Fed Up

This past weekend I finally sat down and watched the documentary Fed Up.  I have been wanting to see this for awhile and have had so many friends comment about how great this movie is.  I have to tell you, this is on the of the best movies I have seen in awhile.  I also believe I might be a changed person.


We are living in a society where obesity is now an epidemic.  More people are dying from overeating than from malnutrition.  However, in many ways we are living a malnourished diet and it comes down to one substance, sugar.  Sugar is literally killing us and we are being bamboozled by the food industry.

I recently read that years ago sugar was a very expensive commodity.  It was so pricey that only the rich had stores of sugar.  It was the wealthy who had cakes and desserts to present to their guests at dinners.  Sugar was an expensive treat and not an everyday occurrence.  Not only is sugar readily accessible to all of us now, but it is found in an even cheaper form, high fructose corn syrup.

On top of this, the low fat/no fat diet craze turned the food industry into sugar monsters.  To make up for lack of fat, sugar has been added to everything to improve the taste.  People aren’t losing weight on these low fat foods, but instead gaining weight and becoming addicted to sugar at the same time.  We have been told that we need to exercise more and eat less, which is certainly true, but when the sugar is being slipped into our diets we are on a fast track to hopeless weight gain, regardless of our activity levels.

The part of the movie that will forever stick out in my mind was when cocaine addicted rats were given sugar laced water.  They drank and responded to it just as they did to cocaine.  And when they were given the choice between cocaine laced water or sugar water, they chose the sugar water over cocaine.  Research shows that our brains respond to sugar in the same way as drug addicts respond to cocaine.  How scary is that?  Sugar is an addicting drug.

So how do you get away from it?  The problem is that the food industry has a powerful pull on our government.  Remember Congress being swayed into allowing the tomato paste in pizza to be considered a “vegetable” for school lunches?  The government is meeting as much road blocking on this issue as they once did with cigarettes.  Do you remember when those weren’t the cause of cancer either?

I myself can see this trend happening in my own life.  Years ago I made the healthy lifestyle change to becoming a runner.  Over the years I lost some weight and felt great.  But I started to allow myself “treats” because in my head I ran 7 miles and could have that cookie or piece of cake.  Today I run 50-60 miles per week and have a stubborn five pounds that came back and sticks around.  To be honest, it bugs the heck out of me, especially because I eat a healthy diet….except I am addicted to sugar and I know it.  After every meal I crave dessert.  I crave a cookie or candy and Christmas was not a good time for me or my waist line.  On top of that I would eat Wheat Thins all day if it was socially acceptable!

But be aware that this goes way beyond dessert.  Sugar is packed in everything.  We live in a society of convenience.  We can buy prepared everything for our weekly diets.  Cereals, granola bars, freezer meals, pasta sauces and the pasta itself……it is all packed with sugar.


The best way and only true way to get back to a healthy lifestyle is to eat whole foods.  Put away the prepared foods.  Make yourself a real dinner.  Make your lunch and control what goes into it.  And don’t let the food industry trick you.  We have been swayed to believe it is cheaper to grab food on the go than to make it at home, but research shows that isn’t true either!

So where does that leave me?  I will be upping the ante in this house.  We make our meals around here 5 days a week and never really eat out for lunch.  But I will be making sure when I am at the grocery store that I stick to whole foods and skip anything prepared and laden with sugar.  Dessert will be swapped out for a piece of fruit.  And I will allow myself one evening on the weekend for a dessert of choice, but within reason.  I can’t wait to see how different I feel!

Have you seen Fed Up?  Do you find yourself addicted to sugar?

63 thoughts on “Fed Up

  1. Haven’t seen it yet, and now I’m torn as to whether I really want to or not. I know most of the science/stats, and when I watch films like it sounds like Fed Up is, I get so frustrated at the power/influence that the different lobbyists have on our country. Every time we elect people to “serve” us in Washington they always make the same promise–to do what is best for the American people. And then they turn around and stab us in the back by labeling pizza (which I love by the way) as a vegetable!

    Sorry. I could go on that rant for a long time, and I know that wasn’t the intent of your post. I’ll watch the film at some point, get fired up about how crooked our government and how uninformed the population tends to be, and try to continue to do my part to helping people realize that if they really want to be healthier it has to start with what they are putting in their mouths.

