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Friday, November 14, 2014

Movie Review: Fed Up or “How We Have Been Duped, Drugged and Diseased”

Movie Review: Fed Up or “How We Have Been Duped, Drugged and Diseased”(photo by LivligaHome).


My husband and I finally found an evening this week when we could watch the movie Fed Up. I ordered it in early summer and have had it to watch for a while. Shows you how crazy our lives have been!

I am so glad we waited. It requires you to really pay attention and absorb a lot of information. Important information. Really important information about our sugar addiction, its direct influence on diabetes, heart disease and cancer and then how its consumption and consequence is completely wrapped up in the actions of our government and our politics.

The movie makes direct parallels between the sugar/food industry and the cigarette/tobacco industry. It is scary how similar the story is between the two. Just like with the tobacco industry, the food industry has known for decades that the sugar in the food we eat is killing us. Clear back in 1977, almost 40 years ago, the McGovern Commission issued a report identifying the coming surge of obesity and defined our first dietary goals for the USA. Then, just like the tobacco companies, the food companies lobbied to have key parts of the report removed or restated so it would avoid a negative impact for business and would, in fact, provide for a whole new line of foods we now know as “low fat”.  Instead of limiting sugar in take, as was initially recommended by the report, the rewrite allowed for even more sugar to be introduced into our diet, all under the guise of “low fat”.  The movie states the shocking fact that from 1977 to 2000 our intake of sugar has more than doubled. It is no wonder that by the year 2050 one in three people is expected to be living with diabetes.

Another important point the movie makes is how addictive sugar is. One of the research studies sited is one where rats have been given a steady dose of cocaine until they have become addicted to it. Then they are given a choice of choosing between more cocaine or sugar water. Guess which one they chose? Yep, you guessed it, the sugar water.  Just like the rats, people can’t seem to get enough of it. In fact, another study shows that the more sugar we eat the more our brain is altered into thinking we are hungry so we keep on eating…and eating…and eating.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, we are receiving cues constantly to eat more. This is particularly true of our children. Ever watched Saturday morning cartoons with a child? It is filled with commercials of sugary foods. Even the shows are filled with branding references to the same sugary foods. Or their favorite characters are co-branded with unhealthy foods to provoke parents to buy them to appease their kids. Kids can’t get away from the cues whether it is TV commercials, school cafeterias, the images in their gyms or sports fields, the check out isles at the grocery store, the photos in fast food restaurants, or the billboards on the way to school. From the moment kids are born we feed them sugar in just about all the foods they eat, including baby formula, and we brainwash them with images of sugary foods.

The movie makes the stunning point that sugar, like any addiction, is ruining our lives and our health. We are even killing our kids with it. Not only is our sugar addiction ruining our lives it is bankrupting our families and our government. And if that wasn’t bad enough it is also limiting our ability to perform.  We aren’t fit enough to protect our country or clear headed enough to be innovative. We are too focused on our addiction and the diseases it causes to be able to do anything else.

It does get you fighting mad. The movie clearly wants to get us all mad enough to do something about the obesity epidemic and one of its key culprits—sugar. This movie is a wake up call. There is no doubt we are obligated to get involved and force the change we need. Just like we did with the tobacco industry.

Sugar is a key culprit in the obesity epidemic but it is not the only culprit. It still goes back to the super sized world we live in and the quantity of food and calories we consume on a daily basis. We can’t just demonize sugar. We have to truly change the way we live and demand that the government support us in our change to a healthy lifestyle through its policies and mandates whether it be in the schools, our healthcare system, the USDA or FDA.  Fed Up clearly shows us the need for change.

This is an important movie for everyone to see. Just don’t watch it with a bowl of buttered popcorn. You will thank me later.