Health Documentaries

Is it just me! or is there so many documentaries on health and lots of them are pushing a vegan agenda there is nice big list on PETA web site (1). So Netflix has a good variety of health documentaries also FMTV is great (the Netflix for mind body soul) so check them out. I have selected a few that I really made me think about how I live and what I eat and what society is telling us. BUT DID I CHANGE THAT’S THE BIG QUESTION? It’s important to be aware that Films, even documentaries, are ultimately telling a story, and filmmakers don’t have the same goals or obligations that scientists do according to Lara Householder (2). 

What the Health 2017 (available on NETFLIX)

What the health has made some big claims about health. I did find it a very interesting documentary and It really made me think. But as you would also think it had lots of negative from the mainstream media some of the reviews can be seen below. It a good starting point to see what research I can find for the vegan diet argument.

Here are some quotes from reviews:

  • “a controversial new documentary that claims that eggs are as bad as smoking” (3).
  • What the Health overwhelms the viewer with scaremongering ‘facts’ which do not hold up to scientific investigation” (4).
  •  “There’s a sensational new documentary out on Netflix that seems to have a lot of people talking about going vegan” (5)
  • “There Is Almost No Good Science in the Movie ‘What the Health” (6)
  • “What the Health is actually a pro-vegan film that tends to skew studies and figures to make a point” (7)
  • “WHAT THE HEALTH is the groundbreaking follow-up film from the creators of the award-winning documentary Cowspiracy” (8)
  • “It presents some of the latest nutritional science” (9)

Links to the reviews can be found in the reference list at the end of the article.


Food Matters 2008 (available on FMTV)

A Very convincing documentary the filmmakers have interviewed several leading experts in nutrition and natural healing who claim that not only are we harming our bodies with improper nutrition, but that the right kind of foods, supplements and detoxification can be used to treat chronic illnesses as fatal as terminally diagnosed cancer.

  • “Unfortunately, the good points are overshadowed by a lot of misinformation. The interviewees, who are of questionable credibility” (9)
  • “The film makes some good claims about the lack of nutritional education of medical doctors” (9)
  • “You can learn more about actual food and nutrition science by watching Gordon Ramsay shout the F word at his cooks on television.” – Dr. Alex Berezow (10)


Clean Eating – The Dirty Truth 2017 (available Dailymotion)

In 2017 this is one documentary that I was really looking forward to checking out. Unfortunately, I found they tried to do so much in so little time and also mixing up three very different diets/philosophy and put it all under one umbrella. Nutritional therapist Amelia Freer says the trend is well intentioned: “The clean eating trend was born of a desire to reduce the amount of processed or junk foods we consume, and increase our intake of unprocessed wholefoods. (11)


  • “As the documentary progresses Dr Yeo reveals just how closely the clean eating trend is based on scientific evidence and comes to some shocking conclusions” (11)
  • “The interviewer was a Cambridge University scientist, Dr Giles Yeo, who declared at the outset that, in his personal life, he is an unchangeable carnivore and, in science, is a geneticist interested in obesity” (12)
  • “BANT has previously highlighted its concern about the growing number of  ‘insta-nutritionists’ who have done short online courses, healthy eating bloggers, YouTubers and healthy eating recipe book writers,  who advocate radical ‘one-size fits all’ eating regimes which are not evidence based” (13)
  • “The show was entirely one-sided with no examination or mention of how clean eating has actually helped people with health concerns or just made them feel better, healthier and good about themselves” (14)


In the Defence of food (available on Netflix)

This has to be one of the best documentaries I have ever watch, I also love his books. In Defense of Food is Based on this research, presented Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food. It offers viewers a simple, practical advice throughout the program about how to eat healthier, such as “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food,” “Eat only foods that will eventually rot” and “Treat meat as a flavouring or special occasion food.” It’s indispensable viewing for anyone interested in the relationship between food and health. (15)

  • “Pollan’s documentary was featured on PBS last week and does a fantastic job explaining much of the confusing aspects of our food system. (16)
  • Taking its title from Pollan’s recent book, the film cuts through the thicket of advertising, misinformation, crackpot diets and other nonsense that has screwed up our eating habits for years and offers us, in language anyone can understand, a few common-sense rules for eating correctly and well. (17)

Some other documentaries that I have watched and think you should check out if you are in finding out more about health.


hungry-for-changeHungry for Change 2012 (available on FMTV)

Featuring interviews with the bestselling authors, and leading medical experts, plus real life transformational stories, with people who know what it’s like to have been sick and overweight. Learn from those who have been there before and continue your health journey today


Fat Sick & Nearly Dead 2011 (available on FMTV)

What emerges is nothing short of amazing – an inspiring tale of healing and human connection. Part road trip, part self-help manifesto, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead defies the traditional documentary format to present an unconventional and uplifting story of two men from different worlds who each realize that the only person who can save them are they, themselves.


Forks over Knives 2011 (available on Netflix)

Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering yet under-appreciated researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.


Cooked 2016 (available on Netflix)

Explored through the lenses of the four natural elements – fire, water, air and earth – Cooked is an enlightening and compelling look at the evolution of what food means to us through the history of food preparation and its universal ability to connect us. Highlighting our primal human need to cook, the series urges a return to the kitchen to reclaim our lost traditions and to forge a deeper, more meaningful connection to the ingredients and cooking techniques that we use to nourish ourselves.

Reference list

  1. PETA August 2017
  2. OHIO University November 2012
  3. Independent UK  August 2017
  4. Times Health August 2017
  5. VOX July 2017
  6. Tonic Vice August 2017
  7. Dr Axe August 2017
  8. Vegan ORG March 2017
  9. Nutriciously September 2016
  10. ACSH ORG August 2017
  11. Telegraph January 2017
  12. CNS January 2017
  13. BANT January 2017
  14. Huffington January 2017
  15. Michael Pollan August 2017
  16. Huffington Post January 2017
  17. SF Chronicle December 2015


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