Tech Support and I watched Fed Up recently. It was a lot like the first time we watched Super Size Me ten years ago – two hours of horror and outrage at the way food is processed, packaged, and marketed… and the impact that has on our health.
When I was writing Living With Obesity, HBO’s series The Weight of the Nation was part of my research. For anyone who’s seen Fed Up and wants to learn more, I highly recommend it. Because it’s a mini-series, it’s much more comprehensive – an advantage, because the causes and consequences of obesity are far too complex to adequately cover in a single film.
Tech Support and I are lucky, because neither of us is currently dealing with weight-related health problems. But we both have a history of type II diabetes in our families, and a genetic tendency to carry our body fat in the middle – the danger zone for developing a lot of serious medical conditions. And while (thanks to my allergies) we don’t eat very many packaged foods, these movies have got us checking nutrition labels for more than just gluten and nuts. Fighting the inertia of our food environment isn’t easy, but we’re trying.
Have you seen the films? What was your reaction? Have you made any changes to your own lifestyle based on this information? Have you taken the fight beyond your own home – to your children’s schools or the wider community? Share in the comments.
If you know a child or teen who is facing physical, mental, or emotional challenges as a result of his or her weight, check your local library for Living With Obesity. I hope there’s something in it that may help.