One of the bigger documentary sub-genre booms in recent years has been in the area of food docs exploring and/or decrying what we eat, the way we eat and why we probably shouldn’t be eating it. Films like Food, Inc., Diet for a New America, Forks Over Knives, King Corn, and Super Size Me have all taken a stab at educating Americans on what we put in our mouths. More importantly, they’ve tried to educate us on what we’re putting in our children’s mouths.
But if there’s been one constant through the years it’s this: America just doesn’t give a shit.
The latest film hoping against hope to change the nation’s lethargic stupidity and penchant for slowburn child abuse is Fed Up from director Stephanie Soechtig and producer Katie Couric. The film addresses the already established problem — Americans are getting fatter and sicker — but instead of simply saying we need to exercise more and eat more fruits & vegetables the film points an accusatory finger at big business and the government that’s supporting them.
Check out the depressing trailer for Fed Up below.
The trailer is filled with statements that should be enough to terrify viewers including how today’s kids are the first generation expected to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, how 95% of Americans will be overweight or obese in the next 20 years and how 1 out of every 3 Americans will have diabetes by 2050. It’s easy to take statistics with a grain of salt (or sugar in this case), but even if these predictions are only partly right they’re still fairly frightening.
But details aside none of this is really news is it? That’s not to belittle the film as I haven’t seen it yet and I’m sure it’s well-intentioned, but can anyone honestly claim ignorance on this issue these days? The film promises some specific enlightenment, but it’s no surprise that Americans eat terribly on a consistent basis.
The issues at hand are varied and layered between foods designed to be addictive and cheap and vast populations whose neighborhood choices consist of nothing but processed “edibles.” Sugar in 80% of the foods on our shelves translates to a much higher percentage in urban locales. The government, and their historically cozy relationship to corporations, is equally to blame between unnecessary subsidies for farmers and ridiculous rules for school lunches.
Hopefully this film opens some eyes. Hopefully it leads people to make changes in their habits. Hopefully it leads to changes spearheaded by our representatives in Washington D.C. Hopefully…
Fed Up hits theaters on May 9, 2014.