Fed Up

Fed Up

5.0 1
Director: Stephanie Soechtig, Katie Couric, Joe Lopez, Maggie Valentine

Cast: Stephanie Soechtig, Katie Couric, Joe Lopez, Maggie Valentine

     
 

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Stephanie Soechtig's documentary Fed Up, narrated by Katie Couric, presents the case that the food industry and the government have acted together in order to change the eating habits of America in a way that has led to widespread obesity in children.

Overview

Stephanie Soechtig's documentary Fed Up, narrated by Katie Couric, presents the case that the food industry and the government have acted together in order to change the eating habits of America in a way that has led to widespread obesity in children.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Nathan Southern
A widespread myth in American society suggests that people will be fine if they go with the flow, adopt mainstream tastes and opinions, and avoid questioning the precepts doled out by the media. This sort of reactionary myopia can be ignorant and dangerous, and can lead to the blind acceptance of some pretty terrible "mainstream" things, from air pollution to economic inequality to an attitude that puts the Second Amendment ahead of human lives. Stephanie Soechtig's documentary Fed Up is an activist picture in the sense that it defeats preconceptions -- it takes an insidious issue, one that most Americans have unwittingly bought into, and cuts through delusions to provide an unflinching look at a silent tragedy: the obesity epidemic in Middle America. In the process, the movie leads the audience on a kind of systematic investigation of this matter, addressing a litany of tangential questions and problems related to obesity. The film begins by using a battery of shock tactics to seize us and wake us up to the reality of the central issue. Soechtig enlists techniques both emotional -- such as the heartbreaking testimonies of heavyset children mocked about their large bodies -- and visual/textural, as when she repeatedly cuts to close-ups of greasy, fatty victuals served by fast-food establishments. Soechtig also draws on satirical humor -- she takes potshots of the type seen on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and other programs, as in one outrageously funny bit in which a McDonald's representative asserts that Ronald McDonald "inspires by magic and fun" and isn't used to sell products, as well as another hilarious interview where a physicians' rep in league with Coca-Cola takes a long, awkward pause while trying to defend that partnership. We laugh even as we're stung by the sobering truth. All of these devices are effective, yet somewhat predictable and familiar; the documentary grows considerably more interesting and entertaining, though, when it begins to discuss sleazy conspiracies behind the obesity plague. It details how corporations such as KFC and Pizza Hut have signed contractual agreements to serve junk food to students in 80 percent of elementary- and middle-school cafeterias nationwide; it also looks at the food lobbyists and manufacturers who have basically bribed the U.S. government into suppressing nutrition reports by the World Health Organization, and have undercut First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign with P.R. sleight of hand. It's a safe bet that even the Americans who know about the health risks of quick-service food aren't nearly as hip to this multilayered deception at the governmental level, making this picture a valuable informative tool. If you aren't totally jaded over political and bureaucratic corruption, you'll likely feel ashamed and sickened by many of the corporate schemes on display here -- and it is no small surprise that, according to the epilogue, representatives of countless junk-food manufacturers refused to be interviewed by Soechtig and her team for this film. They might as well have been burying their heads in the sand; their absence is conspicuous even before that postscript appears, and it makes them look culpable and shameful. Soechtig eventually begins to speculate on the potential for real, tangible change in this health crisis, and here, unfortunately, the documentary falters a bit. While her decision to compare the obesity crisis of the early 21st century to the smoking crisis of the early '70s (and to propose similar solutions, such as cancer warnings on soda cans) might at first seem brilliant, as you reflect on it you start to recognize all kinds of improbabilities. For one thing, the food-lobbying groups hold far more fiscal sway than the tobacco industry ever did, and the obesity crisis is a far more daunting issue. Such change will require more than a little bureaucratic resolve; it would necessitate an almost complete systemic overhaul, and at the risk of sounding cynical, that seems improbable. It is, however, possible that a high-ranking government official or officials could see this picture and begin to effectuate slightly less radical changes -- that has happened in the past with some social-activist documentaries, and that is one hope that we carry away from the movie. Soechtig deserves kudos for ending the film with an array of practical suggestions for how viewers can promote dietary change in their daily lives, although in all fairness, her tips often seem a shade too pat and cloying. For instance, it clearly isn't adequate for one to merely eat whole foods and stay away from processed items, as she suggests; saturated fats and red meat should be reduced or avoided as well, but Soechtig never broaches that area of discussion. These reservations aside, though, this is still a generally well-constructed and intelligent film. It may be slick, formulaic, and stylistically conventional, but it makes many insightful points about one of the key health calamities now taking its toll on our country, and it consistently strikes the right emotional chords. On that basis, the picture is well worth seeing.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/09/2014
UPC:
0013132621388
Original Release:
2013
Rating:
PG
Source:
Radius
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Color]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:39:00
Sales rank:
7,390