    • I felt the same way. I was angry at government and so frustrated to see so many people who just don’t know where to start. The mom who was telling that her son was overweight so they changed his diet. “He loves Hot Pockets so we now eat Lean Hot Pockets.” We need to be teaching families and children better and children need to be offered “real” food at lunch. For many of them that is their only chance at a real meal each day. I think you will find the movie interesting though. I thought it was put together very well and was very informative.

  2. I guess I have mixed thoughts about this – I agree that I love sugar, but I cannot help but think that blaming sugar for the obesity epidemic is like blaming guns for violence. I am, in no way, a gun proponent, in fact I think we would be better as a society if we eliminated guns, but the root of violence goes deeper than symptomatic use of guns in agression. I feel the same way about sugar – sure, it is bad and addictive, but is the real problem societal over-consumption? Disconnection from our bodies? I think it is often a good idea to reduce sugar intake in our own lives, but nationally, I think the root of the problem goes deeper than added sugar, and should start with a fundamental shift in the way we view food, our bodies, the environment, and how we are all interrelated!

    • I agree and my husband kept yelling at the television, “Stop eating so much!” But the movie has a great point in the fact that there is so much crap added to our food and so many people just are clueless as to what they are eating or what they should be eating. It was very sad to watch.

    • I really like where you’re going with that Laura. Till you get to guns – for “elimination” to work, you have to eliminate ALL of them. Otherwise, you’re France or England – lambs to the slaughter. If guns are available, to ANYONE, a crook will find a way to obtain one because they don’t care about our laws, they just lust after the power having a gun gives them.

  3. “Addicted to sugar” is a bit strong of a statement. Evolutionally, we are all “addicted” – nature created us that way: to recognise sugar, to enjoy sugar and want to eat sugar. It makes perfect sense in situations when it takes a lot of energy to get nutrients and they come relatively scarce. Of course, modern developed world is hardly such an environment, and our nature works against us.

  4. I haven’t seen the movie, but I am completely on board with you! In my quest to be more healthy, I quit eating granola and protein bars as my snack….more because of the processed nature of it than the sugar, but sugar weighed in my decision. My goal is to eat things as closely as possible to the way they came from the Earth.
    I also share your frustration with the fat being removed from EVERYTHING!!! We NEED good fats in our diet!!!
    Making a note to watch this ASAP!

    • I think you will really enjoy it. I love that you have steered away from processed food. It can be tricky at first as it is just so easy and everywhere. I really hope to continue sticking more and more to real foods. That’s what our bodies want anyway! Fat isn’t the bad guy, when used in moderation.

  5. Hey! Great post! I’ve really cut back on sugar and especially since I went vegan. That has really helped. I eat vegan chocolate chips when I’m craving something sweet and eat some desserts at night, but never overdo it! I think balance is key. I realize I’ll never be able to completely shut out sugar, nor do I want to, but I make sure I monitor how much I eat and always go the organic way! I love your plan!! Awesome! Have a Happy Monday! XOXO

    • That is a great point. It is nearly impossible to go completely sugar free and who would want that anyway? But by being aware of what we are putting in our bodies we can all feel a lot better, as you have definitely realized.

  6. I saw a lecture about this, ill try to find the link for you. It was all about high fructose foods… I actually stopped drinking gatorade because of all the fructose that’s in sports drinks. Its upsetting, and the truth is, people have no idea what theyre putting in their bodies on a daily basis. Sounds like i should watch Fed Up!

    • Definitely check it out. It is incredible what you find the high fructose corn syrup in. And if you recall there were a ton of commercials by the corn industry touting how high fructose corn syrup is actually good for you. Duped!

  7. It is truly scary. The food industry/government has really brainwashed our society into thinking what is good to eat just so they can make a profit. It all comes down to that, making money.

    It is up to us to do our own research. I have progressively changed my diet to being whole food and vegan, but it is a process/journey. It sounds like you are off to a good start! That’s awesome!

    • Isn’t it sad that we truly are being duped by the government so that they can continue making money? During the movie I was thinking thank goodness people are making informative documentaries like this so that hopefully over time we can all come to realize that we are living a very unhealthy lifestyle!

  8. Sounds interesting and angering, but this kind of information is important to know. The documentary Food, Inc. opened my eyes in a similar frustrated-but-good-to-know way. I make the majority of meals from scratch. While it takes a little more planning, it’s cheaper and tastes better. I just have to cook in large batches because it feels like a chore to do every day! I’m guilty of treating myself after longs runs, too, but my sweet tooth isn’t nearly as bad as it was before I started running. Cheers!

    • It truly is cheaper. But the food industry tries to sway us to think fast food is the cheapest food. It really does taste better too. I love your idea of making big batches so you can cook less.

