Left to right: The women behind "Fed Up" producer Eve Manson, director Stephanie Soechtig, producer Sarah Olson, Laurie David and Katie Couric at Sundance
Laurie David is worried about what most moms are worried about: food. Food and how it affects our children. With childhood obesity on the rise, she believes it's important for parents to be well-informed about what's going into their kids' bodies. In her new documentary "Fed Up," which arrives in
theaters on May 9, the Oscar-winning producer ("An Inconvenient Truth") takes an investigative look at the food industry to find out what's going wrong.
The film follows four teens who are struggling with obesity and how that's negatively affecting their lives.
It also traces how the amount of added sugar has
increased in foods over the years, without much oversight.
David, who's also a mom to two daughters, spoke to mom.me about her biggest food concerns, her dinner advice for busy moms and what it was like to work with co-executive producer and journalist Katie Couric on the film.
did you want to make this movie?
I got fed up, and Katie Couric got fed
up. The process started with Katie covering health and weight loss her entire
career: Why is the problem getting worse and worse? She really wanted to delve
into it, and she approached me. We found director Stephanie Soechtig, and the
three of us together tried to unravel this.
I think that there was a statistic that
really drove all of us: This is the first generation of kids
that will live a shorter lifespan than their parents. This is unacceptable. It
was a passion project with moms at the helm.
a mother, what are you most concerned about with children's nutrition?
You know what’s hard for me is that
parents think they’re doing the right thing — but the food is booby-trapped.
These kids don’t understand why they’re not losing weight. So much is not their
wisdom is all about willpower. We make the argument, “How can it be personal
responsibility if the label lies to you? How is it personal responsibility if
the salad dressing is laden with sugar?”
message do you hope parents will take away from this?
I think to me it’s: "How often do you
have a problem with a solution that is tangible and doable?"
As a challenge, get off of sugar for 10
days and do it as a family activity. See how you feel. See how much sugar you
eat in a day.
Next, cook real food. You have to cook
real food. And put less pressure on ourselves about what a meal has to be. You
can make scrambled eggs with broccoli for dinner.
Then, go to your school principal. Get
together a group of moms and get the soda out of your school, get the candy out
of your school. Bring back fresh food at your school.
advice do you have for busy working moms trying to get dinner on the table?
Everybody is really busy. On the day you
do have time, which is Sunday, make it home-cooked Sunday. This is the day that
you prep the kitchen to have a successful plan for the week. You peel carrots
and put them in a glass jar. Chop up cabbage, peel garlic — put them in a glass jar with a
lid. Peel onions so you have them ready. This saves you so much time.
You can also pick up my book "The
Family Cooks, 100+ Recipes to Get Your Family Craving Food That’s Simply
Tasty and Incredibly Good for You" and plan meals out by, for example, boiling
a dozen eggs and saving them for breakfast during the week. A little planning
goes a really long way. Include everyone in it. Everyone should have to help.