The movie Fathead has, as its motto, “You’ve been fed a load of bologna.” This movie, from comedian and former health writer Tom Naughton, is a brilliant compilation of anti-medical establishment musing, skepticism, anti-lifestyle fascism, and libertarianism. For your viewing, the film is available (for free) on Hulu.com.
Tom Naughton, the writer and director of the movie, combats the lies and distortions of Morgan Spurlock and his film Super Size Me, a film that that blamed corporate America – specifically, fast food giants – for giving consumers exactly what they want to eat. I think the entire production is brilliant, especially Naughton’s mining of resources (see what he reads here) that enables him to create a very slick visual that does a superb job of exposing the political and special interest-influenced lies that have created an obese and pharmaceutical-dependent American population while corporate state partners reap gorgeous profits thanks to government policy that favors their interests. While Spurlock’s Super Size Me blames Ronald McDonald, Naughton blames the corporatist state that is enabled by Big Government and its Lifestyle Central Planners (he calls them “the evangelists”). At one point in the beginning film credits, Naughton shows a fast food box with the following printed on the side: Ingredients: Media Gullibility, Radical Vegetarianism, Class Snobbery, Bologna.
Overall, Naughton’s emphasis is on the fact that the purchase and consumption of fast food is voluntary, not coerced. Early in the film, he stands outside of several fast food establishments, for hours, waiting for some corporate “goon” to “force” him to come inside to eat the food. When that doesn’t happen, he makes the point, for the non-libertarian layman, about the very important distinction between voluntary participation/personal choice and government coercion. At one point, he pulls up to a fast food drive-thru and asks the clerk, “If I don’t order fries, you don’t try to make me eat them, do you?”
Naughton does an especially slick job of going after the malicious shit, Michael Jacobson, and his Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). He even creates a special cartoon ditty with a dancing Michael Jacobson. These snippets are called, “The guy from CSPI!” Remember it was the CSPI that, long ago, went after saturated fat. The organization lobbied government to have eating establishments replace saturated fat oils with oils made from trans fat. Later, when it was discovered that trans fat was poison, the CSPI went after trans fat in the same manner (see my blog on this).
Naughton performs a great service when he debunks the calories in-calories out paradigm, and he interviews several top people in the field to support his polished visuals. He also slams the government food pyramid and its emphasis on grains, and he discusses the criminality of the US dietary guidelines that give us the special interest-guided government food pyramid. He quotes Dr. Mary Eades saying, “the government pyramid sells agricultural products; it doesn’t sell health.” Naughton narrates a point in the movie, stating that “so, whether they intended to or not, the FDA and USDA are telling you to load up on sugar.” He also explains the fraudulent conditions under which the selective research results of Ancel Keys, through his Seven Countries study, helped create the lipid hypothesis, and he analyzes the role of the the McGovern Committee in creating the US Dietary Guidelines that are still being emphasized today.
Also interviewed in the movie are such anti-establishment/libertarian types are Dr Michael Eades, Dr. Mary Eades, Sally Fallon from the Weston A. Price Foundation, Mary Enig PhD, Eric Oliver PhD, and Dr. Al Sears. As Michael Eades states, “We have all been subjects of a giant government experiment, the hypothesis of which fat is bad for us.” Naughton is also not shy about allowing Sally Fallon to speak the brutal truth when she notes, “Government and people in white coats perpetuated the myths…”
In the end, Naughton puts together very glossy visuals, great interviews and dialogue bits, and science facts expressed for the layman, and he explains the cause of the problems of obesity and chronic sickness very clearly: your government. At the end, he says accountability lies with the individual and their choices. This is a dream movie for libertarians, especially those who are educated and impassioned regarding the obesity and chronic disease epidemic and how the government-corporatist complex played the major role in creating and magnifying the problem.
Essentially, Naughton comes to the conclusion that behavior intervention has never worked and it never will. And remember, government policy in the food/diet arena is behavior intervention. And behavior intervention is totalitarianism.9:34 pm on March 8, 2011 Email Karen De Coster