(Natural News) A new documentary called What the Health was critically panned by health experts and the mainstream media for its allegedly misleading claims on the harmful effects of animal food products and the purported benefits of going vegan all the way. The show’s website highlighted the topics of dispute, which were timed in order of their discussion.
According to the show’s website, animal products such as bacon and sausage have been previously labelled as carcinogenic. Likewise, the show also discussed that the American Cancer Society recommended eating processed turkey and canned meats. The show also highlighted the soaring rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in the U.S. In addition, the documentary claimed that eating one egg daily is tantamount to smoking five cigarettes per day.
Moreover, the show discussed how farm animals could be ingesting genetically-modified crops. Aside from this, the show underscored the connections between certain animal products and a host of inflammatory diseases. Furthermore, the show discussed how animal products can be replaced in following a vegan diet.
The show, which first aired in Netflix, was met with a barrage of criticisms from health professionals. Experts speaking at various news outlets noted that the website’s use of questionable studies may instead backfire as certain health claims were not as simple as they seem.
“The filmmakers bring up these things like how the water in our country is toxic and how fish is toxic, and that’s true, but it’s not as simple as they make it sound. It’s the same water that’s in their tofu, so I don’t know how that’s any different. I do think we should eat more vegetables, I highly recommend it in fact. But it’s just not that simple and the vegan and vegetarian diets don’t work for everyone. At the end of the day, the film was irresponsible and could negatively impact huge groups of people…The film is going to scare these people into thinking that they can’t eat anything, and that’s simply untrue. There are obviously a lot of other issues with the documentary, but ultimately I think that’s the biggest takeaway,” New York City dietitian and nutritionist Mary Jane Detroyer said on The Daily Mail website.
“While it is true that diet plays an important role in diseases including cancer and diabetes, the claims in this film vastly overstate and misrepresent the scientific understanding. What the Health overwhelms the viewer with scaremongering ‘facts’ which do not hold up to scientific investigation,” cancer researcher Alice Howarth told The Independent online.
Expert offers advice in following a healthy diet
In line with the show’s recent backlash, registered dietitian Jessica Cording pointed that the documentary has only elicited fear in people by highlighting the misconception that drastic changes should be made in order to live healthily. According to the expert, what’s more important is to ease people into the idea of gradual lifestyle changes.
Cording noted that whether a person watched the shoe or not, it is important to take note of the following pointers:
- Identifying what needs to be changed – Cording said the first step into gradually easing people into a healthier lifestyle is to determine what part of diet needs to be changed.
- Making a realistic plan – The dietary changes can be done gradually by allowing a person to enjoy red meat at least once a week. It may also help to try new recipes using healthier food fare such as fish, eggs, beans, and tofu.
- Assesses and adjust – After several weeks of following the routine, it is important people evaluate themselves and determine if they can actually reduce their red meat intake.
- Determining the next action – According to Cording, it is essential to determine whether more changes are needed to better suit a person’s lifestyle.