Sixty years ago, Fred Flintstone hawked Winston cigarettes. Today, he pitches cereal. And both can kill.

Stephanie Soechtig’s rabble rousing documentary Fed Up argues that it’s time to attack Big Sugar just like we successfully demonized Big Tobacco. Narrated by Katie Couric, Fed Up is the first doc of Sundance to stir up an outraged Q&A with attendees agitating for nutritional reform put new labels on processed foods, resurrect home economics classes, rally our leaders to combat the corporate Sugaristas, and screen Fed Up in schools across America.

The flick starts with a simple question. In 1977, George McGovern introduced the McGovern Report, which outlined healthy dietary goals for the country. Why, then, have Americans gotten fatter exponentially so, especially the young? In 1980, there were zero cases of childhood type 2 diabetes. In 2010, there were 57,636. “That used to be called adult onset diabetes,” sighs Bill Clinton. No longer. Now we have 9 and 10 year old kids dying of heart attacks and strokes.

At this rate, in twenty years, 95 percent of the population will be obese, a crisis that affects every aspect of our country’s stability from health care spending to national defense. A group of retired military leaders is so alarmed by our out of shape society that they’ve issued a warning study called “Too Fat to Fight.” At that point in the screening, the slender actresses to the right of me tsk tsked, but then Fed Up dropped a bomb 40 percent of thin people are also fat, their internal organs padded with enough damaging blubber that they may as well be clinically obese. Behold, our new national paranoia TOFI, or Thin Outside, Fat Inside.

Quickly, Soechtig dismisses the common wisdom that fat people are fat because they’re gluttonous and lazy. We meet 200 pound plus kids like 13 year old Wesley, whose mom monitors his servings of Special K chips, and 12 year old Maggie, who swims, rows and walks. They’re trying, but the scale isn’t moving. In my generation, as a child of the ’80s, there used to be one or two Maggies in a grade. Now there’s a dozen. And the problem started when we tried to get healthy.

Fed Up traces back the last 35 years and makes a convincing case that big business is to blame. (When isn’t it?) The food industry responded to the McGovern Report by flooding the grocery aisles with “healthy” chips, cookies, drinks, and cereals that cut fat while quietly upping the sugar. Since then, sugar consumption has doubled. It’s not because we’re pounding down the pound cakes a breakfast of orange juice and a bowl of processed cereal maxes out our ideal sugar intake for the rest of the day. Sugar increases insulin, insulin increases fat storage. And it’s addictive. In a study Soechtig quotes, 93 percent of lab rats chose sugar water over cocaine.

Judging by the audience reaction as Soechtig detailed the many lost battles that have attempted to regulate the sugar industry, Fed Up is poised to be the Inconvenient Truth of the health movement. (Which makes sense producer Laurie David worked on both.) Why have we allowed the USDA, whose job it is to sell food, to pretend to be the voice of nutritional wisdom? Why is it okay that pizza sauce and french fries are legally considered vegetables? Why aren’t we loudly mocking junk food shills like the McDonalds rep who, while testifying in a failed hearing about banning advertising for children, deadpanned, “We don’t market to children. Ronald McDonald informs and inspires by magic and fun.” Where’s their Thank You for Smoking, and can we please call it Thank You for Snacking?

After the film, I went to my condo and grabbed the cookie dough I’d been planning to bake. There were the lies and dodges that we’ve passively permitted for decades a nutritional label that lists the daily percent of Vitamin A in one cookie (2 percent) but obfuscates the sugar by merely mentioning the number of grams, 11 (that’s 55 percent). Not only did the package boast it had no trans fat, it even brazenly touted that a cookie and a glass of milk made a “wholesome snack.” Imagine a warning label there instead. Now imagine what that could do.

See also Sundance 2014 Ten Films to Watch

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Guess who is trying to regulate e-cigarettes? « hot air

Discount cigarettes – monrovia, ca

I smoked for 32 years until I got into vaping which is it s own culture. It is awesome, all the different flavors, methods, etc.

Key West Reader on November 23, 2013 at 4 37 PM

&#8230 for one thing, there are “e cigarettes”, and then there are “e cigarettes”.

There are the ones like we see Steve Dorff and Jenny McCarthy vaping in commercials which look like “analog” (read burning tobacco) cigarettes and then there is the type of vaping one can get into when you really fall down the rabbit hole&#8230 mods, tanks, bottom coil, rebuildables, mechs, variables, etc. As quoted, it is it’s own culture.

For a lot of folks, vaping is not just a way of getting out from under tobacco’s thumb&#8230 it’s also a hobby, and a damned interesting one, if one is so inclined.

That said, for someone considering quitting, there are some simple things to consider

1) At some point in one’s addiction, taste was a factor&#8230 and tobacco comes in two basic flavors burnt tobacco and burnt tobacco with menthol.

2) Stop for a second and consider that word burnt. One is inhaling smoke&#8230 SMOKE&#8230 the stuff we hope makes it up the chimney&#8230 into our rather sensitive lungs.

