Bite Size – Moy

Moy and his father

Moy (short for Moyses) is one of the four young subjects of Bite Size, a very engaging movie that lets the kids and the grownups all speak their own truths. (Childhood Obesity News  has already looked at Emily’s story, and will look at the other two in the coming days.) Director Corbin Billings has made the point that the film isn’t about shaming anyone. He says:

We get the emotional struggle these kids go through. You have to love yourself to want to lose weight and make that change. My line of thinking was, if you emotionally invest in these kids, suddenly it becomes a motivation factor in your own life. ‘Well, if they can do it, so can I.’”

This motivational impulse is present for both young people struggling with obesity and their parents. In the eyes of their children, parents are finished products, entities as immutable as the Sphinx. But adults can grow and change too. In fact they often want to grow and change, but don’t quite know how to go about it. The mothers and fathers in Bite Size are, for the most part, vitally concerned with making a commitment to beneficial change.

Moy: Creative and Sedentary

At age 11, Moy is the youngest of the film’s subjects. He lives in a middle-class area of East Los Angeles. Moy is a classic all-day-at-the-computer kid, with the telltale signs of a nerd in the making (in the best possible sense, of course.) Video games are his jam, and the Bite Size camera rather pointedly makes the connection between extensive screen time and constant snacking.

Apparently, Moy also has “mad skilz,” as the kids say, as an indie filmmaker, and the beginnings of a sly, self-deprecating sense of humor. He foresees that life will present him with a certain amount of combat opportunity, and wants to have some advantages other than the capacity to squash his opponent with sheer weight.

Moy’s father, Felipe, is always giving him pep talks, clearly affectionate in nature but not always tactfully expressed. He sets a good example of staying in shape, but is also a big consumer of chips, soda, and other varieties of junk food, so his son can’t help pointing out a stance that, to him, looks very much like hypocrisy. When a bad school report card shows up, Felipe gives his son a bit of a hard time, and threatens that he will end up working at McDonald’s—the unintentional humor being that, to a kid like Moy, a job at a fast-food franchise probably sounds like quite an attractive future.

Family Activism

Moy is Hispanic, and while his dad is very Americanized, his mom primarily speaks Spanish. Determined to improve the home food environment, she takes Moy to the MEND Program where they both learn about nutrition, behavior change, and active play. Still, it’s basically a household where one parent strives to follow better precepts while the other loves to cook up a pan of brownies. And Moy says being overweight doesn’t bother him much. So life just kind of drifts along, until the day when Felipe has chest pains and is hospitalized to see what’s what. It isn’t a stroke, only a wake-up call.

Since being “scared straight” worked for Felipe, he tries it out on Moy, bringing in his old friend to explain the realities of life with diabetes. The man demonstrates how he has to cut his finger every day for blood testing, and tells Moy, “You’re a walking time bomb.”

Moy’s dad joins up with MEND too, making the graduation party a family event, and his mom is very, very stoked. We also see Felipe reviewing the good results of a physical exam with Moy. When the filmmakers check back a year later, Moy has started to like sports. Why? Because he and Felipe discovered how to combine the best of both worlds, by working out with console-based fitness games. Fictional adventures, exciting stories, real-life exercise, and family togetherness are all there in one package.

Bite Size can be seen via Vimeo on Demand, and on March 24 will be available on iTunes, Google Play, and other VOD platforms. More information can be found at or on Facebook.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Bite Size”
Source: “Exclusive: Watch a Clip of the New Obesity Documentary, Bite Size,”, 03/06/15
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Childhood Obesity News | OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say | Dr. Robert A. Pretlow
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