Diet

"Fed Up:" New Documentary Examines America's Obese Kids -- Guess Who's to Blame?

Think global warming is "An Inconvenient Truth?" Wait till you get a load of these kids and what they're going through...

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If you listen to the "pundits," American kids are lazy, Cheeto-munching, Dr. Pepper swilling, video game playing couch potatoes.

And, what's happening as a result? We're producing a generation of lazy, obese doomed people.

Happy prospect, right? Eek is more like it.

But, what can we do about it? Many experts, Michelle Obama included, have tried to get kids to think about what they put into their bodies and to move those bodies more. The results have been anemic at best. Our youth, or so it would seem, are stuck in a big, fat rut and we're scrambling for ways to pull them out of it.

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In a new Katie Couric-narrated documentary aptly titled "Fed Up," the filmmakers point the finger not at Captain Crunch commercials or toy-bearing Happy Meals and "ketchup is a vegetable" legislation but at one primary "bad guy" ... sugar and, of course, the companies that push it on to our children -- and us.

The movie, produced by Laurie David (Larry's wife and the woman behind Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth"), features real life kids who struggle with their weight and the way society treats them.

"I want people to know that childhood obesity isn't as simple as TV and press make it seem," Maggie Valentine, a teary 12-year-old who weighs more than 200 pounds says on camera. "No matter how hard you try, it's always going to be an ongoing battle."

Indeed, the battle seems to be one that's insurmountable. As Terry Fleck, director of the Center for Food Integrity told NPR, "Obesity is this reality that we are consuming more calories than we are burning off, and that's easy to do in our society," Fleck says. "The reality is we are a society that's busy. We want convenience foods. We drive everywhere. We don't walk like others in other cultures."

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Like many thought-provoking docs, "Fed Up" doesn't offer up tidy solutions. With this topic, that's because there doesn't seem to be one. The onus would seem to rest on the shoulders of each individual family instilling in their children the importance of good nutrition and engaging in a reasonable amount of physical exercise. Call me a skeptic but I don't see that happening on a grand enough scale to make a difference. For once I hope I'm wrong.

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