D&C 89:4  “Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—”

Last year, I asked “Are conspiring men making us fat?”  I think the answer is an unmistakable yes.  This weekend a new documentary came out, Fed Up (available for rent or purchase on Amazon and iTunes) and discusses why Americans are exercising more than ever, eating more “fat-free” food, yet getting fatter.  I transcribed the trailer, which is actually a pretty good summary of the movie.

[Man Speaking] The epidemic here is worse than previously estimated, much worse.

[Dr Mark Hyman, Institute for Functional Medicine]  The message that’s been pushed on us, “It’s your fault you’re fat.”

[Michelle Obama]  It shouldn’t be so hard to get them to run around and play, right?

[unknown] They have voracious appetites and they don’t exercise enough.

[Whoopi Goldberg] It’s about how active our kids are.

[Dr. Hyman] Forget about it.

[Dr. Mark Lustig, Prof of Pediatrics, UCSF]  There are 600,000 food items in America, 80% of them have added sugar.

[unknown]  Your brain lights up with sugar just like it does with cocaine or heroine. You’re going to become an addict

Sugar-cocaine[Dr. Kessler, former FDA commissioner]  You end up with one of the great health epidemics of our time.

[unknown]  This the first generation of American children expected to lead shorter lives than their parents.

[12-year old obese girl]  I am 12 years old and doctors have told me I am a statistic.

[Dr Gary Taubes, author of Why We got Fat and What to do about it] We’re blaming willpower, and it’s a crime.

[Katie Couric, CBS News]  Over 95% of all Americans will be overweight or obese in two decades.]

[Dr. Kessler]  We’re toast, as a country.

[Dr. Mark Lustig]  The sugar industry is extraordinarily powerful.  They’re in business to make money, not to keep America healthy.

[Katie Couric]  What if our whole approach to this epidemic has been dead wrong?

[Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma]  The government is subsidizing the obesity epidemic {graphic notes $8.1 Billion}

[Dr. David Ludwig, Assoc Prof. Pediatric Medicine, Harvard University]  We place private profit ahead of public health, systematic political failure.

[Couric] By 2050, one out of every three Americans will have diabetes.

[unknown]  Those diseases are being driven by sugar.

[Dr. Hyman]  This is the fundamental problem.  Nobody’s talking about it in society.

[Bill Clinton, former Pres of USA]  We could cure 80% of the problem where they prepare the food in the school.

[Katie Couric asks…]  Tomato Paste is a vegetable?  Really?

[U.S. Government official shakes his head in disbelief]

[Mark Bittman, New York Times]  Junk food companies are acting very much like Tobacco companies did 30 years ago.

[man testifying before Congress as Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont reads ingredients of Coke can]  I would reject entirely that they are in any way harmful.

[Senator Tom Harkin, Iowa]  Lying through their teeth.

[unknown]  Kids are being told the biggest lie that they will ever hear in their lives.

[Shelly Rosen of the McDonald’s Corporation, Eat Smart, Be Active Program]  Ronald McDonald never sells to children.  He informs and inspires through magic and fun.

[Dr. Harvey Karp, pediatrician, author of Happiest Baby on the Block]  If a foreign nation did that to our children, we would defend our families.

[Mark Bittman, New York Times]  Years from now, we’re going to say “I can’t believe we let them get away with that.”

[Pres. Bill Clinton]  You have to change the diet of America.

[Richard Carmona, former Surgeon General of the U.S.]  It’s all preventable.

After watching the film, a few things really struck me.

  1. The Food Industry cares more about profits than health.  In 1977, George McGovern held a panel and found that Americans were eating too many animal products:  eggs, red meat, dairy, etc.  The food industry lobbied to have the report changed, and pledged to provide “low fat” products.  When you remove fat from food, it tastes nasty.  In order to make the food taste good, they loaded it with sugar.
  2. Sugar is more addictive than cocaine.  43 mice addicted to cocaine were given a choice of sugar water, or cocaine water.  40 of 43 chose the sugar water.
  3. Sugar in fruits does not cause a spike in your blood sugar, because of the fiber in the fruit slows down absorption.  However, sugar in drinks and other non-fiber foods goes straight to the liver.  Insulin is produced, and the sugar is immediately turned to fat.  Sugar is making us fat more than fat.
  4. You can’t avoid sugar unless you become a vegetarian.  80% of 600,000 food products contain sugar, including salad dressing, peanut butter, tomato sauce, etc.  The food industry has addicted us all to sugar in order to make it taste better, and is making us fat.

Every time there have been attempts to regulate food, ESPECIALLY advertising to children, the food industry cries “Nanny State”, you should exercise, and use personal responsibility.  Yet they are manipulating our food to make us crave it.  Don’t believe me?  Go on a diet.  I dare you.  I guarantee you will crave unhealthy food.  It is not an accident.

Last year, inspired by Hawkgrrrl’s post about HCG, I decided to try it.  I ate 500 calories a day, for 6 weeks, then upped my intake to 1500 calories a day for 6 more weeks.  I lost 35 pounds.  Encouraged by my success, I did it again.  I ate 500 calories a day for 5 weeks and this time lost just 15 pounds for a grand total of 50 pounds over a 17 week period.  I felt great (but the funny thing is apparently I hide my weight well–nobody noticed), my pants were getting too big, it was great.  But at the end of that 17 weeks, I craved bad food like crazy.  A year later, I have gained back my 50 pounds.

The HCG diet works, but it is not sustainable, IMO.  I was eating vegetables, some fruits, and protein like fish & chicken.  It was amazing to me how much I craved Oreos, Doritos, salt and sugar.  This is no accident.  In order to keep the weight off, you have to buy fruit & vegs every few days (which often spoils before you can eat it).  Processed food has a much longer shelf life.  It’s convenient, quick, takes less time to prepare, and frankly tastes better.  But it is junk and makes us fat–even fat-free foods which are crammed full of sugar in order to make them taste good.

The government corn subsidies make our food cheap.  The cost is rising health care costs.  There were 0 cases of Type 2 diabetes in children in 1980.  Last year there were more than 50,000 cases.  This is not a case of children suddenly losing personal responsibility over the last 30 years, it is a case of the food industry manipulating our food to make us crave it.  “Betcha can’t eat just one!” is one of the slogans that shows us how addictive junk food is.

Do you support Congressional legislation:

  1. Limiting advertising to children (as was done with Big Tobacco)?
  2. Showing federal standards of sugar in foods to limit the addictiveness of added sugar?
  3. Forcing equal air time where celebrities that endorse junk food also spend time endorsing fruits and vegetables (like was done with Big Tobacco)?
  4. Make it illegal for Fast food to sell school lunch?  (Given the choice of an apple or a candy bar, what child picks the apple?  Oh, I guess the parents aren’t teaching personal responsibility well enough.)

A few other questions:

  1. Many Tobacco companies have purchased food companies.  Is it any wonder they know how to addict us to bad food the same way they addicted many to cigarettes?
  2. Do you think the food companies are shifting blame to “personal responsibility” when they are responsible for the food cravings we all have now?
  3. Is the “nanny state” defense a smokescreen?
  4. Should food companies be demonized like Big Tobacco was in order to make us healthy?