What The Health? is a documentary now available on Netflix, which I just so happened to watch earlier this week. The video follows filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the leading causes of death in America (cancer, heart disease, and diabetes) and looks at what leading Health Organizations (American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association) have to say about diet and these diseases. But be warned, if you’re looking for an easy viewing, don’t pick this movie.
About half way through the film, the information takes a turn for the worse and starts promoting strict veganism as the only healthy diet. As a registered dietitian I can tell you that’s total non-sense. There’s many ways to achieve a healthy diet and life style, and it disappointed me the movie didn’t recognize that.
The gist of the documentary is that many leading health organizations accept money from companies selling clearly unhealthy foods, yet these health organizations now promote these unhealthy foods because of finanacial ties. The documentary only targeted the unhealthy meat products, and in fact said sugar is healthy to eat!
(I hope that last sentence made you cringe as much as it did me.)
I think aiming for 1-2 meatless meals is a good goal for the general public. It’s not necessary that someone follow a strict vegan diet just because this movie said so. Of course, I will always be a firm believer that everyone needs to increase their fresh fruit and vegetable consumption, but that doesn’t mean you have to get rid of all meat in your diet. I would say it’s a good idea to leave the bacon and sausage in the grocery store, but other things like fish, chicken, and even lean beef can be part of a healthy diet.
Has anyone else seen this movie? Also does anyone know who funded What The Health? — that’s something I’ve been meaning to look into. Stay tuned for my next blog post where I’ll feature a recipe for vegetarian chili which you can use for your next meatless meal!