Documentary Review: "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead"

More processed foods and fewer micronutrients in our diets contribute to obesity (photo: FatM1ke)

This morning, I watched a documentary called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. Dove-tailing my post from a few days ago about affording vegetables, if you weren’t convinced by that post that you can afford vegetables, this film may have you thinking otherwise. This film will force you to make the changes needed to afford more produce because, well, your life depends on it.

This film was created by Joe Cross, an average guy from Australia who had a successful career in the financial industry, but was obese. He took a challenge, and filmed his entire journey, of eating (well, drinking) nothing but fresh fruit/vegetable juice for 60 days. He had medical support the entire way, having his health monitored closely by his doctors. What happened is probably obvious, he lost weight, a lot of weight and got his life back. After 60 days, he went back to eating solid food, but his taste buds had been retrained and he no longer felt the urge to reach for the pizza and fries. He even inspired a truck driver along his journey to join him in his new “Reboot” juice diet. The movie was inspirational and thought provoking. I took notes, and came away with these interesting facts:

  • 61% of the American diet is from processed sources (namely, oil, sugar and flour)
  • Most of our diet should be made up of micronutrients, nutrients that help our cells work better. These are found in beans, nuts, fruits, seeds and vegetables
  • Processed foods contain less than 1/10th of the original nutritional value because the foods are damaged when they are heated for processing
  • The average American plate is 1/2 meat, 1/4 vegetable like potato, 1/4 refined carbs (where’s the micronutrients!?)

Whether you agree or disagree that eating nothing but blended vegetables and fruits for 60 days is smart, you probably can agree that most people do not eat enough micronutrients. Not only do these nutrients help your body function better, they help you maintain a healthy weight by helping you consume many fewer calories. A cup of vegetables and a cup of processed, sugary cereal will not bring you equal amounts of satiation. Your body will want to eat more after you’ve eaten the cereal, where the vegetables will help keep you fuller.

In this documentary, the primary investigator starts out heavy and battling an auto immune disease. By the end, he’s close to 100 pounds lighter, feeling strong and fit and no longer has the need for medication to manage his disease. Putting the money toward good food is worth the investment, it’s cheaper than being sick.

An example of this from the documentary: One month of juicing total cost: $420 versus cost of the heart attack a person in the documentary had: $56,000!!!! The implications of this reach far beyond one individual. This is the very essence of what is wrong with our healthcare system today. We would rather pay for the heart attack than take the steps necessary to prevent the heart attack (and thus save thousands of dollars PER INCIDENT!).

You can see this documentary and read more about it at www.fatsickandnearlydead.com

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