I can't wait to see Fed Up, a new documentary about childhood obesity.
In the early 2000s, when I was earning a PhD in nutrition at UC Davis, I heard a lot of scientific debate about possible causes of the U.S. obesity epidemic. Was it too much fat in our diets? Too much sugar? Processed food? Junk food ads on TV? An "obesogenic environment" - one in which snacks are ubiquitous, adults drive everywhere and neighborhoods aren't safe enough for kids to play outside?
Or was it something else?
"The message has been pushed on us: It's your fault you're fat," says Mark Hyman, MD, chair of the Institute for Functional Medicine, in the Fed Up trailer above.
The movie assembles an impressive roster of experts in nutrition research, pediatric health and public advocacy to oppose that message. Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman, Robert Lustig, Marion Nestle, Harvey Karp, former President Bill Clinton and others say we should not be blaming individuals - especially kids - for struggles with their weight. Instead, they are taking a hard look for answers at the food environment.
"This is the first generation of American children expected to lead shorter lives than their parents," says a voice-over in the Fed Up trailer. That definitely makes untangling the causes of the obesity epidemic worthy of the efforts of our best scientists. Like I said, I can't wait to see it.
Previously: Childhood obesity a risk for imminent heart problems, research shows, Using hip hop to teach children about healthy habits and Sugar intake, diabetes and kids: Q&A with a pediatric obesity expert
Via Food Politics