3) As many have already pointed out, if it were ONLY smoke, it would be bad enough (carbon monoxide, etc.)&#8230 but add to that the other chemicals in the mass produced tobacco product cocktail&#8230 a heady mix.

4) Tobacco is a big cash cow for federal, state and local governments. Every excise tax dollar the government doesn’t get to squander is a dollar you can spend on beer&#8230 and, if you homebrew, you can stick it to The Man a second time.

Now consider

1) Vaping means that one is cooking up what is referred to in the vaping community as “e liquid” (“juice”)&#8230 applying heat and creating steam. So, one is not burning anything.

2) “Juice” comes in as many different flavors as you can imagine, from watermelon, berry, various sorts of pastry, various sorts of fruits, various sorts of drinks and cocktails&#8230 the ONLY flavor I’ve found that can’t be properly recreated is the taste of burning tobacco (the “tobacco” flavors I’ve found have all been variations on a theme of maple syrup)&#8230 the variety only limited by the ingenuity of the many juice makers out there.

3) By and large, the ingredients of this e liquid rendered into vapor (steam) are some sort of suspension fluid (either the base suspension liquid used in cough syrup or a vegetable analog of same), nicotine, and flavoring, sometimes with a little alcohol.

4) The nicotine content of the “juice” you order can be set up to order&#8230 meaning that you can go from what you’re used to intaking down in increments down to zero&#8230 no nicotine at all, so you’re just vaping flavor.

Now&#8230 as folks are saying, this stuff ISN’T regulated&#8230 while vaping itself has been regulated (in ways paralleling the ways smokers are regulated), the “juice” isn’t. You can buy the basic ingredients and make up a batch yourself&#8230 and vape away happily.

&#8230 and, aside from the loss of revenue, therein lays the rub the control freaks haven’t got their hooks into it.

Regulation of societal and personal habits is a two edged sword. One the one hand, we see the advertised justification&#8230 to keep things clean and safe. No snake oil or nuclear waste in the e juice. But, the other edge that comes into play on the backhand is that we are doing our own thing, without the leave of our “betters”&#8230 and that just goes right up the noses of those self appointed “betters”&#8230 .

&#8230 so, you’ve got a bunch of anarchistic home brewing vapers building their own atomizers, cartomizers, tanks and the electrical delivery systems to heat up the juice&#8230 all happily swapping technique, juice recipes, and the like&#8230 and Uncle Sugar (and his prissy cousin in the EU) haven’t got a say in how folks are being happy&#8230 which must really singe his whiskers.

Myself, I NEVER ONCE smoked a cigarette. Not a single one. Not in 58 years, not in a career in the military, not in two separate “wedding nights”&#8230 not a one. My parents smoked, and the stink and coughing and the long car rides with them puffing away served to put me off at an early age. I’ve tried to get into pipe smoking, but pipes aren’t so much for smoking as for fiddling with&#8230 fill, tamp, light JUST SO, tamp, suck, then figure out why it tastes like a smoldering tube sock. I’ve also enjoyed cigars&#8230 but, after the yuppies got into stogies, good cigars shot up to $15 apiece at least&#8230 and who can afford that.

&#8230 and I vape. The Blu/Green Smoke/South Beach stuff was weak and I didn’t have a cigarette/finger fiddle habit to break, so I explored the more interesting world of mods/tanks/juices, and have been having a great time&#8230 .

&#8230 two things to note in order to make this an honest post

1) I don’t inhale. I was a cigar man, and inhaling seems unnatural to me. You can inhale, and take whole lungs full of green tea or guava flavored steam in, but I don’t. That’s just me.

2) I don’t use nicotine. Don’t need it. If I want a jolt, I have a cup of coffee, and I’ve been cutting down on caffeine, as well.

One cavaet, as well I’m a diabetic. I’ve read in some places that nicotine raises blood sugar, in others that it doesn’t&#8230 but, if it does, and you’re a diabetic like me, get off the tobacco NOW.

Also, I haven’t found anything conclusive about the health effects of the ingredients in the many tasty flavorings on diabetes. They don’t divulge their recipes (as you’d expect) and generally list things as “natural and artificial flavorings”, like breakfast cereal. This is, in my opinion, the ONLY down side of non regulation.

Are there health risks? Sure. The only way that I can see to safely ingest nicotine (or ingest alcohol or parachute or skateboard or drive a car or rewire a wall socket) is NOT TO DO IT. In inaction there is safety&#8230 but not a lot of savor.

&#8230 so, if you’re currently still sucking on burning, chemically adulterated floor sweepings, and need your nicotine fix, there’s little excuse left. Vape. It tastes better, has GOT to be better than taking smoke into your lungs, smells better (rather like perfume, in some cases), and is ultimately cheaper. With a quick internet search and a credit card, one can get started for about the cost of a carton of smokes&#8230 and then only pay for juice.

&#8230 and if that isn’t enough, consider the FDA still hasn’t stuck their nose in&#8230 it’s still fairly free. Revel in freedom, especially when it’s untaxed.

Puritan1648 on November 23, 2013 at 8 30 PM