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Reflections on Fed Up Documentary

Reflections on Fed Up Documentary

Oct. 17, 2014

By Rebecca Ryan


I first heard about the Fed Up documentary as I am a big fan (and Facebook follower) of Dr. Mark Hyman who is featured in the film and has been a proponent of the message of the film since it opened in the Spring.

Fed Up, an official selection of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, examines the food industry’s economic interest in encouraging unhealthy eating habits, which has contributed to America’s obesity epidemic and overall health crisis.

I was determined to find a theater in the area to see Fed Up which wasn’t easy due to its limited release. The closest cinema showing Fed Up is in Montclair, NJ. I had the idea to suggest bringing this film to our community but wanted to make sure I saw it first before reaching out to the Summit Film Society and, once I did, I was determined! Thankfully, the Film Society agreed to work with me and went ahead with contacting the Weinstein Film Company regarding obtaining the rights for a public screening.

After months of planning, October 17th had arrived and, despite several events going on the same evening, we had a full house. There was a great buzz in the room as people found their seats and some chatter regarding the film’s topic. People came from numerous surrounding towns including a mother and daughter who traveled all the way from Lake Hopatcong, NJ!

I had the honor of introducing the film where I stated, “Processed food is so pervasive and ingrained in our culture that it’s something that we hardly even think about. We have become so dependent on these ‘foods’ that we’ve kind of lost sight as to what real food is.” Once you see this film, your eyes will be opened to this sentiment. Fed Up demonstrates the tremendous power the food industry has to influence our food choices while provoking thought as to what dietary changes we can make for ourselves and our families to lead healthier lives.

Once the film was over, we raffled some amazing items from local businesses including gift certificates from Whole Foods, Athleta apparel, The Matinee Club of Summit, Skin Deep Salon and Spa and a three-month membership to the local YMCA (plus a few more)! During the discussion that followed the film, many people raised questions about changes that could be made in the community while others discussed strategies they have already been implementing in their own homes to reduce processed food consumption.

I am so grateful to the Summit Film Society for helping me bring this powerful film to our community. I have received feedback from people who have told me they’re more selective in the supermarket and are more aware of the amount of sugar they eat on a daily basis. If you would like to make changes towards a healthier lifestyle but not sure where to start, please contact me at

You can also download a free, healthy, sugar-busting snack list on my website at:

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