Let Them Eat Cake

Let Them Eat Cake

Against the backdrop of the 'Texas Cupcake Controversy,' this humorous, engaging documentary takes a close look at the processed food industry and at the ways that junk food and beverages are marketed to children a factor believed to be a major contributor to today's epidemic of obesity.

In 2004, responding to recent data which had declared Texas children the most obese and unhealthy in the nation, the state of Texas Department of Agriculture enacted a policy banning junk food in the state's schools. This move immediately ignited a firestorm of controversy, with some parents up in arms over this 'big brother' move to control what their kids could eat in school.

In the debate over implementation of the Texas School Nutrition Policy, the lowly cupcake became a symbol for both sides: Supporters saw the legislation as an appropriate emergency response to data suggesting that the health impacts of obesity were costing the state over ten billion dollars a year. Opponents portrayed cupcakes as a necessary tool for school and PTA fundraising, and saw the ban on students bringing 'birthday cupcakes' to school as unwarranted interference with tradition and with parental rights.

Capitulating to pressure from parents, and to the money and lobbying efforts of the food and beverage industries, in 2005 the legislature passed the 'cupcake amendment,' rolling back the new policy. Some parents, educators, and health advocates have vowed that the cupcake wars are not over yet.

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Main credits

Kaselak, Lisa (film producer)
Kaselak, Lisa (film director)
Kaselak, Lisa (videographer)
Kaselak, Lisa (cinematographer)
Kaselak, Lisa (editor of moving image work)

Other credits

Videography and cinematography, Lisa Kaselak; edited by Lisa Kaselak; original music, Jason Paris.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Advertising and Marketing
Closed Captioned
Community and Public Health
Fanlight Collection
Healthcare History and Policy


film; video; closed-captioned; captioned; documentary; weight; overweight; obese; obesity; fat; fast food; junk food; processed food; packaged food; vending machine; high school; snacks; type II diabetes; adult onset diabetes; high blood pressure; elevated cholesterol; sleep apnea; malnutrition; malnourished; nutrition; nutritionist; cafeteria; school dietician; marion nestle ; food politics; jane hampton; greg hooser; coreydobney; wayne skrhak; susan combs; eddie lucio; ; ; "Let Them Eat Cake"; The Fanlight Collection