26 May 2014 Katie Couric Release Documentary on Obesity: Fed Up
Released in theaters May 9, executive producers Katie Couric and Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of An Inconvenient Truth) tackle obesity in America in the new film, Fed Up. Citing that one third of American adults are obese and more than nine million children are overweight, the film looks to uncover what’s going on in the U.S.
Couric also cites that in the next 20 years, 95 percent of Americans will be overweight or obese. Interviewing experts, such as Marion Nestle, Michael Pollan, and President Bill Clinton, among others, the film uncovers conflicts of interest in the food and beverage industries.
Couric challenges the notion of “calories in / calories out” in the film, specifically in the thinking that all calories are the same. (See Kathy Isack’s post, “Is Calorie Counting Still the Way to Achieve Success?”) One interesting stat Couric’s film notes is that between 1980 – 2000 fitness memberships doubled, as did obesity rates!
“We cannot exercise our way out of this problem,” says Laurie David. “If you took one can of soda, a kid would have to bike for 1 hour and 15 minutes to burn off that one can of soda. There’s not enough hours in the day to do this energy balance thing.”
The film also ponders many other interesting/alarming stats:
- Children today are the first generation in history expected to live shorter life spans than their parents.
- In 1980 there were zero cases of Type 2 Diabetes in adolescents. By 2010, there were 57,638 cases.
- One soda a day increases a child’s chance of obesity by 60 percent.
One criticism of the film has been its near sole focus on sugar as the culprit behind the obesity epidemic, when many people would also argue that we should consider the quality of other foods we eat, such as antibiotic-laden meats and GMO vegetables.
As part of the promotion for the film, Couric and David set up the Fed Up Challenge, which is to go sugar-free for 10 days. At the time of this writing, nearly 28k people have signed up for the challenge. To help others find where sugar “hides” in foods, participants have been uploading pictures of their foods along their journey.
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