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Obesity epidemic. Who’s to Blame?

A new documentary, Fed Up has recently been released and it has caught my attention in a positive way.  The film opens the debate about who’s to blame for the childhood obesity epidemic we are living nowadays. Over the years, the finger has been pointed at parents, video games, happy meals and the type of food given to kids at school. This documentary alleges it all boils down to a simple substance most of us consume every day: SUGAR.

 The pushers of “the new tobacco,” according to the film, are the food industry and the governments. The film features scientist-doctors like Robert Lustig and David Ludwig, and real food advocates like Michael Pollan, Marion Nestle and Mark Bittman. Couric also takes Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to task, as well as former President Bill Clinton, for failing to combat the problem during his administration. But the film’s true stars are several overweight children who are trying — and failing — to lose weight.

Fed Up is a glossy package that gets its warnings across loud and clear:  WE NEED TO CHANGE WHAT WE EAT.  The documentary is directing the attention to American’s lifestyle but we have to be honest and accept that this epidemic does not live only in America. Britain is marching to the same direction.

“What if our whole approach to this epidemic has been dead wrong?”  the film’s narrator, TV journalist Katie Couric, says in the film’s opening. With a mix of dramatic music, scary soundbites and powerful images of kids injecting insulin into their chubby tummies, Fed Up argues that the children are not to blame. For the rising number of overweight and obese kids, the mantra of “eat less, move more” is an impossible goal. They simply can’t circumvent the onslaught of marketing that has made them into junk-food junkies, the film says.

The film concludes with a list of the 20 companies, industry groups and politicians who refused to talk to the producers.

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About Tiago Silva

Personal Trainer and Nutrition Adviser in the field of weight loss and muscle gain. Multisports fanatic and current competing in long distance triathlon.

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