by Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.

I am generally a big fan of documentaries because I love to learn. But the documentary Fed Up saddened me. As a health-care professional, I am well aware of the problems associated with what we eat. However, this movie opened my eyes to the enormity of the health crisis in our country. I am grieved and angered over our deliberate ignorance about food.

The Federal Government is masterful at slight-of-hand, turning our “health crisis” into profits for insurance companies under Obamacare. But the real crisis is the ignorance perpetrated by the junk-food industry. They foster lies and myths through advertising and marketing. They own the government agencies that are supposed to protect the health of our children. They go into our schools offering “free samples” to get our children hooked. It’s NOT a pretty picture.

Dispelling myths

Our world is filled with myths:

Fed Up dispels the myths of “calories in/calories out,” “moderation,” and “energy balance.” As the population has exercised more, obesity has increased. Exercise is not the answer to obesity. I still have lots of people coming to my office thinking that if they exercise more they will be able to lose weight. This is a myth. The reality is that it’s all about the food, and primarily sugar.

Another myth is that “a calorie is a calorie.” This is completely untrue. A calorie from a piece of fruit is used by the body very differently than a calorie from soda pop. Another myth is that “juice is natural, so it’s good for you.” Juice is just like soda, it’s all sugar.

It’s not about the calories, it’s about the sugar. Eighty percent of prepared foods contain added sugar. The worst offenders are drinks. One health expert was quoted, “Soda is the tobacco of the 21st century.” We are killing ourselves with our own appetites. Home cooked half the price

Last week I had a patient with cancer in my office who was told by his oncologist, “It’s fine to eat sugar, your body needs sugar.” Obviously that oncologist isn’t up-to-date on the research that sugar feeds cancer. The myth that “the body needs sugar” is also dispelled in the movie.

I have been saying for years is that sugar is poison. Anything you could say about alcohol you can say about sugar. Both are hepatotoxins (they damage the liver). A little does a little bit of damage and a lot does a lot of damage. The more sugar we eat, the more damage is done.

Another myth that I frequently hear is, “It costs more to eat real food.” In the movie Fed Up, they compared food for a family of four from a fast-food restaurant with a fresh-cooked meal at home. The home-cooked meal was half the price.

Public-Private Partnership

It seems that the junk-food industry and government have conspired together to feed our children as much poison as possible. They wrap it in pretty packages and spend billions of dollars to advertise it to our children, teaching them that it’s food. This is a lie. It’s not food. Food nourishes the body. Junk-food is no more food than alcohol is food because it contains calories; or tobacco because it’s natural and comes out of the ground.

A quote from the movie that hit home for me was, “If a foreign country came in and fed our children these toxins, making them fat and weak, we would go to war! Why then do we allow our own people do it?” Not only do we tolerate it, we welcome it!

“The government is not just complacent, but complicit in the obesity epidemic.” When the World Health Organization (WHO) decided to limit the recommended calories from added sugar to 10% of the diet, the FDA told them that they would withhold $400 million if WHO published this guideline. As a result, WHO changed the standard to 25% of calories from added sugar. This is the power of the sugar industry to change the opinion and health of the entire world. That being said, the average child in America gets 40% of its calories from added sugar.

WHO and FDA sugar What’s more, the government subsidizes only junk-food. The “corn sugar” industry alone was given 8.1 billion dollars over the last five years! All of the other processed foods are subsidized as well.

Our government schools are custodians of junk-food. “Fifty percent of public schools feed our children fast-food.” Children are sent to school to learn, but the things they learn about food are insidious lies. They learn that pizza is food, when really it’s not. It’s poison.

Michelle Obama started a “Let’s Move” program that was originally designed to get people to move into better eating habits. This effort was hijacked by a partnership with the processed food industry into a useless campaign for exercise. Only general, weak, non-specific efforts are made to “choose good food.”

Our government is not trying to protect our health or that of our children. Instead, our government protects the industry that is slowly poisoning us to death. “This is the first generation that will have a shorter life span than their parents.”

Wounded Warriors

The movie chronicles the sad plight of several children from around the country who are obese. Each of the children, between 12 and 14 years old, weighs over 200 pounds. All of them are crying for help. One young man was worried he wouldn’t reach his twentieth birthday. My heart went out to the young girl who felt trapped, crying that she couldn’t do anything about her health.

Sadly, in our day of enlightenment, our people are ignorant about what’s healthy. What we learn from television are lies. We may think that all the propaganda doesn’t affect us, but it does. The film showed two groups of children both watching the same show. The children watching the show coupled with food ads ate 40% more than children watching the show without food ads.


The myths perpetrated by the fast-food industry are so entrenched in our society. I was amazed at the ignorance of people. Parents buy chips and sugary cereals thinking these are healthy because they’re “low fat.” A father explains that he might as well keep junk-food in the house, because his son is going to get it anyway. food ads and children

Ignorance thrives not only in the minds of parents and children, but also in the minds of nutrition professionals. One of the nutrition workers from a school cafeteria rationalized, “If we put out a healthy meal, only 25 of the 350 students will choose it.” She didn’t think that offering gin to a bunch of alcoholics every day would perpetuate their problem.

Because I am a medical doctor, I am very hard on doctors. One of the kids, the one that was worried about dying early, was given a stomach stapling and intestinal bypass surgery. These doctors were talking a child into intestinal bypass surgery, knowing that it is doomed to failure.

The doctor’s note said 30% of those who undergo intestinal bypass surgery gain all their weight back within two years, but the doctor left that out of the conversation. Most of the risks were listed, and the surgeon lightly brushed over those. The child was not informed of how his life would change due to this procedure. Missing so much of the intestine will make the child chronically malnourished, even when he gains his weight back. This is no solution to obesity.

What are the solutions?

While the movie was about the problem more than solutions, there are some good tips about what to do. One of the families decided to engage in a “sugar cleanse” in which they removed all sugar from their diets for several weeks. They felt so good that they continued eating without sugar and began to lose weight. They started eating real food: vegetables, fruit, meat, whole grains, and nuts. They prepared food at home instead of eating out. The young man lost 27 pounds! However, in the end, they didn’t maintain their new sugarless diet and he gained it all back.

I was so saddened and angered by this documentary, because every day I have to combat the diseases that we bring on ourselves by what we eat. I have been fighting against this ignorance for so long. It seems like a lost cause. My patients lose some weight and then cave in and “gain it all back,” like the Proverb says, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.”

I recommend that everyone see the movie Fed Up to have their eyes opened to the real HEALTH CRISIS IN AMERICA (and the world)!

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Dr. Scott Saunders, Home Cures That WorkDr. Scott D. Saunders, M.D. (Ask-an-MD) is a practicing physician, specializing in preventative health care, who utilizes eclectic health care for the whole family, including conventional, orthomolecular and natural medicine. He is also the medical director of The Integrative Medical Center of Santa Barbara in Lompoc, CA. He went to UCLA medical school and is board certified in family medicine. View natural remedies with Dr. Saunders at: