NEWS BITE: “Fed Up” Sheds Light on Obesity, But How Factual Is It?

Katie Couric, former anchor of the Today Show and the CBS Evening News, is crusading to address obesity in the United States and elsewhere with her latest project, a documentary called “Fed Up.” Her efforts have drawn applause from some, but have come under criticism by others.

“Fed Up” premiered in theaters on May 9 and was co-produced by Couric and Laurie David, producer of the environmental documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.” The movie blames our collective growing waistlines on government policies, food marketing, and—the central villain of the story—sugars. But how accurate is it?

IFIC Foundation’s Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA, FAND and Matt Raymond attended an advance screening of the film, from which they co-authored a detailed critique of the accurate, the inaccurate, and the in-between, which can be read here. Many claims made in the movie were not sourced or cited, and as part of its critique, Food Insight examined the claims and statistics that were put forward in the film.

Clocking in at about 4,400 words and meticulously researched and sourced, the piece concludes that the film is replete with omissions, distortions, and falsehoods, which Smith Edge and Raymond explain, while clear that in no way is the critique intended to minimize the problem of obesity; just that “Fed Up” got its diagnosis wrong.

Couric and David have stated in the media that their ultimate goal is for the film to be shown in every school in America.