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HomeNutritionYou Are What You Eat Overview: Netflix Does it Once more

You Are What You Eat Overview: Netflix Does it Once more


Dietitians in all places launch a collective sigh each time Netflix releases a vitamin documentary, and with good cause: traditionally, these docs are stuffed with bias, dangerous information, and sensationalism…none of which really helps anybody take change of their well being.

Like I at all times say, misinformation doesn’t empower anybody. Simply the other, really.

After I heard that You Are What You Eat was directed by the identical one that directed The Sport Changers, I knew I wanted to look at and evaluate it.

Learn my Sport Changers Overview right here.

On this You Are What You Eat evaluate, I check out Netflix’s newest vitamin documentary.

The doc focuses on the execution of the Stanford Twins Research. This 8-week research, which was simply revealed on the finish of 2023, used 22 pairs of twins to find out the cardiometabolic results of a vegan weight loss program versus an omnivore weight loss program.

Twins are genetically an identical, which afforded researchers the uncommon alternative to achieve beneficial perception into how every weight loss program could affect one twin versus the opposite. In keeping with Christopher Gardner, vitamin scientist and one of many research’s investigators, people reply in another way to the identical meals, so getting people who find themselves genetically the identical eliminates this confounder.

you are what you eat netflix reviewyou are what you eat netflix review

Twins have the identical genetic make-up, making them the proper controls for each other.

Over the course of the 8 weeks, investigators will monitor indicators of cardiovascular well being, metabolic standing, and intestine microbiome by way of poop and blood samples.

They inform viewers that they’re trying peoples’ organic clock, physique composition, microbiome, and mind. The precise research, which I speak about within the final a part of this evaluate, doesn’t point out the microbiome, mind, or organic clock. I’m questioning if these elements are upcoming.

You Are What You Eat Netflix Overview

In Episode One in every of You Are What You Eat, we meet a few of the specialists that have been concerned within the research, together with 4 units of the research’s twins. 

Within the first 4 weeks, every twin is randomized to both a vegan or omnivore weight loss program. Every part they eat is made for them and delivered, so there’s no guesswork, and researchers can management all the pieces about every weight loss program. Each diets have been deemed to be ‘wholesome’ by scientists.

After the primary 4 weeks, the twins stay on their assigned weight loss program, however are left to cook dinner their very own meals. 

The twins even have a coach, who they work out repeatedly with.

It was straightforward to see the place this documentary was going when Dr. Michael Greger, physician and recognized promoter of a vegan weight loss program, pops up on the display. He was additionally in The Sport Changers and What The Well being, each Netflix documentaries whose overarching message was selling a plant-based weight loss program and mainly scaring individuals about consuming animal merchandise. 

I’ve talked about Dr. Greger in my writing earlier than, basically calling him out for twisting details and blowing up claims to swimsuit his agenda. 

He shortly does the identical factor in You Are What You Eat, telling viewers how an excessive amount of dairy will increase threat for Parkinson’s illness and prostate most cancers (with out citations or proof, naturally). He lets us know that ‘the #1 reason for demise within the US is the American Eating regimen’ (in response to the CDC it’s coronary heart illness, really, however there are lots of elements that contribute to this), and what we put in our mouth is extra essential than anything.

That is basic Greger, making claims which might be overblown and completely with out nuance.

You are what you eat netflix reviewYou are what you eat netflix review

Dr. Michael Greger

We additionally meet a ‘plant primarily based dairy innovator’ named Miyoko Schinner, who tells us that cheese is ‘biologically addicting,’ which is ridiculous and never factual. She follows up by trotting out the vegan calling card that ‘milk is for child cows, not people.’

She tells us that ‘most populations on the earth didn’t eat meat and dairy, besides in very small quantities if in any respect.’

Once more, we have now an ‘professional’ who’s clearly biased to in direction of a vegan weight loss program. I’ve nothing in opposition to the vegan weight loss program, after all, however in a documentary, it’s at all times good to signify each side of an argument.

