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Fed Up (2014)

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An examination of America's obesity epidemic and the food industry's role in aggravating it.


Stephanie Soechtig
3 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Katie Couric ... Narrator
Bill Clinton ... Himself (as President Bill Clinton)
Michael Bloomberg ... Himself (as Mayor Michael Bloomberg)
Mark Hyman Mark Hyman ... Himself (as Mark Hyman M.D.)
Kelly Brownell ... Himself
Margo Wootan ... Herself
Michele Simon Michele Simon ... Herself
Gary Taubes Gary Taubes ... Himself
Tom Harkin Tom Harkin ... Himself (as Senator Tom Harkin)
Tom Vilsack Tom Vilsack ... Himself (as Secretary Tom Vilsack)


Upending the conventional wisdom of why we gain weight and how to lose it, Fed Up unearths a dirty secret of the American food industry-far more of us get sick from what we eat than anyone has previously realized. Filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig and TV journalist Katie Couric lead us through this potent exposé that uncovers why-despite media attention, the public's fascination with appearance, and government policies to combat childhood obesity-generations of American children will now live shorter lives than their parents did. Written by Sundance Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Congress says pizza is a vegetable.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements including smoking images, and brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »





Release Date:

19 January 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Picture See more »

Filming Locations:

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$126,028, 11 May 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,538,899, 22 August 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Atlas Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


After viewing this movie, writer/director/podcaster Kevin Smith cut the sugar from his diet and began rapidly losing weight. See more »


There is no sugar in most soda pop in the United States unless it's the A&W root beer from the restaurant or from Mexico. It has corn syrup which is the problem. See more »


Referenced in Superstore: Wellness Fair (2017) See more »


Performed by Olivia Newton-John (as Olivia Newton John)
Courtesy of MCA Records
under license from Universal Music Group
Written by Steve Kipner (as Steven Alan Kipner) (ASCAP), Terry Shaddick (as Terrence John Shaddick) (ASCAP)
(c) EMI Music Publishing Inc (ASCAP) Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Published by Floating World Music (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

An important film that doesn't try to "sugar coat" the problem
24 May 2014 | by Howard SchumannSee all my reviews

If you pay attention to nutrition labels on the food products you buy, you may notice that next to the number of grams of sugar, there is no percentage shown. The sugar industry made sure of that. What they don't want consumers to know is that the sugar content of many of their products is 100% or more of the average daily requirement. Stephanie Soechtig excoriates the sugar industry for valuing profits over health in her hard-hitting documentary Fed Up. Produced by Katie Couric, who is also the narrator and Laurie David, producer of the climate-change documentary An Inconvenient Truth, the film compares awareness of the true causes of obesity to the decade's long campaign informing the public about the danger of smoking cigarettes.

Though individual choice does play a part, Fed Up says that the main problem is not the lack of will power of the individual but the fact that people have become addicted to sugar. According to Soechtig, collusion between the food industry, Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has led to fierce opposition to regulation, government subsidies to farmers for their corn (which has been turned into high fructose corn syrup), unhealthy school lunch programs (80% have contracts with Coke or Pepsi), and relentless advertising campaigns directed towards children.

Bolstered by interviews with former President Bill Clinton, author Michael Pollan, and Senator Tom Harkin together with a bevy of medical researchers, the film cites statistics showing that 80% of the approximately 600,000 products sold in the supermarkets and convenience stores have added sugar and that, since the late 1970s, Americans have doubled their daily consumption of sugar so that now, one in every five people face obesity. It is estimated by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) that in one year, kids eat more than 10 pounds of sugar by weight from breakfast cereal.

Using charts and graphs, Soechtig also shows that the amount of sugar the industry has added to food to compensate for the unappealing taste of low-fat products has contributed to the increase in Type II diabetes such that by the year 2050, it is predicted that one out of three Americans will be diabetic. The film makes the problem even more real by focusing on several teenagers who have struggled with their weight for many years, emphatically pointing out the error of the conventional wisdom which says that eating less and exercising more (striking a balance between calories in and calories out), is the best solution.

Sparing no one including Michelle Obama, the film notes that her "Let's Move" campaign has been co-opted by the food industry and the responsibility for obesity placed on the individual. While Fed Up is definitely an advocacy doc and is typically one-sided (representatives of the food industry refused to be interviewed), it is an important film that doesn't try to "sugar coat" the problem but asks us to become involved by seeking an alternative to sugar-laden products, putting pressure on government and industry representatives, and demanding that the food industry begin caring about the health of our children. Now wouldn't that be sweet?

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