What? Bigger portions of food and drink are encouraging people to eat too much? Who knew?
Apparently not everybody on the other side of the pond, if the tone of “The Men Who Made Us Fat,” is to be believed. The three-part British series, being televised on BBC World News beginning at 10 p.m. April 4, takes an impassioned look at some of the political, economic and social events that led to our increasingly overweight world. Writer and narrator Jacques Peretti breathlessly describes how “giant industrial farming” in the United States led to a corn glut that in turn enabled cheap production of high-fructose corn syrup. He investigates the super-sizing concept and the expansion of the average U.S. food portion, and tells how other countries followed in the path blazed by McDonald’s. He sounds shocked at America’s annual “Super Bowl binge” of fattening finger foods, and interviews an expert who warns that “people’s brains are being hijacked” by an aggressive food marketing industry. And guess what? He learns that too much organic chocolate candy can be just as fattening as the nonorganic kind.
Little of this is news, and Americans — acknowledged leaders in the global obesity epidemic — have heard most of Peretti’s revelations before. But it’s kind of interesting in a British accent, if you don’t mind being relentlessly cast as the bad country.