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Wellcome Film of the Month: A Cruel Kindness

19 Feb, 2010

Concerns about the impact of certain foods on the health of children are not just a product of the excesses of the 80s, 90s, and noughties, but the approach to bringing them to people’s attention, perhaps, is. This month’s Wellcome Film (note, there are three parts to it in total) shows us a big, cake-sized slice of 60s home life and how poor diet was recognised as a significant issue in child obesity. Watch on:

What is fascinating for me about this footage is how it looks at the impact obesity has on the mental well-being of the children at the centre of the story, which extends it from being merely a film about nutrition to one about society’s impact on mental health. However, what the film makers couldn’t possibly have known, other than through anecdote, is that the old adage that “I can’t help it” for some has increasing evidence to back it up; that it isn’t just what they eat, it is quite literally in their genes.

Wellcome Film

You can learn about the Wellcome Film project here. If you would like to make use of this archive footage in your own projects, please visit the Wellcome Library catalogue to download the original file, which is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales licence.

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