Fed Up—Movie Review
Stan Gardner, MD, CNS
See Fed Up if you want:
- to understand the true cause of obesity
- your family to eat better food
- to understand the power of the processed food industry
- to realize the government cannot (will not) help you be healthy
- to understand that health for you and your family must be your personal responsibility
Epidemic of Obesity
In the US today, 1/3 of Americans are overweight and 1/3 are obese. At the present rate, in 2 decades 95% of the population will be overweight or obese. By 2050, 1/3 of the US will have diabetes mellitus, type II. The next generation of children will be the first generation in the history of the United States that will live shorter than their parents.
True Cause of Obesity—It’s All Preventable
Sugar is the cause of obesity, not fat. There are 600,000 food items in stores; 80% of them have added sugar. When the NIH and the Senate Committee came up with the “Dietary Goals for the US” in the 1970s and 80s, saying that fat was bad, the food industry doubled the sugar and halved the fat in most foods. (This supposedly made food healthier, although there was no scientific support for that. Even after 5 very expensive studies trying to prove that fat was bad and caused obesity, it could not be proven. But it remained the prevailing theory.)
The processed food industry then targeted children in their marketing, and Ronald McDonald entered the scene. More recent studies have shown that sugar stimulates the brain in the same manner as cocaine and heroin. Laboratory rats preferred sugar water over cocaine when given a choice. Sugar is addictive.
How the Government Contributes to Obesity
When the World Health Organization (WHO) was ready to release a document of dietary guidelines restricting sugar intake to 10%, the Bush administration threatened to withdraw $405M support of WHO if the document was released. It was not printed.
The government subsidizes the processed food industry to the tune of $Billions, much of it through subsidizing corn to make high-fructose corn syrup. Decades ago when across the board cuts were made to all services, the school lunch program was also cut. In an effort to stay solvent, schools set up partnerships with fast food establishments and soda pop distributors. This also provided a source of revenue for the schools.
The Lies that Perpetuate the Obesity Epidemic
Robert Lustig, MD and neuro-endocrinologist, maintains the food industry is perpetuating three falsehoods to distract Americans from the problem of sugar:
- Obesity is the issue (the real issue is the metabolic illness associated with obesity, which also is seen in non-obese children. While 17% of children are obese, more than 50% of children have the metabolic problems that are present in obese children.)
- A calorie is a calorie.
- It’s about personal responsibility. “It’s about how active kids are.” “Voracious appetites and they don’t exercise enough.”
An Attempt to Change It
Michelle Obama became quite the early advocate for healthy eating and significant changes in the processed food industry. Then the food industry decided to partner with her in this endeavor. One and one-half trillion calories were trimmed off foods. Unfortunately, this only amounted to about 20 calories per day reduction per person. Her Let’s Move It campaign shifted from moving or changing the food industry, to supplying more healthy food, to more exercise. The wife of the President of the United States could not move the nation toward healthier food options.
The Junk Food/Processed Foods/Sugar Industries are Using the Same Techniques as the Tobacco Industry Used in the 1950s and 60s
Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent through campaign donations and extremely effective lobbyists to keep the status quo relative to tobacco. In the 1950s and 1960s the tobacco industry emphasis was on their assertion that the science was uncertain. The tobacco industry sponsored game shows and cartoons. Endorsements were made by doctors, dentists and celebrities. Finally when a 1991 study showed that 6 year olds recognized “Joe the Camel” as much as Mickey Mouse, R.J. Reynolds was told to remove it from their marketing. (Does any of this sound like the sugar industry politics of today?) In 2009 the RICO case found the tobacco industry guilty of engaging in a decades-long conspiracy to defraud the American public about the health risks of tobacco. The future of the tobacco industry presently lies in off-shore production and marketing to developing countries.
Dr. Mark Hyman was interviewed extensively on the documentary. He proposes:
- A 10-day sugar detox diet
- Taxation on soda pop
- Eliminate food marketing to kids
- Make labels more transparent
- Get rid of all junk food in schools
Dr. Robert Lustig proposes the following solutions:
- Warnings on soft drink cans
- Equal time advertising fresh fruits and vegetables
- Voluntary agreements to reduce sugar content
Dr. Gardner’s comments:
We must assume personal responsibility for our health. It will start with a diet of real food and no sugar. Although the WHO wants to limit sugar to 10% of the diet, there is no known minimum need for sugar or carbohydrates. We will get all the carbohydrates we need through eating good food.
The school lunch only accounts for 180 of the 1095 meals (16%) your children will eat. You may send lunch to school, or your child may choose healthier food (which is becoming more available), but even if your children eat school lunch, you still control the vast majority of their meals.
Although the movie did not bring out exactly how and why sugar causes fat, it is an important concept. If you were on a 2000 calorie diet and those calories were burned throughout the day, you would feel good because that is what your body needs. If you eat 500 calories as sugar, the normal insulin response would drive those calories into the storage form called fat, because the body does not need that rapid infusion of glucose into the body. The other 1500 calories would be normally burned throughout the day, but you don’t feel good because your body needs and utilizes 2000 calories. You eat 500 more calories to feel good. Thus you gain fat (and weight).
The movie Fed Up is an excellent resource for information about our health. Its message will disturb you, but it is well worth watching, and it may transform YOUR health. Bon appetit!
If you would like to know more about Dr. Gardner’s philosophies, visit him at his website keystohealing.net. His office number is (801) 302-5397. He will soon be releasing his popular Sweet Freedom From Sugar program. If you would like to be placed on the interest list so you will be informed of the starting date, visit sweetfreedomforme.com