'Fed Up': Documentary details the dangers of sugar

'Fed Up' is alarmist to an almost apocalyptic degree, but the facts and figures presented will give anyone pause.

By , Film critic

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    A scene from FED UP.
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I am generally not a big fan of documentaries about food since they either make you very hungry or else make you never want to eat anything ever again. That’s because so many of the latter are movies about the dangers in the food we eat. What’s safe? All bean sprouts all the time? And even then, who knows? I’m waiting for the movie about how bean sprouts are actually genetically modified poison.

All of which brings me to “Fed Up,” which no doubt will be called, with some justice, the “Inconvenient Truth” of food movies. (It even shares one of the executive producers of that film, Laurie David.) Alarmist to an almost apocalyptic degree, the film is nevertheless packed with enough basic facts and figures to give any eater serious pause. Or at least any eater who indulges in sugar.

Directed by Stephanie Soechtig and narrated by Katie Couric, “Fed Up” discounts the dietary mantra that people are obese because they lack self-control and eat too much. The real culprit is sugar, which is described as being as addictive as cocaine. The statistics roll out: Since 1995 the government has provided $8 billion in subsidies for corn-based sweeteners. Half of all US school districts serve fast food. Type 2 diabetes diagnosed among adolescents has gone from zero cases in 1980 to 57,638 as of 2010. Even so-called thin people have to worry. According to this film, about 40 percent of normal weight people have the same metabolic dysfunction as those who are obese. You don’t want to be downing Raisinets while watching this film. Grade: B+ (Rated PG for thematic elements (smoking) and mild language.)

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