'Fed Up': Katie Couric's 10-Day Sugar Challenge

Katie Couric's new film "Fed Up" sheds light on America's sugar epidemic.
5:04 | 05/08/14

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Transcript for 'Fed Up': Katie Couric's 10-Day Sugar Challenge
Here in the "Gma" flash poll, we asked, could you give up sugar for ten days? 58% of you said yes. 42% said no. And Katie couric is here to talk about that challenge, and her new film, which could shake up the way you think about sugar. Take a look. The epidemic here is worse than previously estimated. The message that's been pushed on us, is you're fat. Shouldn't be so hard to get them to run around and play. They have voracious appetites. And they don't run around enough. Forget about it. Your brain likes the sugar just like cocaine or heroin. You're going to become an addict. You end up with one of the great public health epidemics of our time. The government is subsidizing the obesity epidemic. It places public profit in front of public health. Reporter: By 2050, one out of every three Americans will have diabetes. Those are being driven by sugar. This is a fundamental problem nobody is talking about in society. We could cure 80% of the problem with the food in the school. You have to change the diet of America. It's all preventable. And Katie is here right now. Not only the narrator, executive producer of this film. I know this is a passion project for you. What drove you to do it? You know, George, it felt like I was reporting on this issue. And no one had examined the root causes of the issue. Unless I started looking into it and hearing things like this generation of children is the first expected to live a shorter life span than their parents. 90% of Americans will be overweight or obese in 20 years. The number of type ii diabetes cases among adolescents has skyrocketed. You hear the word, epidemic, time and time again. That's alarming. Yes. It's incredibly alarming. And there's a host of reasons behind this epidemic. You know? I think that obviously, you know, since the low-fat craze hit in the 1980s, to take out fat, you have to pump in sugar. People are eating so much sugar. You're supposed to eat six to nine teaspoons a day. That's a safe threshold. But there's hidden sugar in everything. Of the 60,000 products at the grocery store, 80% have added sugar. Kids are marketed to death from a very early age. 50% of school districts serve junk food for lunch. Fast food for lunch. The kids are getting terrible choices. And the usda promotes agriculture and establishes dietary guidelines. You showed Michael pollen saying the government is subsidizing the epidemic. They are promoting U.S. Agriculture. And we have a perfect example when skim milk came into being and the demand increased, the fat from the skim milk, the dairy farmers needed something to do with it. So, the government started promoting cheese. They're often working at cross purposes. There's been pushback. The food industry is pushing back pretty hard. Grocery manufacturers say that it's unfair and inaccurate. They've taken steps like moving soda from schools. Changing advertising. And promoting school lunch standards. I think some steps have been in the right direction. And we applaud Michelle Obama for bringing attention to the issue. I think there's a dichotomy in terms of how to solve this problem. Some people think it's fine to work with the food industry. And in some cases, positive steps have been made. But just re-engineering currently existing processed food and tinkering with it is not necessarily going to solve this problem. We applaud some of the positive things that have been done. But our experts say, it's like the fox guarding the hen house. They want to maintain the status quo. And they're worried about their bottom line. They can make some changes. But we don't think they can make enough. And you're putting out this challenge. Ten days without added sugar. We're going to try to get as many people as possible to give up added sugar. What does that mean? There's some naturally occurring sugars in things like yogurt, plain yogurt. But we're trying to say, you can't have added sugar or artificial sweeteners, which have the same impact on your brain as added sugar. Try it and see what it's like. And you have to wean yourself from some of these foods. It's a great way to start out and start a healthier lifestyle. Have you tried it? I'm starting on Monday. And Dan Harris of "Nightline" is going to be doing it with me. And all of the people who said they were willing to do it, we say, you know, game on. Game on. Katie couric, "Fed up," starts in theaters on may 9th.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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