Have you seen the documentary, FED UP yet? It shows what many of us have suspected for a long time: added sugar in our food works against our efforts to lose weight through diet and exercise. Products marketed to children help to create habits and dependencies that follow them throughout their lives. In fact, they see about 10 food related ads on TV every single day… and most of them are for sugar, fat and salt laden foods. Our bodies– particularly our brains– love sugar, fat and salt laden foods; and the industry has conducted extensive research to help them deliver those ingredients in optimum amounts.
The food industry protects their interests by ensuring the system is rigged in their favor. They fund research and place people in positions within the very government agencies meant to protect consumers.
When I watched the documentary, I was absolutely dumbfounded to see how many schools are catered by companies like Coca Cola, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. While it’s been over 30 years since I’ve eaten a school lunch, what was shown was very different from what I remembered being served. Ironically, the kids weren’t interested in the meals prepared by the school. Who wouldn’t rather have a taco?
Now consider that over 30 million children eat a meal at school every single day (some more than one meal) and you’ll understand why “Big Food” has worked so hard to convince everyone that their products are healthy and great for our kids. There’s big bucks at stake!
But it goes even beyond that. How many times during the day are kids fed some sort of sugar by well meaning adults? Sports drinks at soccer practice and cupcakes for the class party are just two examples. At home many children start the day with a glass of orange juice and a flavored yogurt. Is it any wonder two thirds of adults and one third of children are overweight or obese?
Those of us interested in the politics behind food have been aware of this phenomenon for some time, but in 2014 the FED UP documentary hit the mainstream and has since raised awareness across the country. Now the producers, including documentary host Katie Couric, want to make a copy of the movie and educational materials available to every school and teacher that wants one. They’ve set up a Kickstarter campaign that runs through the end of September, 2015 to fund the project.
Here’s what they have to say:
FED UP, the movie that exposed one of the greatest health crisis of our time and the hidden truth about the food we eat, just launched a new food education campaign. Together with a community of individuals who are passionate about real food and food education in schools, they are creating a Fed Up Food Education Program that will be free for schools and teachers. Head to their Kickstarter page to learn how you can help: http://bit.ly/FedUpinSchools
There’s a lot of push back in the media about this documentary. Some if it comes from the food industry itself, and some from various advocacy groups which have a different solution to the epidemic of obesity. Regardless, this film will open a lot of eyes about how foodstuffs are developed and marketed and how heavily vested the industry is within our government and scientific community.
A $15 donation will pay for one kit which includes a DVD, an unlimited screening license, lesson plans for all grades and other resources for both teachers and students. You can pay by credit or debit card (I wish they used PayPal, but they don’t). Please visit the FED UP Kickstarter page before September 30, 2015 to help.
If you’d like to see the movie yourself you’ll find it on Amazon, iTunes and Netflix.