Special Features

Deleted scenes

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Katie Couric Voice Only
Joe Lopez Participant
Maggie Valentine Participant
Brady Kluge Participant
Wesley Randall Participant
Michelle Obama Actor
Robert Lustig Participant
Michael Pollan Participant

Technical Credits
Stephanie Soechtig Director,Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Ryan Arakaki Sound Editor
Michael Brook Score Composer
Mary Beth Callie Associate Producer
Katie Couric Executive Producer
Laurie David Executive Producer
Sarah Gibson Co-producer
Kyle Lane Sound Editor
Brian Lazarte Editor
Kristin Lazure Co-producer
Eve Marson Producer
Mike Meeker Musical Direction/Supervision
Mark Monroe Screenwriter
Tina Nguyen Editor
Yoko Okumura Associate Producer
Sarah Olson Producer
Carly Palmour Associate Producer
Heather Reisman Executive Producer
Regina Scully Executive Producer
Scott Sinkler Cinematographer
Dan Swietlik Editor
Michael Walrath Executive Producer
Michelle Walrath Executive Producer
Dawn V. Woollen Associate Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Fed Up
1. Scene 1 [6:25]
2. Scene 2 [5:32]
3. Scene 3 [5:12]
4. Scene 4 [5:10]
5. Scene 5 [6:24]
6. Scene 6 [4:24]
7. Scene 7 [7:16]
8. Scene 8 [6:29]
9. Scene 9 [7:12]
10. Scene 10 [6:36]
11. Scene 11 [5:36]
12. Scene 12 [5:33]
13. Scene 13 [7:03]
14. Scene 14 [5:41]
15. Scene 15 [6:59]
16. Scene 16 [4:02]
1. Cooking with Dr. Hyman [4:17]
2. Ariel [3:55]
3. Nashwah [2:05]
4. Slotting Fees [1:24]
5. Hippocratic Oath [1:03]

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Fed Up 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
bridgetann1 More than 1 year ago
This is an eye-opening movie. I actually learned vital information by watching this documentary. This caused an immediate change in our household - and we already had a fairly good quality diet. (We already had a no soda - no HFCS - minimal packaged food home). However, we did have "healthy" cereals on occassion, and yogurts in the house, along with  fresh squeezed orange juice on occasion for smoothies. Orange juice - gone that day. Now we just peel two oranges and throw them into the blender. Yogurt with added sugar - thrown away. In fact, we went so far as to call my son's best friend's mother to let her know that he would no longer be eating some of the treats that she gets for the boys (supposedly healthier choices). We now plan our meals for the week based on protein and vegetables. We are lucky enough to live near the Farmer's Market at the Grove so we now do our shopping there at the poulterer, the butcher, the french market, and the fruit and vegetable stands. My son is making dinner at least once per week. We are eating real food, with real variety. I highly recommend this movie. It breaks everything down to an easily digestible serving! (I have already purchased 12 copies and given them out to the people I love.