Reviewed byDr_SaganVote: 8/10/10
Although I am a Doctor of medicine and these facts are known by mesince decades, I'll try to evaluate the efficiency of this documentarymore than the facts which are undisputed.
The "not enough data" or "the relation is unclear" for many globalhazards, are arguments that is constantly presented by all the majorcorporations. The pollutants in the atmosphere, the radiation emittedby cellphones and many other dangers are overlooked by the governmentsbecause of the enormous profits of major industries. To tell you thetruth if these factories were to be closed probably millions of peoplewould lose their jobs and their families could starve, literally.
That's not an excuse though. You can't (I heard the exact example insome TV series) to sell drugs with the excuse that YOU need to surviveand provide to your family.
Fed Up, if nothing else, seems like a very credible Documentary. Withinterviewees such as professors of medicine from universities likeHarvard, an ex-head of the FDA, and even an ex-POTUS (Bill Clinton)it's difficult to have doubts about that.
The "emotional" segments with actual families who suffer from obesityand what goes with it, are occupy a large part of the film but aren'ttoo melodramatic.
The facts are presented with a clear way. Modern infographics aremerged with real life examples to make each message as comprehensibleit can be. You also get to realize some "weird" truths like the factthat while the US government is trying make the citizens and especiallykids to eat healthier, at the same time tries to promote the use ofagricultural products like corn when corn syrup is the number oneprovider of the sugar in many many foods.
The statistics are to be feared. 50% of American will experience theconsequences of obesity even if their weight is in normal range. Themovie rings the bell for the future generations too.
The production has high production values and a modern feel.
Just read that some critics wrote things like "A whirlwind of talkingheads, found footage, scary statistics and cartoonish graphics".Well...that's a good thing! The problem is that all these facts andguidelines are often written in poorly made pamphlets or boring videos.You want nowadays to pass your messages in a modern way. Fast cuts,graphics and music are essential so the movie won't get boring and theviewers stop watching and miss the message.
A good effort overall. I recommend to see it, and to take it seriously.
Reviewed bySteve PulaskiVote: 8/10/10
Fed Up is a clearly well-meaning documentary, and its producers,director, and parties involved obviously bear emotions on the foodindustry that are perfectly in-line with the title of the documentarythey are making. However, it bothers me that reviews of the documentarypraise the film as something groundbreaking and that its discoveriesand examination of the food industry is shocking. Did everyone forgetthe documentary Super Size Me, which garnered nearly-unanimous praiseand just came out ten years ago? What about Food, Inc., anotherdocumentary concerning what we eat and where it comes from, or even itsfollow-up documentary A Place at the Table, released last year? Asstylistically sublime and efficient as Fed Up is, it's not newinformation, but, maybe like the recent NSA/wiretapping controversy,maybe we just need a friendly reminder with more bells and whistles.
Fed Up is narrated by news anchor/talk-show host Katie Couric, whobrings her perky-mannerisms and clarity to the table when discussingthe food industry's peddling of high-sugar products, in addition toillustrating the tremendous influx of diseases like diabetes, heartproblems, and obesity in America. Couric examines how America has seennumbers and their pant-sizes explode in the last couple decades, afterthe McGovern Report in the late seventies attempted to implementharsher food restrictions and advertising campaigns on the foodindustry. The industry responded by releasing many products claiming"low fat," "reduced fat," and "no fat" products which, despite theirostensible health benefits, literally taint their possibilities forbeing nutritious by adding massive amounts of sugar to compensate forthe flavor fat provided. In addition, ad campaigns of the food industrywere not given very detailed restrictions, allowing corporations topeddle food to kids that had little to no nutritional value and resultin health problems from an early age.
How anyone could see any of this information to be new orgroundbreaking is beyond me, but I continue to digress. Fed Up, afterall, is a competent and intensely watchable documentary, illustrating agrowing problem in America. The topic it touches on is one I've beentelling people about for years, when my friends and I engage in debatesabout food and the health of America, in that poor-quality, processedfood is ubiquitous beyond belief. Service stations have turned into gasstations/convenient stores, stocking every brand of soda, chips, andfrozen foods one could imagine, and with no restrictions withadvertising and lower-cost ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup inthe foods, the corporations wisely look to glitz their products withbillion dollar advertising campaigns to make sure your children knowtheir product, by every color on the box to the plastic-wrap you needto peel off of the tray.
In addition to exploring the utter anomaly of how gym memberships inAmerica could double, while obesity rates do the same, directressStephanie Soechtig also illustrates stories from obese teens all acrossAmerica, who are committing themselves to make healthy eating choices.While these kids are only twelve, fifteen, and even as young as ten oreleven, they condemn the idea of a diet, stating consuming healthyfoods is how we should be eating all the time, but nonetheless, feelsoul-crushed to learn that their lifestyle changes result inlittle-to-no weight loss whatsoever. Some of them, through theirdietary ventures, experiences weight gain. While this part of thedocumentary steers into emotionally manipulating territory, if onelooks past this effect and seriously contemplates the devotion of thekids and the fact that everything they were told to do to lose weightisn't working, it becomes a very upsetting situation to witness.
