LMC students at the Brentwood Center got a post-Halloween sugar intervention by the Health & Wellness Committee with a showing of “Fed Up” Monday, Nov. 2.
The 2014 documentary explores the causes of America’s obesity epidemic, which the film’s experts blame on the high sugar content of our food. The film says 80 percent of foods have added sugar, and that ostensibly healthy “low-fat” foods counter the lack of fat with an increase in sugar, which the body stores as fat.
The film also highlights the lobbying prowess of the food industry, which has routinely defeated legislative attempts to regulate the quality of our food, fast food advertising aimed at children and corporately-sponsored public school lunches.
The most troubling aspect to the film’s subjects, experts and audience was sugar’s addictive qualities. According to a study cited in the documentary, sugar is more addictive than cocaine, at least to lab rats.
Communications professor Marie Arcidiacono said the documentary made her more aware of her purchasing habits.
“I think it’s easy to be afraid to buy some of the packaged food,” she said. “You don’t need to be afraid, but you need to be smarter about it. You have to make better choices.”
One of the documentary’s proposed solutions was to buy less processed food, but that can be hard in “food deserts,” where fresh produce is largely unavailable.
“I grew up in Pittsburg, and I see Pittsburg starting to become a food desert,” said Arcidiacono. “Grocery stores that were there when I was growing up are now getting replaced with stores that are heavily focused on packaged food, like Food 4 Less.”
Students who missed the screening can view “Fed Up” on Netflix or check out the DVD at the LMC Library.