This past Sunday I went to a screening of Fed Up, a movie documentary about the obesity epidemic and our food industry. Call me a nutrition nerd, but this is what I’m passionate about and I think these types of films can shine light on important issues in our world.
I often take for granted that I am very informed about nutrition, food, what it contains and how it’s produced. I think I’m pretty savvy when it comes to nutrition labeling and claims. So I have to always remember that most of us aren’t. And not having a good understanding of nutrition labels or health claims can make it very difficult to make informed positive choices when it comes to what we’re putting in our mouths. Or our children’s mouths for that matter. Often parents think they are making good choices by purchasing low calorie or low fat foods, not even realizing it’s chock full of sugar or chemicals and additives that are contributing to obesity and other medical issues.
Fed Up focused mainly on sugar and how the industry sneaks it into our food, causing us to become addicted while making us overweight and sick. It highlights the struggle between health initiatives and big business. It shows how manipulative and powerful the food industry can be and how big of an impact marketing has on us as consumers.
I won’t go into too much of a nutrition rant here, and I do encourage everyone to go see the movie…but I wanted to write about it to spread the word. The producers made the film to be a call to action. Let’s take back our food! Let’s reduce our sugar intake and start making informed choices about what we’re eating and why we’re eating it! I’m SO on board with this message and challenge you to join the “fight”. Here are just a few things you can do starting today:
- Educate yourself. Seek out information about what’s in your foods, how it is being prepared and where it comes from.
- Make a move toward more whole, real foods and away from packaged ones.
- Look at ingredient lists and don’t just fall for the claims on the front of packages, because they’re often not regulated. Choose items with fewer ingredients and make sure they are things you can identify and pronounce. Steer clear of foods with added sugars. Just a few of the many words you can look for: corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, maltose, molasses, sucrose.
- Get in the kitchen, get your hands dirty and cook. This puts YOU in control of everything that goes into your mouth and can limit added sugar, salt and fat. Not to mention cooking can be stress-relieving and FUN!
Be sure to go see Fed Up in theaters on May 9th and let me know what YOU think. Some of my other favorite informative food documentaries include Food, Inc., Fresh, King Corn, SuperSize Me and Forks Over Knives.
Have you seen any of these (or other) food documentaries? What are your thoughts? Let’s talk about it!