one of the largest health epidemics in history. From co-producer Katie Couric (who also narrates), co-producer Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of An Inconvenient Truth) and director Stephanie Soechtig, Fed Up will change the way you eat forever.” Official Trailer
Director: Stephanie Soechtig
Cast: Narrated by Katie Couric
MPAA Rating: PG
Run Time: 1hr 32mins
Release Year: 2014
The movie brings out that this is a worldwide epidemic with countries such as Norway showing a rise in obesity rates. I guess it isn’t just Americans that are fatties!
The movie certainly brought out the collusion between our government and Big Money/Big Ag/GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association), which always makes my blood boil! Fed Up also used a running comparison between the Big Tobacco fight of the 50’s/60’s/70’s and ultimate labeling, restriction, and increased knowledge of the dangers of tobacco AND the current fight to curb the use of sugars in all those processed products lining the grocery store shelves. These are items such as salad dressing, flavored yogurts (5 tsp. in 6 ounces — Wow!), fruit drinks, boxed mac and cheese (yep) . . . and the list goes on and on.
To watch a slideshow of some common sugar-enhanced foods, click on this link: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/slideshow.asp?show=61.
Also part of this mix was the introduction of high fructose corn syrup in 1975. With the introduction of this cheaper sweetener came more sweetened products on the store shelves at lower prices. Very tempting to families on a budget. For some great information on the prevalence and dangers of high fructose corn syrup, visit this FB page:
An interesting, and hopeful, point of this comparison is perhaps in a dozen or so years we will be as informed of the dangers of excessive sugars. And perhaps this will lead to a healthier America. An America that doesn’t have this growing epidemic of children being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Of a generation of children that will live shorter lives than their parents. I find that very sobering.But personally I don’t feel that SUGAR is the only reason obesity and diabetes rates are rising in the U.S. and worldwide. I think you have to factor in such issues as the GLUTEN INTOLERANCE epidemic that has spread recently, tossed under the banner of “wheat belly”. There seems to be a growing suspicion that our more modern wheat hybrids with their increased gluten might part of the growing “wheat belly” syndrome, pun intended. I am more often seeing local restaurants and bakeries flaunt their use of ancient grains instead of the traditional hybrid flours we’ve become accustomed to. These ancient grains are now prized for both their low-gluten and purity traits. (http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/blogs/editor/2012/04/ancient-grains.html)
I also feel another factor in the rise in obesity and diabetes rates in the U.S. and worldwide is an increasing SEDENTARY lifestyle. Few are those who are lucky enough to be able to walk or bike to work. The majority of Americans have to climb into a car, usually alone, and drive some distance to work (or school). And the type of work has changed. Many sit at a desk in a cubicle in front of a computer screen. Our parents and grandparents often had more active jobs such as factory work or farming.
Another side of sedentary lifestyles is the antithesis of the 50’s home where a Mom was there to welcome home her schoolkids, and then shooed them out of the house to run and bike around the neighborhood until supper. Many households, if not most, have either two parents who work outside of the home or are single parent homes. Kids come home and, to be safe, lock themselves inside the house to watch TV, play video games, or surf the internet. So much for playtime.
So though I appreciated the information provided in Fed Up, and I do believe our increased consumption of sugars and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been detrimental to our health overall, I feel that these other issues such as increased gluten intolerance and a sedentary lifestyle also play a part in the health issues we, our children, and our grandchildren are/will be dealing with.
That said, and even though I eat very little processed food, I am taking the FedUp Challenge. I’m on Day 3 (of 10). So far just missing that small chunk of dark chocolate that I wish I could have later! So, are you going to take the FedUp Challenge with me?
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