A number of you have asked me to respond to a new documentary called What the Health, which you can find on Netflix or Vimeo. This is the latest in a growing number of documentary films focusing on how what we eat affects our health and environment, and how business, industry, and public policy affect what we eat.
Other films in this general category include Forks over Knives, Cowspiracy, Farmland, Food, Inc., King Corn, and Fast Food Nation. I’ll start with a couple of reactions to this specific film, but I also want to share some thoughts about this type of documentary, in general.
Are Meat and Dairy the Cause of Disease?
What the Health argues that meat and dairy products are the primary cause of cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. One expert even testifies that consuming sugar plays no role in the development of diabetes. I’m sure that was very much appreciated by the corn and cane growers, not mention the American Beverage Association.
I don’t have enough time in this podcast to go through the movie point by point. Suffice it to say the film includes a lot of facts but also a lot of opinion, anecdotes, unsubstantiated claims, misleading statements, and a few outright falsehoods. Just because someone has MD or PhD after their name does not guarantee that everything that comes out of their mouth is reliable.