If documentaries were judged solely on whether they break new ground in the genre, this 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.