Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 1 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News    H4'ed 5/16/14

Katie Couric-narrated Documentary Fed Up Exposes Causes of US Obesity

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     (# of views)   1 comment
Author 1353
Message Martha Rosenberg
Become a Fan
  (84 fans)
- Advertisement -


Released in theaters on May 9, the documentary Fed Up untangles the roots of obesity in America's youth. Directed by Stephanie Soechtig and narrated by Katie Couric, Fed Up does not shrink from telling viewers how the government's decades-long capitulation to Big Food and its lobbyists has fostered an epidemic of excess pounds. The national focus on diet, diet foods and exercise is not abating the obesity epidemic and actually making it worse, charges the film.


(Image by Martha Rosenberg)   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

Examples of capitulation to Big Food are many in the film. In 1977, the McGovern Report warned about an impending obesity epidemic and suggested revised USDA guidelines to recommend people eat less foods high in fat and sugar. The egg, sugar and other Big Food industries, seeing a risk to profits, demanded that guidelines not say "eat less" of the offending foods but rather eat more "low-fat" foods. Ka-ching. They won over the objection of Sen. McGovern.

- Advertisement -

In 2006, the United Nation's World Health Organization (WHO) released similar food recommendations and then Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tommy G. Thompson actually flew to Geneva, according to Fed Up, to threaten WHO that if the guidelines stood, the US would withdraw its WHO financial support. Again, Big Food won.

The US government plays both sides of the obesity street--admonishing people to eat right while pushing the foods that make them fat--because of the USDA's double mission of protecting the nation's health and protecting the health of the nation's farmers. According to Fed Up, the low fat movement allowed the USDA to maximize those split loyalties.

First, in order to maintain taste in low-fat foods (which tend to be bland once the fat is removed), sugar became the evil stand-in. Much of Fed Up examines the role of excess sugar in obesity, metabolic disorder and food addiction, especially in soft drinks. (The film's exposure of Big Food's financially-driven infiltration of public school lunchrooms with junk food is astonishing.) But the low-fat craze had another pernicious effect. All that unused fat had to go somewhere, says Fed Up, and it ended up in the dairy industry's cheese operations. Even as the USDA recommended "low-fat" diets, it worked with the industry group, Dairy Management, to "cheesify" the American diet and even worked with Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy's and Domino's!

- Advertisement -

Appearing in Fed Up are food experts Marion Nestle, Michael Pollan, Deborah Cohen, author of A Big Fat Crisis, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler, President Bill Clinton and award-winning reporter Duff Wilson who uncovered high-level conflicts of interest in the food and beverage industry. Fed Up chronicles the struggle of obese children who have become addicted to food through unethical advertising, snack ubiquity, enabling parents (who also look overweight in the film), bad school environments but primarily a government that has caved to Big Food. The government practiced similar complicity with Big Tobacco, Fed Up accurately points out, until the death statistics could not be ignored anymore.

It is too bad that Fed Up ignored what many believe is a bigger reason for American obesity than sugar: Big Meat's use of growth enhancers like antibiotics, hormones, ractopamine and even arsenic. It certainly makes sense that chemicals and hormones that balloon livestock into huge carcasses with no increase in the amount of their feed would have the same effect on people who eat the meat. But only recently has the role of antibiotics in childhood obesity been examined, notably by Martin Blaser of New York University Langone Medical Center. Eighty percent of US antibiotics go to livestock and residues are regularly found in US meat.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Rate It | View Ratings

Martha Rosenberg Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Grassley Investigates Lilly/WebMD link Reported by Washington Post

The Drug Store in Your Tap Water

It's the Cymbalta Stupid

Are You Sure You're Not Psychotic Asks Shameless Drug Company?

Another Poorly Regulated "Derivative"--the Antidepressant Pristiq

MRSA and More. Antibiotics Linked to Obesity and Allergies, Too