One RD's Opinion about the What The Health Documentary
Nutrition is getting to be just as touchy of a topic as politics and religion and What the Health really made things awkward. On the one hand, the documentary made it pretty clear that eating a plant-based diet is important. On the other it irresponsibly presented outright wrong or at least very misleading and.or out dated information.
It's funny, kind of. Once upon a time nutrition wasn't even really a "thing" in medicine. But in today's nutrition arena. It's like everyone has to be on a team...
Team Low Carb?
Team Gluten Free?
Team Dairy Free?
Team High Protein?
Team Low Fat?
Team Grain Free?
Team Cleaning Eating?
Team Whole 30?
WHEN IS THIS GOING TO END?
If you want to know my opinion of what is the underlying cause of chronic disease?
Greed promotes stress and stress promotes disease in my opinion <<< see, opinion.
We are fueled by competition.
We are stricken with obesity and starvation on the same planet. How is this so? Greed.
Meat is not to blame.
Sugar is not to blame.
Grains are not to blame.
Dairy is not to blame.
Social media is not to blame.
Vaccines are not to blame.
Millenials are not to blame.
Greed is to blame. Greed increases income inequality. Income inequality creates lack of income. Lack of income creates inability to afford fresh food and lack of free time to prepare food. So what happens?
People work severely long hours for ridiculously low wages. Food becomes the sole source of pleasure. People don't want to spend time preparing and cleaning and so convenience foods that are ready to eat make up the diet.
No one recommends an animal-based diet. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans don't recommend that. Have you ever read the DGAs? Then you would know they highlight 3 dietary patterns: General, Mediterranean, and Vegetarian.
Yes, sustainable agriculture is worth including in the DGA's but we don't all have to eat no meat to eat a sustainable diet. (PS, not seeing people up in arms about cars?? ).
COOK more of your food yourself.
Eat a plant-based diet.
The Good About What the Health
It encourages a plant based diet---Yea, this is agreeable. But we don't all have to eat no meat to do this.
It brings to light the issues with corporate sponsorships--We should improve this to reduce greed.
3 people in the documentary had better health outcomes...but it was from lifestyle changes...not just "cessation from animal consumption".
The Bad About What the Health (Short Version)
It doesn't accurately portray the evidence because it's only showing studies that support the narrative (I know there is evidence that supports it!!But evaluating evidence for peer reviewed research thats statistically significant is important and us as viewers don't get the sources he is citing).
It filters out evidence that only supports their agenda
It references amino acids in a negative way (cheese & heroin) but then speaks highly of them in relation to plants (plants make protein)
It picks on American Diabetic Association for having recipes that include meat
It picks on the recipe for bacon wrapped shrimp but the serving size is only 2 freaking shrimp.
It picks on the American Cancer Society for recommending 1 oz of turkey ham can be included in a healthy diet. And it can be.
Also the American Cancer society doesn't omit the risks of meat in the diet and cancer on their page. If you type in 'diet' in their search box it turns up 1452 findings in .18 seconds.
The documentary does not even discuss the overall excess of calories we are eating from all foods.
Overweight and obesity are modifable risk factors to disease. ANY excess of calories form anything causes overweight and obesity.
Losing 7% of your bodyweight will reduce your risk of diabetes, vegan or not.
They pointed out that poultry products have a lot of sodium but they didn't mention the other high-sodium foods: canned anything, baked goods
The guy tried asking help desk people loaded questions about nutrition
The Food Guides throughout the years were shown and he pointed out 'Meat' as a food group but he did not show the MyPlate which actually says Protein not Meat so he filtered out what supported his narrative.
The Food Pyramid was criticized for its composition but when you look at it, it was plant-based.
Serving chicken at a diabetes convention IS NOT THE SAME THING as serving alcohol at an AA meeting.
And Sorry, but Steve-o, is not any nutrition expert. Have you seen jackass? His actions are hilarious, but undeniably questionable.
He undermines the true health care professionals, like me, who also hate the way the system is abused by money.
He mentioned doctors get little training in nutrition , this is true. But then he said the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is sponsored by food industry, and it is but that means nothing about the individuals who make up the profession.
He interviewed doctors who have books they profit off of for selling this narrative that meat is bad. So there is bias in his choice of participants too.
The female doctor is sponsored by Dr. Oz.... So as you can see, we can go back and forth with the sponsorship issue but where does it get us? Just because an industry sponsors something or someone, doesn't put a blanket statement over every individual in the profession. Most Instagrammers are given free stuff or are paid for post to promote products so if you are issued by sponsorships, consider who you follow on Instagram and Facebook. We are all just trying to function in a system that we all have issues with but want to make a positive difference. Unless we are corrupted and greedy.
Another thing Im noticing is only 3 women were interviewed the rest were men. Then the response videos on Youtube, also by men. So men are arguing about nutrition, meanwhile, dietitians (a women-dominated profession) are facing resistance or a "glass ceiling" that keeps us form obtaining leadership status. Women in dietetics are helping people one by one, meeting them where they are at. #teamRD ;-)
Eating your fruits, vegetables, and grains have always been recommended. Well, we had to recently specify whole grains. We can and should take steps to including more of these in our diets, preferably that we are cooking ourselves. Buy ingredients not products that are ready to eat (with a few exceptions obviously). So did the documentary really share anything new? Nope. But it did set back health care professionals back a hundred years. When they are not to blame.
Want to read my thought on the documentary Fed Up? Read it here!