I saved ready for somebody with out a plant-based agenda to be revealed as an professional, however SPOILER: I used to be disillusioned. 

Because the documentary progresses, we find out about meals deserts and concrete farms. 

Right here’s why we don’t all have the identical 24 hours in a day.

Tracye McQuirter, a Public Well being Nutritionist and self-proclaimed ‘vegan activist,’ explains the way to create a balanced vegan plate. whereas speaking about meals apartheid for African Individuals in city centres. 

It is a actually beneficial lesson, and it’s correct – meals deserts do exist, particularly in racialized communities. They’re intimately linked with poor well being outcomes, and we most undoubtedly must do one thing to enhance entry to wholesome meals in North America. 

One other good lesson we get is across the conflicts of curiosity among the many dietary tips committee, and the way agricultural lobbyists affect the verbiage within the tips. That is additionally an issue, and the rationale why Well being Canada refused to have meals business on the desk when creating the most recent meals tips. 

The remainder of You Are What You Eat, sadly, looks as if an advert for a vegan weight loss program.

We study concerning the animal agriculture business. We’re taken inside manufacturing facility farms. We hear how soiled they’re, how the animals are injected with antibiotics, and the way hog feces and urine are sprayed throughout adjoining fields. We see slightly injured hen and contaminated ponds. 

Dr. Greger pops in to inform us that extra antibiotics are fed to livestock than are utilized in all of human medication to advertise progress and forestall illness in a annoying, unhygienic surroundings. ‘Lifesaving, vital medication are being squandered simply to make cheaper meat.’ 

Or, perhaps there are much more animals than people, which accounts for these numbers?

And wait, as a result of in response to the WHO, antimicrobials will not be solely utilized in animal farming, but in addition vegetation as properly. Conveniently, we don’t hear about that.

Nonetheless, it’s authorized to make use of antibiotics in cattle for progress promotion and illness prevention (right here and right here)

Ought to the typical individual be involved?

I’m undecided, as a result of we have been solely introduced with one aspect of the argument. The common individual will most likely take that unchallenged aspect as truth, which is problematic. I’d have favored to listen to from an unbiased farmer and scientist about this, and about, properly, the whole documentary. 

We hear a hen farmer who clearly hates what he does, speak about how disgusting the scent and filth of the hen barn is. That birds are bred to have such massive breasts, that their organs and skeletal system can’t sustain. The birds scratch one another, leaving wounds which might be infested with micro organism. 

We see an environmental activist lawyer speaking about antibiotics in meat, and Pat Brown, the Founding father of Unimaginable Meals, who tells us that  ‘each time you eat a steak, slightly puff of smoke goes up within the Amazon. That smoke is the ‘second hand smoke out of your burger.’

George Monbiot, an writer, journalist and environmental activist tells us how the meat business is mainly killing the planet. ‘the agricultural business is without doubt one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gases on earth.’ 

We’re proven a graphic that states that greenhouse gases from the agricultural sector are 31%, versus 14% for the transportation sector.

I assumed these quantity regarded a bit bizarre, so I went searching for the stats. 

Seems, the EPA has some totally different numbers:

You are what you eat netflix reviewYou are what you eat netflix review

Shifting from the horrible risks of meat to what’s terrible about farmed fish, we’re launched to extra activists, one being Don Staniford, who campaigns in opposition to salmon farms. He tells us that ‘if individuals realized the total horrors of salmon farming they’d keep away from it just like the proverbial plague.’

Hyperbole appears to be certainly one of You Are What You Eat’s nice strengths. 

We see Don telling the twins how firms dye their fish crimson to cover the truth that it’s farmed. He says that this synthetic colour has been ‘linked to human well being issues,’ though we don’t get any particulars about which issues.

you are what you eat netflix reviewyou are what you eat netflix review

He talks about how farmed salmon is much fattier than pizza and bacon. And, lest you consider that farmed salmon accommodates wholesome fat, he provides us the rubbish take of ‘these aren’t good oils, they’re omega 6s.’ 

