Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

FED UP, the Movie – 10 Day Ban Sugar Challenge

Brown Sugar Whipped cream
Brown Sugar Whipped cream (Photo credit: QuintanaRoo)

Yesterday I saw the movie FED UP, a well done documentary about childhood obesity and why kids (and adults) cannot lose weight and keep it off.

From the movie: For the past 30 years, everything we thought we knew about food and exercise is dead wrong. FED UP is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see; from Katie Couric, Laurie David, and director Stephanie Soechtig.

The culprit is sugar, fructose, brown sugar, agave, maltose, dextrose, brown sugar, turbinado sugar, honey, molasses, sucralose, and fake sugar like Splenda, Stevia, etc.

The movie says by 2050, 1 in 3 people will have type 2 diabetes. If you’re going to be around in 2050, buy stock in type 2 diabetes medications and testing paraphernalia.

According to the movie, the average grocery store has 600,000 items and 80 percent of them have sugar.

The government is subsidizing the food industry. Lobbyists don’t lie. (Yeah right!) Sugar is more addictive than cocaine. (That is believable.) Even Michelle Obama with her “Let’s Move” campaign has moved away from coaxing the food industry to encouraging more exercise. In other words, it’s a lost political cause at this point.

While the movie assaulted us with fact after fact, three teenagers who were obese were followed throughout the movie and it was heartbreaking because not only was their weight cultural but also two of three had parents with weight problems and the kids were targeted at school and wherever they went with poor food choices even for school lunches.

The movie encourages people to go on a no sugar challenge for 10 days. I accept that challenge. I already don’t buy regular or diet soda, junk food or cookies or cakes to have around. I do eat dessert on occasion when dining out.

Speaking of soda, how many teaspoons of sugar in a 16-oz can or bottle of Coke or Pepsi? A typical 16-ounce bottle of soda has 44 grams sugar, or about 11 teaspoons. That is equal to three servings of Frosted Flakes breakfast cereal or one slice of pecan pie or one cup of chocolate ice cream.

However, I did find that most food does have sugar in it. Today at Trader Joe’s, I tried to buy my usual sliced whole grain bread but saw that it had honey. I looked at more than a half dozen high fiber, whole grain choices and all had honey, evaporated cane sugar, or molasses. Some of the breads had more than one kind of sugar.

Most of the prepared salad dressings had some kind of sugar or more than one kind. Also I tried to buy some packaged sliced turkey and all had maple syrup, honey or brown sugar as an ingredient. My soy creamer had organic cane juice. Seafood cocktail sauce made with tomatoes and horseradish had sugar as the third ingredient.

At Whole Foods yesterday I tried to buy sushi and saw sugar as an ingredient.

The sugar challenge recommends whole grains, fruits and vegetables. While fruits have natural sugar, fiber in fruit counteracts the insulin rush. Juices are no-no as most are made with concentrates and added sugar. Even my protein powder has sucralose but a very small amount.

You can take the challenge whether or not you have seen the movie. I’ll keep Circle of Food readers as to how my 10 days progress…

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