Watching these kids in tough positions makes me recall my own foodhabits, which are flawed to say the least. I weigh about one-hundredand forty pounds at age eighteen, am roughly five feet, ten inchestall, and, for the last two years of my high school career, scarcelyate breakfast, ate a muffin and an RC Cola for lunch, occasionally atea balanced dinner, but mostly just played it by ear, and still kind oflive that way today. When I was younger, my family ate a balanceddinner nearly every night we could, with meat, a vegetable, a salad,and a side of corn, mashed potatoes, rice, or stuffing. Then both myparents began working irregular work hours, I got a job and beganworking irregular hours, and to this day, we only eat together onMondays.
This is the point Fed Up never brings up when questioning why Americanscontinue to buy into the cheap, alternative food that is heavilyprocessed and infused with sugar when there are obviously healthyoptions. Few have time to cook when jobs demand so much of us today.It's far too difficult, especially when we can head down to the localfast food place, get a bag of food impersonally thrown at us at thedrive-thru window, and get home with money in our wallets and time tospare.
Fed Up really hits its stride at the documentary's conclusion, when itcompares the food industry's peddling of garbage to the manipulativeand cloyingly false advertisements of the tobacco industry about fourdecades ago, which almost seem like farcical parodies today. Could youbelieve we bought their lie that smoking was sexy? Could you believe wethought it was okay to suck anything other than oxygen into our lungsand believed that it wasn't quietly hurting us? The filmmakers behindFed Up believe (or hope) we'll be saying the same about the foodindustry in a short time. All I can say is if we continue getting"wakeup calls" like this documentary, we should learn to make theirimpact last before being greeted with a fairly similar product inrelative short notice.
Reviewed byMacCarmelVote: 10/10/10
The film itself was disappointing in it's often unreadable graphics andsometimes ADD-like pacing of images but I give it a 10 for theimportant messages that need to find as wide an audience as possible.One of those messages is of the extreme amounts of added sugar in theaverage American diet but the other is about the tremendous conflict ofinterest in most government agencies, and our public servants inCongress, which have chosen to protect corporate profits over thehealth and safety of our citizens.
The more one learns about the causes of obesity and how to effecthealthy weight loss the more one understands that most doctors andnutritionists are subject to the same misinformation and propaganda asthe rest of us. It's not about exercise nor is it about calories. It'sabout the quality and the combination of the foods you consume.
I strongly recommend the books of Dr. Mark Hyman to anyone who wants tolearn more. Especially "The 10 Day Detox Diet" which is a fast,uncomplicated read with very clear instructions. Diet, in this sense,is less of a weight loss scheme and more of a well explained, sensibleplan on how to eat for the rest of your life to stay healthy. Weightloss is a byproduct of healthy eating. I recently followed his detoxand lost 10 pounds by removing sugar and other inflammatories from mydiet. I'm a very good cook, cook all my own food, and purchase nearlyeverything at the farmer's market. I thought I was already eating quitewell. But I was ignorant on certain foods, such as beans and starchyvegetables, which rapidly turn to sugar once consumed. The body has asimilar reaction to foods which turn into sugar quickly as it does toeating raw sugar directly. The point is that even if you think you havea healthy diet there are probably simple things you can do to make iteven better.
Michael Pollan has offered some of the very best food advice that istoo simple to ever forget. Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.Don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. Don'teat anything with more than 5 ingredients unless you made it yourself.I know that my grandmother wouldn't recognize most of what is sold inany supermarket in the country as actual food. What's on the shelvesthese days is more like futuristic food-like substances. Reminds me ofhow we used to giggle when Velveeta was marketed as an "authenticcheese food". That's about as far away from actual cheese, or realfood, as one can get. And Kraft was being surprisingly honest aboutthat.
As with most things nowadays, one has to learn to read the codedlanguage of the marketing campaign as well as the not entirely truthfulnutritional labels and ingredients list. Because while Big Food may besubject to some sort of wrist slap for outright lies they haveofficially sanctioned governmental approval to be as purposefullymisleading as possible.
Upending the conventional wisdom of why we gain weight and how to lose it, Fed Up unearths a dirty secret of the American food industry-far more of us get sick from what we eat than anyone has previously realized. Filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig and TV journalist Katie Couric lead us through this potent exposé that uncovers why-despite media attention, the public's fascination with appearance, and government policies to combat childhood obesity-generations of American children will now live shorter lives than their parents did.