Peter Jennings Reporting: How to Get Fat Without Really Trying

Peter Jennings Reporting: How to Get Fat Without Really Trying
43:32 | 2003

Categories: Documentary, Science and Environment, Health and Food

Obesity is fast on its way to becoming the nation's largest and most costly public health problem. While much of the public debate about obesity has focused on personal responsibility, PETER JENNINGS REPORTING: HOW TO GET FAT WITHOUT EVEN TRYING reveals how federal government agricultural policies and food industry practices are contributing to America's growing obesity epidemic.

In this program, Jennings demonstrates for the first time how more federal agricultural subsidies are going to foods Americans should be eating less, while few subsidies go to foods we should be eating more. Jennings investigates the type of food products the packaged food industry introduces each year and finds that the vast majority of new food products are those that dietary guidelines say Americans should be eating least.

Jennings also takes a bold look at the marketing of unhealthy food to children. Studies reveal that young children are not capable of understanding the intent of advertising and Jennings questions the ethics of such marketing, raising the question: should children be protected from junk food marketing -- despite the economic impact that might have on food companies and broadcast networks?

Within days of this documentary airing, schools across the country requested copies for use in their classrooms. Nutrition scholars are re-directing their research to examine the relationship of agricultural subsidies to the obesity epidemic. The Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission has indicated that food marketing is an area in which the agency will become more involved. And California legislators scheduled a screening of the program as they were considering restrictions on marketing of junk food to children.


Reviews: B+ 97 Fans
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Vince Vilan
September 28, 2014
Kevine Jacques
September 27, 2014
Jeffrey Spitz
February 16, 2014
the standard bearer for ABC News Jennings is spot on here and ahead of the both Food Inc and Supersize Me in terms of research and conclusions, but his delivery is dry and oh so news man like. An extended news report the delivery is dry, dispassionate and so routine for Jennings that it feels like it was phoned in. While I do like this report because of its organization and clarity, i find the approach stale.
September 7, 2013
Heather Lee
June 27, 2013
A little dated but still very relevant.
Joshua Byron
June 12, 2013
Marisa Cherry
September 8, 2012
No TV in our house = no commercials for disgusting garbage. My kid will never see McDonalds or anything else in our house, so there's no begging for it or anything else for the most part. yes they want some things they shouldn't have but it isn't this unwinnable war people make it out to be. when your kid isn't in school (don't get me started on the slop they serve there) you have control over their entire day, all their meals, and everything they see and come into contact with on TV. parents have too little self control and they pass down to their kids.
Sunny Outdoors
July 17, 2012
this film was created 2003, and the government hasn't change much. I like Trader Joes and Whole foods..they stay away from HFCS, high fructose corn syrup.
Sunny Outdoors
July 17, 2012
very great , you got to the point... no more subsidez especially to meat, corn, etc..
Michael Warner
July 17, 2012
Info from the video...20 Billion dollars in Subsidez. And there's NO link to health and nutrition to the American people. They (Congress) give subsidies without understanding the impact. How much of the subsidies go to fruits and veggies? =1%. The Meat and Dairy , Fats and Oils industries get most of the subsidies. Most heavily subsidized crop is corn. 5.5 Billion in subsidies to Corn. Not the sweet corn on the cob, but corn that is processed and is an industrial food ingredient -cheep raw materials to fed to chickens pigs and cattle. That encourages the public to purchase cheep meat. Cows don't normally eat corn so they are given drugs so they can survive this weird diet.
Michael Warner
July 17, 2012
Corn, as a sweetener, is in soda, candy, hotdogs.