Growing up, I learned about dieting really soon. I think I tried my first diet around the time I was twelve. I remember it very well: it was the Sonja Bakker diet (a well-known Dutch diet). I hated every part of it. I was hungry all day and during exercising I felt dizzy and weak. I quit after a while because I didn’t think it was worth it. That same struggle is what the documentary I’m sharing today is about, dieting. It’s called: Hungry for Change.
Right now, I don’t care about my weight anymore. I don’t even have a scale. I listen to my body. Do I feel good or not? I try to love my body and all things it does for me. But I know that’s hard. We live in a fat-phobic society and having fat is always portrayed as bad. And so, it took me a while. It took me a while to look at advertisements and know they’re fake. It took me a while to look at models and not want that same body. It took me a while to see food as nutrition instead of a curse. It took me a while. And so today I want to highlight that weight is unimportant before I dive into this documentary. Please don’t link health to dieting and exercising. It’s not all there is. Mental health is just as important as physical health. I don’t want to bring across today that being skinny is the only way to be healthy. I just want to share this documentary to bring across the mechanisms that are there to keep us eating unhealthy.
Dieting is Everywhere
Years ago, I thought that dieting products were only for Americans. I thought no-one in The Netherlands used those products. Jee, was I wrong. I know a lot of people using or having used those products. I personally thought that everyone obviously knew they don’t work. I was wrong there too. The industry here is big here too and the mechanisms behind it are just as sneaky as in the United States.
Hungry for Change
Hungry for Change is a documentary that shows you all the mechanisms behind the dieting industry. It shows us how the world around us is designed to make us eat the wrong things all the time. How our bodies are designed to always look for food because thousands of years ago, there was not much food available all the time like there is now. How marketing makes us always feel like we’re not good enough. How we’re therefore dieting and wasting our time. How our health suffers from our surroundings. I myself find this hard too. I mean, when I walk into the city center on a Saturday, the smell of fried food is very present. At the train station, when I leave the train after a long day, the first thing I smell is Burger King. In supermarkets, where fresh and healthy food is just a small section of the entire store. At schools and at work, where fried food is always available. The world is designed to make us eat unhealthy. But yet, we tend to always accredit to ourselves. It is not your fault that you felt for a new diet. It is not your fault that it doesn’t work and makes you feel like a zombie. It’s not your fault that your size isn’t normalized. The system is built the wrong way.
“A hundred years ago, all food was organic, local, seasonal, and fresh or naturally preserved by ancient methods. All food was food. Now, less than 3 percent of agricultural land in the United States is used to grow fruits and vegetables, which should make up 80 percent of our diets.”
― James Colquhoun,
My Personal Opinion
Hungry for Change is a good documentary to see that we don’t need to accredit ourselves to our unhealthy habits. We have been taught and manipulated to do wrong. I like that it’s not only focussing on personal behavior. However, that does not mean there is nothing in the documentary about personal behavior. There is. You learn how to play the system, how to avoid mistakes. It’s simply better for you if you eat healthy, you get happier. Not because you’re skinny, don’t get me wrong. But because nutritious food just improves your state of mind. Hungry for Change teaches you about the seducing food system, how to play it and how to eat nutritious food.