Fed Up

 
(i)

 

Informative, engrossing docu about saying no to sugar.
  • Review Date: May 9, 2014
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

One change -- cutting down on sugar -- can make a significant difference to your health. It's not easy, especially given that sugar is in almost everything we eat, but the documentary does provide a few tips here and there.

Positive role models

The featured experts are happy to walk viewers through how to achieve a healthier diet. The children profiled in the documentary are very honest about their struggles, which can be inspiring.

Violence

Kids talk about being teased for their weight.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

One use of "damn."

Consumerism

Many companies/brands are named (Cocoa Puffs, Special K, Nutella, Toblerone, Twix, Dove, Snickers, Pringles, Lays, Jelly Belly, Arco, Frosted Flakes, and more), but it's all within the context of talking about healthy/not-so-healthy foods.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Fed Up is a documentary that focuses on the harm sugar does in the body. It's chock full of statistics, historical facts and figures, research, and interviews that will teach both kids and adults about healthy eating. While there's barely anything in the way of iffy content ("damn" is used once, and plenty of brands are mentioned/shown in the discussion about diet), younger kids may find the film dense and a bit overwhelming with data -- but tweens and older will surely find meaningful take-aways, especially with help from their parents. Expect a lot of questions -- and maybe the urge to purge your pantry -- post viewing.

Kids say

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What's the story?

For decades, America has been fighting an increasingly intractable war against obesity. Both children and adults are gaining weight at an alarming rate, even as more Americans head to the gym and amp up their exercise. Diets of all stripes have come and gone, but the weight piles on. What's the culprit, and how long has it been lurking in our diet? How did the country get to this point? This documentary, from the producer of An Inconvenient Truth and narrated (and co-produced) by Katie Couric, examines the role that sugar plays in the obesity epidemic and exhorts viewers to ask questions and make significant changes that could make a difference in their health and future.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If documentaries were judged solely on whether they break new ground in the genre, FED UP would fall short. Like an A student intent on meeting all the requirements for an A paper, it's straightforward, hardworking, and ultimately unimaginative. But style alone doesn't make a great documentary, substance does, and on that count Fed Up absolutely delivers. It persuades with engrossing interviews and plainly laid out information that drives home clearly and convincingly its thesis: that the United States has its eye on the wrong ball in its fight for obesity. Sugar is the culprit, the film claims, and tons of it is coursing through the veins of Americans, who are unaware that it's in nearly everything they eat: cereal, yogurt, granola bars, fast food, frozen food, canned food, and much more.

The film works by relying on reputable scientists and researchers to bolster hard science -- all without condescending to viewers.  It's unafraid to critique established experts, including the government itself and First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" program. That fearlessness lends urgency to the situation, as do the profiles of children struggling with their weight and yearning for an answer, a clear answer, that will place them on the right path. They're fed up, and, after seeing this, viewers may get there, too.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Fed Up's premise. Do you agree that most Americans have too much sugar in our diets? What's to blame? What can we do about it?

  • What do you think about the film's position that our culture has overemphasized exercise while not putting enough scrutiny on our daily food intake? Are both diet and exercise important in staying healthy? Can you do one and ignore the other?

  • Is obesity the biggest public health problem we're facing in the United States? Does the movie clearly trace how we got here? What makes the film persuasive?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 9, 2014
DVD release date:September 9, 2014
Cast:Katie Couric
Director:Stephanie Soechtig
Studio:Radius TWC
Genre:Documentary
Topics:Science and nature
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:thematic elements including smoking images, and brief mild language

This review of Fed Up was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byDuncanDerund May 11, 2014
 

Great

Documentary has very positive messages of saying no to junk food. One d*mn. There is a lot of product consumerism. Can teach younger kids about eating healthy.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 10, 14, and 16 year old Written byKatieSF May 23, 2014
 

Not a kids' movie

I brought two of my kids to see this after getting the thumbs up on Common Sense Media. We left after 15 minutes because it freaked my kids out, especially my almost 11-year-old. I think it's important for our kids to be educated about what's in our food and the importance of healthy eating, but this movie delivers it in a way that inspires fear and paranoia. Not for kids.
Parent Written byMomofbk April 22, 2015
 

Very Informative

I think this documentary sheds light on the amount of sugar in the foods we eat everyday. Very informative and makes you want to quit sugar for good for yourself & your family. If you have a pre teen or teenager who is overweight you should have them watch this. It may give them the motivation/education needed to make better good choices.
What other families should know
Great messages

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