Please Don, cease speaking. The twins decide up on his worry mongering, calling the farmed salmon ‘diseased meals’ and throwing it into the precise rubbish.

Are seed oils dangerous? Learn my submit right here.

We’ve gone from speaking about meals deserts and entry to nourishing meals, to throwing a wonderfully good piece of fish into the rubbish. Disgusting.

Alexandra Morton, Biologist and activist, tells us that tons of waste is ‘pouring out of those farms’ and exhibits us disturbing pictures of diseased fish. She claims that greater than 98% of the samples fish she purchased in supermarkets and sushi eating places have been contaminated with a salmon blood virus, though she admits that there’s no analysis on how these pathogens affect people.

I’m not going to say that these points the activists are speaking about are false, however with none counterbalance, all of it comes off as individuals pushing an agenda. As somebody with vital considering abilities, this makes me very suspicious of their details.

As slightly sidebar, Eric Adams, the Mayor of New York, talks about how weight loss program reversed his diabetes with Entire Meals Plant Based mostly weight loss program. He tells us that his endocrinologist didn’t find out about weight loss program and diabetes in medical college, so he took issues into his personal palms.

I discover the ‘medical doctors don’t know concerning the worth of weight loss program’ tactic to be a extremely disappointing, lazy approach to flip individuals in opposition to typical medication and suggestions. 

What did the Stanford Twins research discover?

After all the effort, did the Twins research final result favor a vegan weight loss program?

It did, in some methods. 

As you’ll be able to see within the graphic under, the vegan twins had a higher discount in LDL-C, the ‘dangerous’ ldl cholesterol. However, their HDL or ‘good’ ldl cholesterol additionally went down greater than the omnivores,’ and the vegans’ triglycerides ended up far larger than the omnivores’.

you are what you eat netflix reviewyou are what you eat netflix review

In reality, the one metrics that have been vital between the 2 teams have been LDL-C, insulin, and weight, though each teams misplaced weight. 

The vegan twins misplaced extra muscle mass than the omnivorous twins, which is regarding.

It’s essential to notice that the research was quick and small, and the topics have been predominantly ladies. The second week was not managed, so theoretically, every group may have strayed from their diets in weeks 5-8, confounding the outcomes. We additionally haven’t any longer-term follow-up.

Within the research conclusions, did admit that the vegan weight loss program fed to the twins was restrictive, and that “clinicians ought to permit sufferers to make knowledgeable decisions that assist them to decide on which dietary strategy is best suited for them.

At a inhabitants degree, wider adoption of a culturally acceptable dietary sample that’s larger in plant meals and decrease in animal meals can promote well being and environmental advantages.”

As a dietitian, my suggestions gained’t change due to this documentary. Eat as many vegetation as you’ll be able to. Purchase what you’ll be able to afford. Watch out for worry mongering ‘specialists’ who clearly have an agenda. Know that Netflix vitamin documentaries are low-bar and deceptive.

Apparently, Actuality Blurred uncovered the doc as ‘a documentary directed by a vegan, primarily based on a research carried out by a vegan (who directs a program funded by Past Meat, whose CEO is featured on this film)…and completely none of that is disclosed.’

You Are What You Eat evaluate, in brief:

You Are What You Eat is a basic Netflix vitamin documentary, flawed from the start with clearly biased ‘specialists’ and activists going unchallenged all through the movie. 

Whereas I do assist a plant-forward weight loss program, I feel it’s insulting and weak to not give a balanced perspective. Why not give viewers ALL of the knowledge earlier than permitting them to make their very own resolution? Isn’t that what a documentary needs to be about? It’s too dangerous, as a result of ‘eat extra vegetation’ is a good message. I don’t assume it must be supported with misinformation and hyperbole.

The one a part of You Are What you Eat that I assumed was easy, was the messaging round meals fairness. Till all sides are represented and all details are certified by a mixture of specialists, You Are What You Eat is sensationalized vegan propaganda at its very best. 

Let’s do away with these vitamin and weight loss program developments in 2024. Learn right here.

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