Fed Up is a documentary on Netflix that centers around being “fed up” with the issue of obesity. Overall, the film has some great points in tracing the development of the food industry as we know it today. As excess weight became a health issue in the United States, there started to be a greater focus on lowering fat intake due to fat having the highest number of calories per gram. Low-fat versions of food products began to hit the shelves, yet many of these products also contained increased sugar content to maintain taste.
Excessive weight gain is a larger issue than pinpointing one bad type of food. Indeed, sugar is a tricky nutrient, tasting delicious and sometimes being hard to identify in foods. The documentary helps viewers see how easy it is to overconsume sugar in a single day. At the end of the documentary, there is a recommendation for a 10-day sugar-free diet. While reducing sugar in your daily diet is certainly not a bad thing, it may be better to regularly limit excessive sugar intake everyday instead of going completely sugar-free for ten days. Ten days is…well, ten days, and while you will likely feel better at the end of those ten days, following a completely sugar-free diet long-term is usually hard to do. By controlling your sugar intake on a daily basis, you are setting yourself up for consuming a few less calories every day, leading to continual, realistic weight loss and a health-conscious lifestyle.
How does this translate to everyday life? Food labels are now starting to show us “added sugars”. This fantastic little label change helps us see if a food contains natural sugars or if the products have been sweetened up with extra sugar. So, to minimize excessive sugars: (1) choose fresh, whole foods found along the perimeter of the grocery store, and (2) choose packaged products with lower amounts of added sugars.