I recently participated in the online premiere of Hungry for Change, a documentary done mostly through interviews that looks at what may be causing obesity in North America (or the world in general). Here’s the trailer:
I can’t say there was anything new in this movie. It was the usual, too much sugar in our diet, too many processed foods.
I enjoyed hearing some of the “facts” but I wish they had given the studies that they received their information from (in one part they discuss how diet soda with caffeine + aspartame are a deadly combination that causes brain cells to die in complete euphoria) since some of it sounds interesting (and far fetched, though I have no doubts at all that sugar replacements are something we know very little about and are most likely hazardous to our health).
While I agree that we have too much added sugar in our foods, I’m tired of hearing it compared to a drug. Of course sugar uses the same pathway in our brain as heroin or cocaine; it’s the dopamine pathway, so anything that gives you pleasure or makes you happy could be doing the same thing. Here’s an interesting blog post discussing just that.
As a whole I support the idea of whole foods and local eating as a way to live a healthier life, but I am tired of hearing the idea that if everyone bought a juicer, we could all be healthy. I do not believe that it is as simple as telling people to eat more fruits and vegetables (after all we do that a lot already). There is a lot of problems that are a little more systemic in our food system that deny in some instances access or availability of foods to areas, population or people I would love to see a film that maybe discusses the ways we can work to change our food system (though perhaps this is discussed in films such as Forks Over Knives, or Food Inc. I must admit I haven’t seen those yet).
On the other hand, I really liked that this film was not completely over the top about pushing a certain lifestyle. They discussed more whole foods (fruits + vegetables), more local foods. They didn’t vilify wheat, or meat, or even butter. I loved some of the discussion of how other areas of your life can affect what you eat. And the power of mind, the idea of visualization really interests me. I do completely support the idea of local and sustainable practice, and working to eat “a diet as a species would eat”. Some of the personal stories are really inspiring as well.
While in the end what goes in your mouth is personal choice, the road for food to get there is much more complicated than that. Ideas such as availability and access (food deserts anyone?) play a large role in health as well, and I would love to see a film discuss the food system, and it’s relation to obesity, from a corporate (and even food policy) level as well. We do have to really change what is going in our mouth, but perhaps we have to change what is being made available to go in our mouths
So have you seen the film? What were your thoughts?