Directed by: Stephanie Soechtig (“Tapped”)
Written by: Mark Monroe (“The Cove”) and Stephanie Soechtig (“Tapped”)
The healthy eating food documentary isn’t something new in the film industry. Just scan through your Netflix menu and movie titles like “Vegucated” and “Farmageddon” are jockeying for a place in your queue to tell you basically the same story. Americans are getting fatter because of the food choices they are making.
The same tune is played in “Fed Up,” a statistic-heavy documentary that will probably have a little more traction in theaters because of executive producer and narrator Katie Couric’s influence, but also because of it’s slightly tougher stance against things the average person might think would help solve the jaw-dropping problems that lead to childhood obesity.
In “Fed Up,” director Stephanie Soechtig (“Tapped”) asks a lot of questions and delivers few answers, but only because nothing is really changing in this country to curtail the emerging epidemic. In fact, Soechtig and Couric argue that we’re actually making things worse by fighting obesity with an “eat less, exercise more” attitude.
Through conventional talking-head interviews with doctors, parents and overweight children, Soechtig covers some of the same ground other food docs have done in the past. It’s when “Fed Up” gets bold enough to go after people like First Lady Michelle Obama for not doing enough in her “Let’s Move” campaign when things start getting very interesting.
Still, until a documentary like this can actual get their villain to speak on camera for an in-depth talk about these topics, the argument will always be one sided and in favor of fresh green beans over the processed jelly kind. Pointing a finger at sugar and blaming a child’s weight gain on how much they consume it is easy enough, but the well-produced rhetoric only goes so far. Not everyone writes letters to their congressman as this film asks us to do during the credits. It’s unfortunate, but after you see the film, stopping at a drive thru is still a lot less time consuming than going home and cooking a healthy meal.
Yes, Coca-Cola and McDonalds are making kids fat, but we’re as close to solving the problem as we were three decades ago. If “Fed Up” teaches us anything, it’s that we’re still a few hundred thousand diabetes-stricken preschoolers away from doing anything about it.