Every day new social media posts and fitness websites show stories of individuals who overcome their battles with weight and obesity, dropping sometimes hundreds of pounds, and touting their weight loss success.
Though it undoubtedly takes willpower and determination to make that kind of life transformation, a new film is adding to a conversation questioning whether relying on individual resolve alone can really help curb the mounting obesity epidemic in the U.S. That way of thinking, some suggest, stigmatizes patients and leaves food manufacturers off the hook.
“Everything we've been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years is dead wrong,” claims a film released in May called “Fed Up,” from executive producer and narrator Katie Couric, and producers, Laurie David (producer of “An Inconvenient Truth”), Regina Scully (producer of “The Invisible War”) and Stephanie Soechtig (who produced “Tapped”).
Soechtig follows a group of children for two years as they attempt to control their weight through traditional methods of diet and exercise.
“They are undertaking a mission impossible,” filmmakers said. The film attributes the lack of success to a “misinformation campaign” orchestrated by food manufacturers and supported by the U.S. government. “Even those of us who look thin and trim on the outside are facing the same consequences, fighting the same medical battles as the obese among us,” they said.
The viewpoint of “Fed Up” is just one among attempts to rethink where responsibility should lie on addressing public health in the United States, with more fingers being pointed away from the individual, and more toward manufacturers and government.