Fed Up

Tim and I sat down for a relaxing movie night earlier this week and I was thrilled to see that ‘Fed Up’ was available on Netflix. (See the trailer here.) I had heard a lot of great things about this documentary and was eager to watch it. I must admit, I was also a bit apprehensive because my friends who have watched this movie have made some large dietary changes, and I just wasn’t sure if I was up for that. I mean, 30 seconds after reading ‘Eating Animals’ caused me to be vegetarian (pescetarian, if you want to be technical) and that’s been going on for… oh, 4 years now (much to Tim’s chagrin)!

Well, if you have the opportunity to watch ‘Fed Up’, I can’t recommend it enough. I think it’s especially necessary to watch if you have kids. I was horrified and motivated in all of the right ways.

Fed Up Documentary

Here are some of my takeaways from the documentary:

  • Sugar is highly addictive.
  • The food industry says that 25% of daily calories should come from sugar, but the WHO (World Health Organization) says that number should be 10%. When that 10% statistic came out, politicians in DC became upset and threatened to pull money from the WHO.
  • You may notice there is no percentage on food labels next to the row that sugar is listed. That is intentional because the food industry doesn’t want us to know that number.
  • We have been told that to lose weight we must burn more calories than we take in. This is simply not true. In order to lose weight, we need to make sure the calories we eat are better calories.
  • … because not all calories are created equal!
  • Fruit juice is not good for us because it’s filled with sugar but there is no fiber, compared to real fruit which is good for us. The fiber is important because it allows the sugar to stay in our body longer and be digested slowly, preventing our body from turning it directly into fat.
  • When we (as a society) began focusing on lower fat foods, companies made the same processed foods with lower fat but higher sugar, in order to make the foods taste better.
  • Food companies are in business to make money, not to keep Americans safe & healthy.
  • The food industry wants us to think that we are overweight because we’re sitting around watching TV, and not because of the food we eat. The problem is, that we’re overweight because of the food we eat.
  • 1 in 3 Americans are overweight.
  • The obesity epidemic has been going on for the past 30 years (or so).
  • Children as young as 2 and 3 years old can recognize brands, which is why companies market to infants/children.
  • Some baby formulas have sugar in them, causing newborns to be addicted to sugar right away.
  • School lunches are way worse than they were when we were younger (from what I remember) and a lot of schools have direct partnerships with fast food companies. 80% of public schools have partnerships with Coca Cola or Pepsi.
  • 30% of America is obese, but 40% of non-obese people have the same metabolic dysfunction that the obese population has, which means over 50% of Americans are unhealthy.
  • Health insurance companies are buying stock in fast food companies. Think about that one for a minute…
  • This issue is similar to the tobacco issue 30-40 years ago. The government and media finally demonized the tobacco industry made big changes. Is this is what is going to happen to the fast/junk food industry?
  • Soda is the cigarettes of the 21st century. (Or at least that’s how we’ll view it in a few years.)
  • At our current rate, 95% of all Americans will be overweight in 20 years. And 1/3 Americans will have diabetes.
  • 75% of our health care dollars go to fighting metabolic diseases.
  • If we want to cure obesity, we need to demonize certain food industries.
  • Of course, politicians do not want to take on the food industry (and lose the lobbying dollars from them) so they have gone easier on them.
  • This is the first generation of children who are expected to have shorter life spans than their parents. Us.
  • The good news is, progress is being made as more attention is given to this issue – so there is hope! The bottom line is that we (as a society) need to change the way we produce and consume food. Yes, exercise is important, but what we eat is even more important.
  • The most important thing we can do is make our own food. That means cooking! It’s vitally important to eat REAL food, meaning food that comes from nature.

In our house, we’ve been trying to eat healthy foods lately, especially now that Clara is eating solids. It was a real light-bulb moment for me when I thought ‘gee, I’m not going to give her that (cookies, chips, cake, etc), because it’s not good for her at all!’ and then I realized I eat that stuff all of the time. Ummm duh, Self, if it’s not good for Clara, it’s not good for me, either! Now I try to only eat foods that I would feel comfortable giving to Clara.

This means we buy more organic produce and we eat more home-cooked and plant-based meals – and that was before watching this documentary! Now we’re paying more attention to the processed foods we buy and ensure that we know what each and every ingredient on the label is. If we don’t recognize an ingredient, we’re going to try to stay away from that product.

Also, I’m more closely monitoring how much sugar we’re consuming. I was already cutting down on candies and sweets in our house, but now I feel more educated and aware than I was previously.

I’ll keep you posted on how this goes!

Have you seen ‘Fed Up’?! I would love to hear your thoughts.

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