Big Fat Mess :: Documentary Review
Recently I have spent every waking hour doing research, watching documentaries, and reading on a variety of health topics. It honestly has opened my eyes and filled me with even more curiosity. I plan to review and commentate on numerous documentaries and books over the next few months, starting with “Killer at Large,” a documentary exploring the effects of obesity.
Review :: Killer at Large, released in 2008
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that at least 112,000 people die each year due to obesity and 1/3 of all cancer deaths are directly related to it. Former Surgeon General, Richard Carmona, remarked that obesity is a more pressing issue than terrorism; “Obesity is a terror within. It’s destroying our society from within and unless we do something about it, the magnitude of the dilemma will dwarf 9/11 or any other terrorist event that you can point out…”
IMBd reports that the film features interviews and covers events with such notable public figures as Former President Clinton, Ralph Nader, Senators Tom Harkin and Sam Brownback, Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona and a number of bestselling authors and renowned experts like Michael Pollan, Barry Glassner (Bowling for Columbine), Dr. Kelly Brownell (Supersize Me), Dr. Barry Popkin (Penn and Teller’s Bullshit) and many others.
Facts & estimates from “Killer at Large”:
- The average meal at a fast food restaurant is 1700 calories, and the average kids meal is 700 calories.
- 44-45% percent of school-aged children will be insulin-dependent diabetics within 10 years at current rates.
- America is 5 billion pounds overweight.
- 46% of USDA approved “fruits and vegetables” consumed by kids annually are ketchup and french fries.
- If every American lost 1 pound we would save 39M dollars of gasoline a year.
- Kids see, on average, 51 hours of food related commercials each year – 95% of those commercials are junk food.
- This generation of young people could be the first to have a shorter life span than their parents if we continue this food trend.
Problem with Corn
One of the reasons we are getting so fat and have a high chance of diabetes is because we are eating way too much highly processed corn. It is in everything from coffee, yogurt, wine, and TV dinners, to canned fruit, soups, candy, snacks, and even some vitamins.
We have a public health crisis in this country and the government is subsidizing the main thing that is causing this crisis by paying farmers to produce more bushels of corn.
The difference between food eaten today and food eaten for most of history lies in the energy source. Where do the calories come from?
The corn plant is essentially sipping fossil fuel in the form of ammonium nitrate fertilizer
Killer at Large states that, “Oil goes into fertilizer. Fertilizer goes into food. Food goes into us. We get unhealthy/sick, and then we need the pharmaceutical industry to make us better.”
You can buy a lot more processed food for $1 at a grocery store than natural food. We have created a system where the least healthy calories in the super market are the cheapest. This basically says that the poorer you are the shorter your lifespan will be.
The government will not reimburse schools if they do not serve a meal with ATLEAST 650 calories. The government will pay Ann Cooper, militant lunch lady, to feed the less nutritional meal to kids, but not the healthy balanced meal.
Ann Cooper, USDA official, makes a very good point when she states that “the USDA is allocating 7 billion dollars a year to feed 30 million children a day. Government gives school $2.42 for lunch. 2/3 of the $2.42 goes to overhead and payroll, which leaves less than 80 cents to feed each kid lunch. In the state of California alone the prison system costs 9 billion dollars. We are spending more on keeping people in jail in California than we are on feeding EVERY child in America lunch for a year. What are we thinking?”
Marketing agencies talk about cradle-to-grave marketing. Marketing was part of my major in college, so I can relate to this topic very closely. “Killer at Large” basically states that this marketing strategy is trying to “own kids” by getting them hooked at an early age so they can have that kid for life. More than 15 billion dollars is poured into this marketing technique because they know it will turn the kid into a user for life. Kids beg their parents to give them the things that aren’t good for them. Food industries talk about what percent of a “nag” factor a certain ad has.
I think individually as Americans we have become a lazy and need to take ownership in learning about health and nutrition. I know it is easy to blame marketing and the government, but the government mandating rules/policies is not going to change this country. It needs to start with the individual and the parents.
The USDA has ties to the food industry and on their payroll higher-ups keep each other very informed and know how to get what is best for their respective food industries and personal wealth…not necessarily for the health of our country.
I believe America is sent false advertising and information from the USDA and food industry, but this stuff happens all the time and not just the food industry. Know we know the USDA is corrupt and supported by the meat and dairy payroll, we need to realize we can’t rely on their direction for all our nutritional knowledge. Click here to see more on the lawsuit where the USDA ended up losing.
We (individually) as Americans have also become a lazy and need to take ownership in learning about health and nutrition. I know it is easy to blame marketing and the government, but the government mandating rules/policies is not going to change this country. It needs to start with the individual and the parents.
Photo Credit: All photos are screen shots taken from the documentary “Killer at Large.”
I want to give a special shout out to my friend, Caroline Drinkwater as she helps me edit all my blog posts…thank you…thank you…thank you for your time!
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