Amber Pankonin, a board certified pediatric dietitian, has written one of the few pieces anywhere to cast a critical, skeptical eye on the recent documentary “Fed Up.” (Another such exception, of course, can be found here.) The vast majority of stories in the media about the movie are basically stenography masquerading as journalism.
The film portrays America’s obesity problem as one of white hats and black hats and paints Americans as helpless victims of nefarious forces beyond their control.
Among her criticisms:
The movie basically tells movie goers that it’s not your fault you’re overweight, obese, or unhappy. Instead, it blames the food industry and specifically sugar for weight issues. Meanwhile, it completely minimizes the role that exercise plays in health and nutrition. [ … ] Research has shown that physical activity can boost metabolism, and the movie makers completely ignore this fact! [ … ]
I also found it strange that the movie only focused on stories about children yet applied the information to all individuals. As a board certified pediatric dietitian, I can tell you that the nutrition & emotional needs of children are greatly different compared to the needs of adults when it comes to weight loss. It’s really unfortunate the movie only featured children with parents that were convinced they didn’t have the power to do anything about their children’s health.
Pankonin also has some strong words about people with zero credentials or training who are held up as experts.
It’s worth a read.
It’s also worth pointing out that the IFIC Foundation’s 2013 Food & Health Survey found that consumers by and large believe they have a lot of control over their weight and diet, but far fewer of them are actually taking that control.