Fed Up is a documentary currently being shown on Netflix. It is about the childhood obesity epidemic becoming out of control. The documentary blames this on people eating the “wrong” calorie and advertising brainwashing us. Fed Up argues that 1 calorie doesn’t necessarily mean 1 calorie. They support that statement by showing us that the sugar content in fruit is countered by fiber, unlike Soda which hurts our bodies directly.
In the 70s, the United States created the McGovern report which made an effort to implement certain food restrictions. Companies started lowering the fat content in their foods. Unfortunately, the reduction in fat led to an increase in sugar. The documentary then shows us some kid friendly commercials like the Fruity Pebbles commercial.
Four kids are followed in Fed Up. There is a girl who is very physically active, but she cant lose weight. She is very frustrated by this inability, but continues to ear poorly. The documentary delves into the poor nutritional value of school food. During the Reagan administration a large cut was made in the school food budget. To compensate, schools started serving cheap and nutritionally poor boxed foods. Fast forward to today and things are more out of control. Some schools have their own student section with other bad foods. Many other schools have a fast-food chain like McDonalds or Pizza Hut in the school. A boy they follow first comes onto the documentary eating fries. His mother is making a strong effort to get healthy foods, but sometimes can’t afford it. When they go to the doctor he is in danger of serious complications if he doesn’t lose weight. Another boy is the fattest of the multiple siblings he has. He actually goes through a DXA scanner that calculates his belly fat to be at about 60%. Then they show a teenager that is almost 400 lbs. At the end of the documentary he is the only success story. He goes through a gastric bypass procedure.
Fed Up compares the increase in gym memberships in the past 20 years with a similar increase in obesity. Both are on the rise. The documentary concludes with an analog of smoking back then to sugar now.
Overall, Fed Up is captivating. I agree with most points made. However, I think another large part of the childhood obesity epidemic is inactivity. The basketball courts seem empty these days. With the amount of current entertainment we get from televisions, video games, and computers we aren’t as active. However, this new information age has given us great tools and a whole host of new nutritious foods. We should utilize myfitnesspal and keep track of calories until we reach a nice healthy weight.