Fed Up

Narrated by Katie Couric, this documentary about the childhood obesity crisis takes dead aim at the U.S. food and agricultural industries for their ruthless lobbying, disingenuous labeling, predatory advertising, and cynical disregard for the public health. Writers Mark Monroe and Stephanie Soechtig date the crisis from 1977, when a U.S. Senate committee on nutrition prepared guidelines urging Americans to eat less and reduce their intake of fat, sugar, and cholesterol; perversely, this led not to healthier diets but to the marketing bonanza of fat-free foods that instead were loaded with sucrose and help account for the fact that Americans’ sugar consumption has doubled since then. Thumbnail portraits of morbidly obese kids—including a 14-year-old boy driven to gastric-bypass surgery—introduce a plaintive note to the argument, especially since, as the documentary notes, many school cafeterias are now indistinguishable from fast-food joints. Soechtig directed.