I bought some fresh whole wheat linguini from Assenti’s this week, and I ate about 300g of it last night. I made some fresh pomodoro sauce from some nice, ripe roma tomatoes, basil and olive oil. So picture two full plates of this stuff, a scone from the corner cafe, a piece of bread, and 50g of almonds, and that’s what I had after 8pm last night.
Yes, we have a global obesity epidemic. Yes, I’ll watch any food-obsessed documentary. Sure, too much refined sugar is bad for you. But hold on about “everything we know about diet and exercise is wrong”, and “what if the solutions were the problem?”.
Katie Couric’s (producer and narrator) Fed Up is supposed to be an Inconvenient Truth about the food industry. The conspiracy she reveals is that people crave sugar (and salt and fat, but not mentioned in the movie), and they’ll act like addicts to get it. Plus, corporations will try to sell it to you to make money. (Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, it’s supposed to be a conspiracy!) But seriously, the one good point in the movie is that “personal responsibility doesn’t work in the face of addiction”.
There’s lots of footage of obese parents and their kids telling you why they want to change, and how they’re going to get clean, and get their lives together. But like all addicts, they’re just manipulating us, and soon, they’re looking for their next fix. (One kid in the movie is eating an entire huge bag of chips while he’s saying this.)
So the movie gets the food addiction point right. But that’s about it. There’s a bunch of scary statistics that don’t matter, and they want to blame a lot of scapegoats.
What Fed Up wants to do is to impose federal regulation on sugary junk food. They think things are bad enough (save the children) to warrant this. So, you have to believe that 1) people can’t break their addiction to foods with added sugar, 2) some type of tax or labeling regulation will be easy to implement, 3) it’ll be effective in decreasing obesity, and 4) they’re won’t be any unintended consequences of this law. Good luck with any of those requirements.
Please stop demonizing scapegoats like Ancel Keys, George McGovern, potatoes, rice, and “calories in / calories out” for our problems. The positive message has already been clearly, wonderfully delivered in movies like Forks Over Knives, and you can get personal instruction from anyone who’s learned to eat correctly (hint: we eat a lot).
Eating right and exercising work, but we never get a chance because of the Pleasure Trap of food addiction. Once people (re-)learn how to cook whole foods, and experience the real tastes of delicious fresh foods, they break the addiction to the processed junk that’s killing the nation. No regulation needed. It’s a simple, all-natural solution.