  9. Oooooh, I really want to see this now!!! I’ve read a lot about how sugar is in everything and how it’s cheaper form HFCS is in EVERYTHING. I struggle so much with my diet. I know it, I admit, and I still dont’ do anything about it 😦 I seriously need a life make-over in that department. When I would tell people about my soda addiction they would always laugh and just say I was weak-minded; all I needed to do was just not drink it. But I was ADDICTED. Like I honestly felt I NEEDED it. It’s scary.
    Thank you for posting and reminding me to get my sh*t together. ❤

    • You’re not weak. It is addicting. I was just telling Rock about how when wr first dated I had a late night sugar addiction. I would try so hard and then break down and run across the street to the bodega for a Skittles and Twix. So sad!

  10. I’m totally with you. I’m trying to cut back on sugar this year… But like you, I gets persistent craving for sugar after dinner. Have you tried making your own chocolate? 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup cacao and 1tbs honey.. Melt it together in a pot and let it set in the fridge. Yes, high in calories, but one small piece after dinner sorts me out! Good luck and yay for whole foods 🙂

  11. Sugar is DEFINITELY a problem for me, and has been for years. I’m pretty sure it’s the not-so-secret cause behind my recent weight gain, but I have a hard time avoiding it, especially because my schedule is INSANE right now, so sometimes prepared food is all I have time for on the go. I’m definitely trying to cut back on sweets and treats, but it’s tough. Is the documentary on Netflix? I’d love to watch it with my husband so we can be more on the same page.

  12. Have you read “Pure, White and Deadly” by John Yudkin? This book will open your eyes even more to the science and politics behind our unhealthy sugar addiction.

  13. I haven’t seen that documentary (never even heard of it actually) but I tried the Virgin Diet over a year ago and discovered that bit of nastiness about sugar being everywhere. I quickly failed at the diet but learned a lot and made huge changes in my eating habits because of it. I make most of my meals but too many of my snacks are processed. I know I have a problem with sugar but it’s much less of a problem than it used to be. It used to be that I’d drink fraps and mochas for my coffee, sometimes twice a day. Now I drink black coffee with 2 raw sugar packets (for a 16oz drink) and no more for the rest of the day. It’s cut back on my $ spending too. 😉 Brown sugar has replaced granulated white sugar too. And still I know I have sugar issues. That and salt…Ugh. Chips anyone? Kriptonite.

  14. I have no doubt that I eat more sugar than I should (thanks ice cream) but I am also very conscious of it, and I try to limit it when I can. I don’t have a lot of soda, I try to always be the person adding the sugar (rather than buying it built in, when I can). But I am very balanced on the whole, and I need the calories!

  15. Oh my, you have the cart before the horse Sarah. The food industry only produces what the consumer wants. The brain of a foodie reacts to Fed Up in the same way a cocaine/sugar laced water drinking mouse does – it pays for the video, watches it, becomes incensed and takes to the message boards and blogs to tell others to pay for the video, watch it and become incensed…

    If they could get away with selling cheap, bland, tasteless crap, if it would sell (it wouldn’t – they leave that for you to cook), they surely would. Point is, the problem is with the people, not the industry that does as the people want.

  16. Part of me really wants to see this movie, but part of me is afraid of how horrified I’m going to be about the whole thing. I love sugar. I’ve been making an effort to cut back on it now, but it’s so hard. Sadly I can see why the rats went for that water. :-\

  17. I have been trying to cut back on sugar for about a month, I actually started before Christmas for some reason. I let myself eat too many sweet things and then that was all I wanted. I had a donut the other day after about a month and it was disappointing but that will help me stick to it. But I think we all have our vices, for some it’s sugar, for others it’s something else.

  18. great post. YES to eating Whole Foods. such an important issue –thx for sharing. i haven’t seen Fed Up and i’m def not addicted to sugar, but i’m trying to cut back on my food intake right now and i’m actually doing a cleanse for a couple of days to really think about why i put what into my body, and change some habits i’m not happy about.

  19. I have not seen the movie, but I’m addicted also. After dinner the sugar craving hits hard.
    To fight it, I try to move around and do chores after dinner. Laundry, dishes, anything to stay away from the cookies or what ever I can find.

  20. I saw it last week and was compelled to write a blog post about it as well. Changes must be made and they have to be made at home. Can’t count on government to do it. If we start, maybe things can change. You can check my post about it for my full opinion.

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