Are You Fed Up?

By Cameron Jenkins

Are you fed up with the food industry and all its secrets? I sure am. Being a Nutritional Sciences major with a newly added double major of Food Science, I am constantly reading about and studying food. I am faced with the facts every day. Food is what fuels our lives– unfortunately as a nation, we are abusing this very important thing.

As many of you probably know, the US is struggling with an obesity epidemic. Many factors and causes of obesity are discussed in the documentary Fed Up, an eye-opening movie available on Netflix. The main discussion of the movie is around sugar in processed foods and its effect on the population. Below, I will discuss a couple of interesting points from the film.

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Don’t blame the obese person. Blame the food industry. This is a major issue discussed in Fed Up. One may think that it is an individual’s fault for becoming fat, but it is not completely true. The movie explains how advertising, hidden ingredients, and other factors lead to the result we have today.

The food companies are acting like tobacco companies did many years ago. Look at the bad reputation cigarettes have now versus to the 1980’s; there are labels saying how it is a cancerous product, and smoking is banned in most public places. Why can’t we put a warning label on added sugar foods? The documentary touches on this subject.

Dr. David Ludwig, a professor at Harvard University, comments on sending children into gastric bypass surgery, and states, “What does it say about our society if we would rather send our children to such mutilating procedures but yet lack the political will to properly fund school nutrition and ban junk food advertising to children? It reflects a  systematic political failure. We are the richest society in the world. We have failed because we have placed private profit and special interests ahead of public health.” To me, this quote says it all. This issue is also widely discussed, as the film follows the lives of obese children throughout.

TOFI is an acronym for “thin on the outside, fat on the inside.” In the film, a family of different sizes goes through a MRI, a machine that can determine Body Mass Index (BMI). The results are startling, as the obese child compared with his thin brother is not necessarily less healthy. The thin child might as well be obese and suffer from the same health problems derived from being overweight.

The film aims to educate its audience about what really is going on behind the food label. It presents startling facts from various health professionals, food companies, and university professors. I’d highly recommend giving this film your time.

I have watched the documentary a couple times now. Each time I watch it, it reignites the flame inside of me that burns and yearns for a much-needed change. The change is slowly coming, as more people are recognizing the food industry’s influence as overbearing. Chain grocery stores are developing their own organic food products. Food deserts are growing bountiful with fresh food. Educators like the producer of this movie are making the facts known. To top it off, there are wonderful advisors and students with passion about the environment and the food produced from it right here in RISE; my fellow peers are being the change altogether, and I am elated to be a part of it. Working together, our entire nation can and will have the strength to regain our food rights back once and for all.

 

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