After about a month of every libertarian I know telling me I had to watch this movie, I finally did. The women who came over for our Game of Thrones viewing party were big fans of the film, and so we viewed it as an appetizer.
The movie purports to be a hollaback to That Idiot Morgan Spurlock’s award-winning Super-Size Me. The movie also purports to be a myth-busting outing that takes on the “bologna” of governmentally-approved (hence the libertarianism) nutritional facts. The movie also purports to be about a new way of eating.
And there you have your problem.
I liked about two-thirds of the movie very much, even though they were merely recounting things that all of us Health At Every Size advocates know and have blogged about.
–The obesity epidemic was contrived by organizations pushing for government funding and/or class action lawsuits.
–Obesity watchdog groups are often fronts for trial lawyers and veg*n vigilantes, both of whom have agendas far different from the benevolent wishes of good health for the nation.
–It is possible to be at the right end of the BMI scale and still be in overall good health.
–Much of the Obesity epidemic is racially-motivated, demonising populations who genetically trend larger and are also non-white.
–There is little difference between those who seek to ban transfats and soda and the Temperance crusaders of yore.
If you’ve read any of the Fat Acceptance or Health at Any Size writings, you are very familiar with these points. But it is fun–after hours of bombardment with anti-fat propaganda–to have an hour of upbeat music and snazzy graphics telling you the other side of the story.
The parts of the film that were meant to satirize Super Size Me were sometimes funny and sometimes strained. But Super Size Me was seven years ago. It was sort of odd to be watching Fathead discussing some governmental or nutritional fact only to break into a scene that didn’t make sense unless Pink Kitty was sitting next to you explaining that the scene was a take-off on one from Super-Size Me. Satirizing something in the dim and distant past is harder than you may think, especially when one of the women in the audience (that would be me) fell asleep during the original movie. Still, I admired both the points that the film’s creator Tom Naughton made and that he attempts over the course of the film to lose weight on a McDonald’s diet.
So what didn’t I like?
The last third of the film was a typical nightmare for your basic Health At Any Size advocate. Because after two-thirds of the movie talked loudly and long about how Diets Can’t Work and are doomed to fail the filmmakers do what every diet hawker in the history of time has done.
They start promoting their own diet.
Fifteen years ago it was Susan Powter in her blonde buzzcut, striding across the stage talking about how Fat Makes You Fat and carbs save your life. She piled on the hate for previous low carb diets and then told you to buy her book.
Ten years ago it was Dr. Atkins telling you sweetly from behind his white coat that carbs were how they fatten cattle for slaughter and proteins were the way to go. And then he told you to buy his book.
A few years after that another white-coat seized on Atkins’ death by heart attack and offered a modified version of that diet complete with “healthy carbs”. You can read about it if you buy the South Beach Diet Book.
So after an hour of jaunty music and fun graphics and jokes about how we’ve all been fed a lot of Bologna by the government…
Yes. You guessed it. Fathead tries to promote another Way Of Eating.
If the film had stopped before delving into their take on the latest WOE fad (gluten-free, wheat-free, paleo dieting) I would have been completely charmed. But I have a hard time embracing someone who poses as an Agenda Buster once they turn around and throw their own agenda at you.