“One of the great public health epidemics of our time.”
“The epidemic here is worse than was previously estimated. Much worse.”
“Over 95% of all Americans will be overweight or obese in two decades.”
“The government is subsidizing the obesity epidemic”
“By 2050, one out of every three americans will have diabetes.”
“There are 600,000 food items in America. Eighty percent of them have added sugar.”
“Junk food companies are acting very much like tobacco companies did thirty years ago.”
“Ronald McDonald never sells to children. He informs and inspires through magic and fun.”
“This is the first generation of American children expected to lead shorter lives than their parents.”
“If a foreign nation were doing [this] to our children, we would defend our families.”
All the quotes come from a trailer for the muckraking homeland security movie called Fed Up (thanks, Dan).
More about Fed Up in a moment, but I call it a homeland security movie because if the claims about the epidemic are accurate, here is another issue affecting the safety and security of the nation that is not within the DHS portfolio: i.e., a generation of children whose life expectancy may be shorter than their parents.
Theodore Roosevelt gets credit for originating the term muckraker.
In April 1906, he said “The men with the muck rakes are often indispensable to the well being of society….”
He went on to say they shouldn’t be raking muck all the time, but in the same speech he noted,
There are, in the body politic, economic and social, many and grave evils, and there is urgent necessity for the sternest war upon them. There should be relentless exposure of and attack upon every evil man whether politician or business man, every evil practice, whether in politics, in business, or in social life. I hail as a benefactor every writer or speaker, every man who, on the platform, or in book, magazine, or newspaper, with merciless severity makes such attack, provided always that he in his turn remembers that the attack is of use only if it is absolutely truthful.
Switch over now to the food you and your family eat. How’s that going? Do you understand what foods help you and your family stay healthy? What foods don’t? Do you even pay attention to food? Where do you get your knowledge about nutrition?
Enter the muckrakers to give us what may not be an objective set of answers to those questions, but they do claim to be accurate.
The film “Fed Up” is scheduled to open in theaters on May 9th. It was produced by Katie Couric and Laurie David. David also produced “An Inconvenient Truth,” a film not exactly without controversy or complaints about skewing data to make a point. (See, for example, Section V in Richard A. Muller’s Physics for Future Presidents , or this Washington Post fact check article: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2007/10/an_inconvenient_truth_for_al_g_1.html).
I can’t imagine going to a theater to watch a video about the food industry. But I guess people actually do that.
As one person who watched the Fed Up trailer below commented,
“I swear to god, there’s going to be people watching this movie in the theaters with a large soda and popcorn with extra butter….”