I am always elated when Netflix recommends a new documentary to me. 3/5 times, I think the documentaries are boring or poorly made. This, is not the case for Fed Up.
This thought provoking documentary really dives in to the heart of the obesity problem. It truly left a lasting impression on me.
Some highlights of Fed Up are TOFI (thin outside, fat inside). It’s the idea that even those who appear to be healthy and thin, may be just as unhealthy as an obese person. If you think about it, someone who stays within their calorie limit and lightly exercises will probably maintain a thin physique. However, if those calories are all processed, fatty, high salt, high sugar foods, fatty tissue will attach to their organs. Their arteries will develop plaque, and they’re at a risk for cancer, heart attack, stroke, and many more.
Another subject they spoke about was that a calorie is not a calorie. We’ve all been blasted with this idea that all calories are the same. This is not true. Your body processes calories different. A calorie from a fruit or a vegetable contains fiber and protein. As that food enters your stomach, the body starts to split it apart and deliver the nutrients to the appropriate areas. It also digests slower and makes you feel fuller longer. Now look at a processed item full of sugars. It enters your stomach and liver and gets processed through very quickly. Your liver goes crazy and yells to the pancreas to start producing insulin. This makes you feel tired and ill, and actually also blocks the sensors from your stomach to your brain. So your brain isn’t being told that you’re full, so you keep eating. At the same time, the body is turning all of he food into fat since it’s not being absorbed. Now it’s true that if you ate 5000 calories of produce that you would gain weight, but as your body retrains itself, the insulin production normalizes, your body takes its time to digest, and your brain says, “wait, I’m full,” you’ll begin to eat less and enjoy nature’s candy more. Plus, 5000 calories of produce is a lot of food.
The final subject that I found interesting was food addiction. If you say to someone, “I’m addicted to food,” more than likely they’ll roll their eyes and say that you just have no self control. However, if you say to someone that you’re a drug or alcohol addict, they understand and perhaps have faced their own substance abuse issues. Food addiction is real. Certain sugars actually light up the same area of the brain that cocaine does. I think that food addiction is not normally recognized as substance abuse because it tends to only affect the user where as alcohol or drugs can lead to affecting others around them. But food, alcohol, and drugs have the same craving and addictive and behavior altering properties. I feel the difference lies when you take drugs or alcohol there is an effect that others can see such as DUI, DWI, aggressive behavior, etc. Food doesn’t usually cause this, but the addictive properties are the same. I think food addiction becomes even more difficult because not only are there very few treatment centers but also food is around you all the time. It takes a lot of willpower and strength to stay away from alcohol or drugs but if they’re not around you they’re not on your mind eventually. Whereas we have to eat food so even if you are choosing the right foods, until your brain has blocked those cravings or you have enough inner strength to avoid them it’s everywhere and is really hard to not give in. The documentary also touches on the marketing of foods and how literally everywhere you go from the gas station to the convenient store and even in schools, junk food is there, right in your face.
I definitely suggest everyone checkout Fed Up. Share it with your friends and family.