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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Life + Arts

Review: Fed Up

fed up

When one reads a nutrition label, the first question that comes from looking at the numbers for fat, sugar, and sodium is whether or not the product will have a real impact their health. The question that “Fed Up,” the new documentary film from executive producers Katie Couric and Laurie David, asks is whether the American public realizes how much damage those products are really doing to their bodies and the consequences of not doing anything about it.

Narrated by Couric, “Fed Up” alternates between the stories of four children who are struggling with childhood obesity and the bleak outlook of food corporations that play a major role in contributing to the obesity that is rampant throughout the United States. The fact that two out of the four children interviewed by director Stephanie Soechtig live in the Houston area proves how close to home this epidemic is and how the food that we are putting into our bodies affects our health in the long run.

Numbers and figures are a common sight in the hour and a half the documentary airs. The fact that Americans consume twice as much sugar today than they did in 1980 is startling enough. But the “It is your fault that you are fat” mantra still runs clear for most of the documentary and often times comes off as a bit too preachy.

This film takes the focus away from the consumer and places it on corporations and even the government who produce the food that most people consume. One can only hope that a film that interviews a former President, various doctors and professors, and even journalists can influence someone out there to make the change that the film is calling upon, but a slew of food “experts” may not be enough to convince the public to caring about it more than they did before.

While at times a bit monotonous, “Fed Up” tries to change the way Americans and the world think about the food they are eating. In the last seconds of the film, the viewer sees a screen of all the people who refused to interview during the making of “Fed Up.” Among those are First Lady Michelle Obama, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and various other corporations. While they may not have necessarily contributed to the film itself, it only further cements the point the filmmakers were trying to make all along: corporations only care about money, not consumer health. Whether “Fed Up” will be successful in trying to push the revolution, or maybe rebellion, against the food industry is still left to be seen, but they sure do put in their best effort.

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