A few weeks ago my boyfriend came home and asked if I had heard about the documentary “What the Health?“. Since I now work at home and have little access to “cooler talk”, I hadn’t heard about it yet (flash forward and now it’s ALL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA — have you seen this hilarious Facebook video??).
Within a few minutes of watching the documentary, I turned to Sean and asked, “is this a pro-vegan film?”. He looked confused and so we kept watching, getting more and more frustrated as it went on — not because I don’t believe in some of the legitimacy but because it was so blatantly one sided and it so obviously shaped the story exactly how they wanted to tell it. It kind of reminded me of the bachelor (which I also dislike) because they purposefully make characters out to seem a certain way.
For example, there’s a scene where the main guy attempts to call the Diabetes Foundation asking their customer support team why they have animal products on their website when animal products are linked to the cause of Diabetes. The customer service person isn’t sure what to say and to be honest, can you blame them? I mean seriously, did you really think that by calling the help line they would have answers to the content listed on the website? If they don’t know the answer they are trained to look into it and forward your issue to someone who can — which is exactly what they did. (This kind of felt like watching a scary movie where you KNOW the protagonist is just being stupid and you want to yell at them through the TV not to go in the house.)
Did I mention there is also a part where they compare eating eggs to consuming cigarettes? I won’t even get into that….
But, I think my biggest frustration was that I didn’t even feel GOOD about watching it. I love reading about nutrition, learning about the human body, and consuming health related content that can help me live my best life. Health documentaries are typically created to increase this type of knowledge, provide further education, and empower people to make healthier choices.
That’s exactly how I felt after watching “Fed Up”. My friend Liz texted me about it after I had just finished “What the Health” ad thought to myself, not another one of these please…. BUT “Fed Up” is about the growing obesity epidemic in the United States, and it explains the negative effects of sugar, non-fat foods, high fructose corn syrup, and refined/processed foods in our diet. All things I have “known” to be bad but brought into a new light.
So how is it different than “What the Health?”
- Multiple Credible Sources with Different Agendas – Doctors, Nutritionists, Politicians, Former Presidents, Educators, and more are all featured in this documentary. They all have different lifestyle choices but they share the same ideas — educate Americans on the food we’re consuming and empower them to make the right choices, starting with our kids.
- Education is Power – Personally, I felt that “What the Health” focused on scare tactics while “Fed Up” focused on helping people understand proper labeling (and the issues with it), how food is processed, and why it’s important to understand food-related terms such as non-fat, no sugar, artificial sweetener, etc. It really focuses on how we can mitigate the problem by encouraging healthy, whole food consumption starting with the government agenda and execution into the school systems.
One thing both films can agree on is the idea that calories are NOT created equal. “Fed Up” explains that no matter how much you workout or get moving, it starts with proper nutrition — fueling your body with whole, unprocessed, unrefined foods, and eliminating added sugars from our diets.
SO after watching both of these films, I’ve really started thinking about finally committing to the Whole 30 or at least actively trying to shape up my diet — especially now that I know how much sugar has been hiding in it (goodbye for now Coconut Granola😭.) Instead, I want to focus on whole foods, fewer carbs, and paying more attention to sugar.