Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Fed Up

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements including smoking images, and brief mild language
Profanity:Brief mild language
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:Smoking
Violence/Scariness:Scary statistics about the impact of bad food choices
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:May 9, 2014
DVD Release Date:September 9, 2014

Here’s another inconvenient truth.  Our food is killing us.  And that’s because of something even more poisonous, the corruption of our political system through diversion of corporate money to politicians through campaign contributions and lobbying.fed up poster

Laurie David, producer of the Oscar-winning Al Gore documentary about climate change, is back with “Fed Up” (the poster charmingly shows M&M’s labeled FU), co-produced by Katie Couric.  The message of the movie is that it isn’t a lack of self-discipline and exercise that is making us the most obese generation in history.  It is what we are eating.  The bigger message is about why we are eating what we are eating.  It is because we have outsourced public policy decisions about health and nutrition to corporations that don’t mind making our bottoms fat as long as it makes their bottom lines fatter.

For the first time ever, obesity presents a greater threat to human health than hunger.  And for the first time ever children are facing obesity.  This is in part because budget cuts in the Reagan years led schools to shut down their cafeteria kitchens and turn over the school lunchrooms to fast food operators, piling high-fat, high-sugar processed food onto children’s trays.  How much high fat and how much sugar?  What are the health effects of processed food?  We don’t really know because corporations spend a lot of money to thwart government regulations and academic research that would give us that information.  In one shocking segment of the film, we learn that a US cabinet official traveled to a global conference to threaten the cutting off of hundreds of millions of dollars in US funding if the portions of a report on the detrimental health impacts of sugar (putting it in almost the same category as tobacco) were not removed.  That doesn’t make it less true, of course.  It just makes it less known.  The comparisons to the tobacco companies are not unwarranted.

YouTube Preview Image

The documentary is less effective when it follows several of kids and their families as they struggle with diets and self-loathing.  But it is devastating when it documents the pernicious effect of corporate lobbying in thwarting government attempts to make healthier choices — or even better information — available.  Think I’m exaggerating?  See how they’re responding to the movie.  Hint: the answer is not a candid conversation with a commitment to rigorous scientific examination of the health effects of sugar, fat, and processed food.

Parents should know that there is brief bad language, smoking, and references to the dire effects of poor food choices.

Family discussion: What would you advise the families in this film?  What surprised you the most?  What will you change about the way you eat?

If you like this, try: “Super Size Me,” “Food Fight,” “The Price of Sugar,” and “Food, Inc.”  And try some healthier recipes!



Previous Posts

Believe Me
Will Bakke has followed his two thought-provoking documentaries on faith with a remarkably smart, funny, brave, and heartfelt first feature film that explores religion and values without ever falling

posted 11:06:16am Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Gone Girl's Rosamund Pike
Rosamund Pike delivers a stunning breakthrough performance in this week's "Gone Girl." She's been a favorite of mine for a long time, for her elegant voice and precise acting choices. It's a good

posted 8:00:23am Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Telling Time in "All That Jazz"
One of my favorite writers provides insights into one of my favorite (if flawed) movies -- Matt Zoller Seitz created a beautiful video essay about Bob Fosse's autobiographical "All That Jazz" for the Criterion Edition, and then they were unable to use it due to rights problems with the movie clips h

posted 3:19:48pm Sep. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Tomorrow on PBS: The Makers: Comedy
Be sure to tune in to PBS tomorrow night for what is sure to be one of the highlights from one of the all-time best series on PBS: "The Makers," the story of women in America.  Tomorrow's episode is about women in comedy. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHxHMgSF7UI[/youtube]

posted 8:00:45am Sep. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Tomorrow on HBO: "The Fifty Year Argument" -- Scorsese on The New York Review of Books
Once upon a time, there was no internet. And instead of bloggers and pundits and tweets we had something called public intellectuals, people who read widely, thought deeply, and wrote long, passionate, carefully reasoned, thoroughly documented and beautifully written articles about the important is

posted 3:59:26pm Sep. 28, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.