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Apr 16, 2013 2:34 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

In East Hampton, Filmmaker Captures 'A Generation For Change' To Healthy Eating

Apr 16, 2013 3:05 PM

Joe Cross, whose inspirational documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” chronicled his 60-day juice fast to lose weight and regain health, filmed students in East Hampton last week for a sequel about what other people are doing to give their own bodies a boost.

The Australian’s visit came about through his connection with the East Hampton Wellness Foundation, which offers a Healthy Food for Life class at the John Marshall Elementary School and Happy Healthy Families cooking sessions at East Hampton High School. Mr. Cross was invited to the foundation’s first benefit last summer, for which he’d donated copies of “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” for the goody bags. At the party, “he really zeroed in on the kids’ program when I said we were trying to create a generation of change,” said Jennifer Taylor, the foundation’s executive director. “He said that was exactly what we needed to focus on.”

At the Happy Healthy Families cooking class last Monday night, kids prepared dishes like whole wheat vegetable pizzas and fruit salad at separate stations, then dug in with their families as Mr. Cross followed them with cameras and an appreciative appetite. “I think Joe was really surprised at the cooking class how much the kids got into it,” said Ms. Taylor, who described the event as chaotic and “like a pint-sized ‘Top Chef.’”

“We couldn’t get them to wait to eat it,” she said.

At the elementary school on Tuesday, Mr. Cross spoke with third-graders in the Healthy Food for Life program. “They were filming at both; the cameras were rolling the whole time they were here,” Ms. Taylor said.

Mr. Cross, Ginny Reale, a Food for Life teacher, and Ms. Taylor spoke to the children about how “the kids in East Hampton had a unique opportunity... to really be the start of a movement.”

Mr. Cross explained that his first documentary was “about how he didn’t take care of himself and ended up being overweight and really sick” and that the United States “really sets the stage for what happens in the rest of the world” as far as promoting good eating habits, Ms. Taylor said.

The children took the idea of being leaders “very seriously,” she said. “The kids liked hearing that they had that opportunity to share something that’s really positive.”

Also filmed with interviews were two families in which a child had converted a parent and/or grandparent to a more healthy diet; Doug Mercer, the Wellness Foundation’s president; and Simply Sublime, a healthy-foods market and one of a number of local stores and restaurants that offer Wellness Foundation-approved menu items.

Mr. Cross’s new documentary, whose working title hasn’t yet been released, will also include people from all around the United States and other countries. With any luck, a preview will be ready in time for the Wellness Foundation’s second benefit in June, where Mr. Cross will be honored with an Illumination Award as a trailblazer “because he was so honest in his story,” Ms. Taylor said: “When you’re at your unhealthiest and your worst weight, that’s not when you want to get in front of a camera.”

As for the film stars in East Hampton, Ms. Taylor said it was fun, rewarding, and put the foundation’s efforts into a welcome perspective.

“To have it reflected back, like, how many people it’s helping ... not just the work we’ve done, but the fact that the community has embraced what we’ve done ... it can inspire other communities to change,” she said.

According to the executive director, 4,000 kids have graduated from the Healthy Food for Life program, and almost 1,000 adults have taken the foundation’s vegan-based Wellness Challenge.

“You lose sight of how many,” she said. “That’s a lot of smoothies and sorbets that we’ve made.”

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I don't recall exactly who did this study, but it was conclusively proven in lab rats that over consumption of food actually acceelerates the aging process. A proper calorie restricted diet can actually increase longevity.

It was conclusively showed that telomere sequences at the end of DNA strands in lab rats which were overfed degraded more quickly. Once the telomere sequences are exhausted the cell no longer divides and it dies. Humans evolved foraging for food, and there is a reason ...more
By Mr. Z (11817), North Sea on Apr 18, 13 12:07 PM