Overfed and Undernourished is a compelling Australian-made documentary about the obesity crisis. So much of its power comes from the fact that it has been made locally: the accents are Australian, the lingo is distinctly dinky-di and many of the locations are immediately recognisable. This is not something that is happening in an abstract place ‘over there’. This is a crisis that is happening right here.
The human face of Overfed and Undernourished is 11 year old Liam. Weighing over 80kg, he and his family are keen to transform his life, and we follow his journey as he leaves home for three months to stay with his uncle and wellness mentor, Dr Anthony Golle. When we see his dad saying goodbye and telling him to keep his room clean, it really hits home: Liam is just a normal kid in a normal suburban family, and this could be happening to any of us. That’s what makes his story – and this entire documentary – so relatable.
Liam’s story is just one aspect of this documentary. We are introduced to a number of doctors and experts in the fields of health, wellness and wholefoods, who talk about the obesity crisis and the reasons for it. Among other things, we learn about the addictive qualities of sugar, salt and fat, and about the additives that are found in many processed foods we feed our children.
Make no mistake, the mood is not sanctimonious and dull. There is a warm sense of humour throughout, and the entire subject is approached with the typically laid back and down to earth approach that Aussies are renowned for. Essential viewing.
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