Why Obesity is America's Greatest Threat, poster

Killer at Large is a documentary film that addresses the obesity epidemic in the USA, emphasizing that obesity is a crime on the body. It successfully makes the audience aware of the fact that we’re getting fatter, which is not just killing us but also our children.

Obesity is the terror within. Unless we do something about it, the magnitude of the dilemma will dwarf 9-11 or any other terrorist attempt,” says former surgeon general Dr. Richard Carmona during his stirring speech at the beginning of the film.

How we got here

Humans have been on the face of the earth for almost 4 million years, and there has never been enough food. Our human race depended on hunting for food which ensured burning calories. But today, we don’t have a way of cutting out our food desires and calories have become a one-way process with most people only consuming them while not burning calories.

According to the film, the most overlooked factors that cause obesity are stress and fear. Cortisol, released by the adrenal glands, is a hormone that regulates food intake. Stress increases the release of cortisol, telling our brain to keep eating for storage even though it is already full.

Learn about the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it relates to obesity.

Food around us

Why Obesity is America's Greatest Threat, Bill Clinton and Anold Schwarzenegger

The film addresses the relationship between government health recommendations and the food industry. The experts expressed their fear over the increased production of cheap corn which only benefits the federal government and causes more people to become overweight.

Today, fruits and vegetables cost more than packaged and canned food. The big stores promote high-calorie food for cheaper money while the people with the least amount of money can only afford the most calories.

Regrettably, the standards of today are not becoming healthy, but the companies are using the language of health by manipulative words like omega-3 and vitamins.

Effect on America’s Youth

The film reveals that obesity rates in the United States are climbing at an unprecedented rate, leading to the first generation of children whose life expectancy is shorter than that of their parents. Experts estimate that at current rates, either 44-45% percent of school-aged children will be insulin-dependent diabetics within ten years or that we, as a nation, will be 5 billion pounds overweight. A young girl, Brooke Bates, has undergone liposuction at the age of 12 and then lap-band surgery shortly after that.

They go on to say that American school’s nutrition guidelines are out of date, needing to change to reverse or even slow down this epidemic. Vending machines in schools are the biggest helpers for obesity in children. They generate money while children become fatter. The California Governor banned vending machines in the schools saying that schools can get money by not making the children obese.

Food on TV

The irresistible ads by the food industry also persuade children to eat more. Children watch fifty-one hours of television ads alone each year. Each Saturday, children watch one food commercial every five minutes.

In 2007, the loveable children’s character Shrek was chosen as a government spokesperson for a program that encouraged children to “get out and play for an hour a day.” But advertisers also used the same Shrek pictures on packaging to sell dangerous products and unhealthy to children.

Why Obesity is America's Greatest Threat, screen shots

Such ads were banned on account of the fact that they deceive children who don’t have enough maturity to discriminate healthy from unhealthy. But as cunning and crafty as the advertising industry can be, the bill was curtailed because they stated that it was a violation of their right to free speech.

Going Forward

The standard and accepted causes of America’s obesity crisis are an increasingly sedentary lifestyle coupled with poor eating habits which not only affect adults but also innocent children. The movie ends on a positive note: we can enjoy all the food we want but we need to exercise all that calorie intake to prevent fat from building up.

The people of the city of Somerville, Massachusetts are setting a new trend by practicing active measures like eating healthy foods and exercising by walking and biking. Even their restaurants are selling healthy food for a change. If all cities take up healthy practices like that and human beings become human doings, we can combat this dangerous epidemic together.

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