When I watch a documentary about something I care about, I take notes. Lots of notes. Like word for word as they’re speaking. I can only thank four years of college for being able to type that quick.
These were some of my favorite points that were brought up in the Fed Up documentary. The documentary really focused on our over-consumption of sugar as a nation. I thought these points were either thought-provoking or good for spreading awareness.
Yes, the documentary was said to be controversial, but I’m not here to discuss that. We all know the obesity epidemic is complicated, but that doesn’t mean little steps to change it aren’t appreciated! I believe it had some gems and here they are:
-At the start of the obesity epidemic in 1977, people were encouraged to buy more food with less fat. All sorts of products were re-engineered to be low fat. What happens when you take the fat out of something? It doesn’t taste good! So what did they do to make things more palatable? Add sugar! And since 1977, Americans have doubled their sugar intake.
-Artificial sweeteners: they make you crave more. Because they are non-nutritive, they trick your body into thinking that sugar is on its way. They’re dangerous and disease-producing. Disease doesn’t just happen in one meal, but one thousand (which isn’t all that much since sugar is at every meal!).
-“Processed food is much more powerful than we ever realized. We now have the science that shows that you can make food hyper-palatable, which makes us come back for more and more.”
-Sugar is addictive. This is known. You brain lights up in the same way it does with cocaine. Cravings can outweigh will power. Start kids early on sugar and they’re going to be addicted! The food industry knows this too and they know how to appeal to them with things like colors, toys, cartoons and songs!
-How we market food to children: it’s not fair to sway children with messages that create ideas of what food is and create buying patterns for life. Marketing to kids really took off with processed food and corn syrup (which was cheaper so they had more money to spend on advertising).
-If you’re thin, you’re healthy…this is NOT TRUE! You can be thin on the outside, but fat on the inside.
-95% of people will be overweight and obese in 20 years if we keep up at this rate and 1 in 3 will have diabetes. The financial aspects of this are STAGGERING. So much money goes to healthcare. The healthcare impact of obesity is a huge burden we are placing on our children.
-We have to change the diet of America – the way we produce and consume food. Cook real food! You don’t have to worry if it’s a product with a bunch of processed ingredients because it’s from nature.
-Change has to be about the food and not the weight and diets. It has to be sustainable.
-Do a sugar detox and remove all processed food from your home for one week.
The last point is a good one because I believe it is something many people can do that would be highly beneficial for them. I don’t have any processed food in my home so I didn’t really focus on eliminating that, but I did take the sugar part seriously.
I realized from this movie that we (in general as a population) like things too sweet. And we don’t have to! We can CHANGE our taste preferences. I did this myself by just not adding sweeteners, even though they’re natural, to the things that I make. I use sweeteners very sparingly now, and I can tell it’s made a difference. Especially with breakfast foods. There is no reason why breakfast foods should be so sweet. Most of the time fruit sugar can be enough!
For example, that is some steel cut oatmeal I made for breakfast last week. Now it wouldn’t be abnormal if I added some raw honey or raw sugar to it with whatever other flavor ingredients I added (in this case currants and shredded coconut). However, since I’ve actively been trying to eliminate extra sweetness, I only added a small handful of currants. And guess what? It was still really tasty! There was just a hint of sweetness, and it was totally sufficient. I could have added some nuts too, and that would have been a nice little breakfast right there.
So try that last point or if you’re like me, try eliminating natural sweeteners when you can and train your taste to stop liking dishes so sweet. I’m not saying cut out all sweeteners for good (because balanced indulgence is not a crime), but try it more often than not.
I’m glad I watched this documentary because it really helped me change my perspective on all things sweet. I’m telling you: I used to be a total sweet head. I mean I liked everything sweet sweet. Now, I really don’t. I’ve seriously trained my taste to stop wanting foods like that. The best part is that it’s worked, and it’s something you can do too!
So the moral of this post is this: be sweet, but don’t be a sweet head (like I was) 😉
Have fun training your taste, and leave a comment below telling me how it goes!