Home > Movie, Review > Movie Review: Killer at Large Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat (2008)

Movie Review: Killer at Large Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat (2008)

Summary:
A documentary about America’s obesity epidemic, Killer at Large interviews scientists, politicians, activists, and parents about the causes of and cure for obesity.  Included among these are genetics, perpetual stress, and lifestyle changes from our hunter-gatherer past.

Review:
This documentary is definitely interesting to watch.  It is akin to watching a mini-marathon on TLC (back before TLC was only about huge families, little people, and cake-making).  Scientists’ discussions of our past and present are accompanied by amateur flash illustrations.  However, these make the fat talk seem to not be bashing, which is a good thing.  Particularly memorable to me was a comparison of an FDA approved school lunch of chicken nuggets and fries vs. a non-FDA approved lunch of salad and fruit.  Since poor children get the bulk of their food from school, this definitely should be an issue.  However, the main crux of  the film seems to be that America is obese because our genes want us to be hunter-gatherers and the government has us in a state of perpetual stress over terrorism (stress makes us store food).  Sorry, but I just don’t buy that.  The whole planet evolved from hunter-gatherers; Europe is facing the same terrorist threat, and you don’t see them weighing in at 300 pounds (or whatever the metric equivalent is).  I personally believe the culprit is overly processed food combined with driving everywhere, but this documentary shies away from actually saying that, although it comes close.  Overall, it’s worth watching, but I’m sure there are more memorable food documentaries out there.

3 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

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Categories: Movie, Review
  1. GringaSalsera
    January 4, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    so basically it’s no one’s own problem that they can do something about, no one needs to change their sedentary, and unhealthy food eating, habits. OTHER people just need to stop stressing us out and pick out the better food for us. got it 😉

    • January 5, 2010 at 9:25 am

      While it is a valid point that each individual is responsible for herself, I think the overall trend toward obesity shows that this is a lesson we are not teaching the next generation. Somewhere, the baton did not get passed, and people have stopped learning how to take responsibility for their actions. Additionally, even though to you and me how to eat healthily is obvious, if a child is raised by parents who feed her chicken McNuggets, and then she goes to school and eats only FDA-approved lunches of chicken nuggets and fries, she could easily grow up and not know this isn’t healthy. To her mind, why would people who care for her feed her unhealthy food? So although there is a place to say, it’s personal responsibility, it’s also a cultural issue.

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