Skip to Content. Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update. Mostly through negative messages and scare tactics all meats and meat products cause cancer, obesity is a death sentence, serving a child cigarettes on a plate, statin drugs are a fraud of mass proportions, etc.
Large food and pharmaceutical companies collude with health organizations to keep information from the public. People interviewed claim to have cured their cancer and diabetes, sometimes in as little as two weeks on a plant-based diet. And the benefits go beyond improving individual health: Eating only plants is also beneficial to society reduced health care costs and the environment.
Kip is a good role model for doggedly pursuing answers. He doesn't give up when organizations and institutions refuse to talk and keeps digging to get answers. He's also a good model for the health benefits of switching to a plant-based diet, and for working hard to get his message out to as many people as possible. Some gory images of dead animals and animal carcasses being butchered and processed for sale, and of surgical procedures on people that show internal body parts and small amounts of blood.
Animation shows a dead deer in the wild with microbes crawling on it. Lots of scariness and shock value from images like serving a child a plateful of cigarettes, pus pouring from a cow's abscess, and animated plane crashes with explosions to illustrate how many people die from cardiovascular disease. Many consumer products shown in stores as examples of food that's bad for you. Brief scene showing lots of Walgreens vitamins. Brief but prominent mention of Hampton Creek Foods, an egg-alternative company.
Sausages and cigarettes cook together in a pan. An adult serves a child a plateful of cigarettes. Children bite into hotdog buns filled with smoking cigars. Frequently compares eating meat and animal products to smoking. Parents need to know that What the Health is a documentary by the makers of Cowspiracy about the relationship between diet and health.
Strong negative messages, mostly using scare tactics and brief gore, assert that eating any meat or animal product causes cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and more. Positive messages about the many benefits of eating a plant-based vegan diet aren't as strong but are what the movie ends on. Some gore is shown in meat processing and in surgical procedures; the images may be upsetting to any viewer, but especially those who are sensitive or squeamish.
The filmmakers use unabashed scare tactics, like saying that eating one egg a day is as bad as smoking five cigarettes a day, and animated images of plane crashes to show how many people die from cardiovascular disease. Smoking is used to compare how bad something is for your health. For mature viewers ready to engage with the tough subject, it's a good place to start a discussion about the benefits of a plants-only diet, scientific accuracy, the role big food and pharmaceutical companies play in our eating habits, and ways to evaluate claims that seem too good to be true.
Add your rating See all 7 parent reviews. Add your rating See all 4 kid reviews. More surprising and disturbing are his discovery that many prominent health organizations offer diet advice that directly contradicts these studies. So he sets out to get some answers from several of them. The information, or lack of it, that he finds when asking simple, direct questions urges him to keep digging, until eventually he learns about the relationship between these organizations and big food and pharmaceutical companies.
What is the truth about what causes cancer, diabetes, heart disease? And can a plants-only vegan diet really provide complete nutrition for healthier living? Documentarian Kip Andersen isn't pulling any punches in his quest to convince us that all meat and animal products cause disease. What the Health provides a long list of the evils associated with eating meat, for individuals as well as for the larger world, with images that are often grotesque serving a child a plateful of cigarettes or gory draining pus, anyone?
Unfortunately, so many scare tactics loaded heavily into the front of the movie leave the viewer feeling more browbeaten than informed. Which is unfortunate, because he raises a lot of good questions about the sources of our information about diet and health, and about the relationship between prominent health organizations and big food and pharma companies. The positive, beneficial side of adopting a vegan diet is always there, but it doesn't come to the forefront until the very end.
And by then, a lot of the claims have an infomercial, too-good-to-be-true feel that raises skepticism. Best for non-squeamish teens and up who are ready to take a hard look at what they eat and why, and who are ready to learn how to evaluate claims for themselves. Families can talk about how What the Health conveys its messages.
How do they talk about and show meat and animal products versus eating only plants? How do the images and words affect your emotional reaction to the information conveyed? How can you evaluate the claims made in this movie? Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
See how we rate. Streaming options powered by JustWatch. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support. Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.
Learn how we rate. Parents' Ultimate Guide to Support our work! Corona Column 3 Use these free activities to help kids explore our planet, learn about global challenges, think of solutions, and take action. What the Health.
Scare tactics dominate docu about diet and health. NR 97 minutes. How can veganism be wrong?! The problem is that the study findings are often twisted and presented to the viewer without giving them a full understanding of the research. Elsewhere in The Game Changers , Wilks name-checks studies that feature small sample sizes and then extrapolates broad generalizations.
The study he references , published in the journal Pediatrics International , was conducted using the milk of pregnant cows. The scientists pulled from a pool of 18 people seven men, six children, and five women , and found that milk reduced testosterone secretions—not overall testosterone—temporarily. Wilks later argues that the Big Meat Industry floods scientific journals with funded research, which buries the good news of vegan excuse me, plant-based diets and further confuses consumers.
This is a fair point—the meat industry does fund scientific research—except that Wilks goes on to cattle-prod himself in the forehead. Wilks uses this study to support his argument that meat impairs blood flow and increases inflammation. Numerous times throughout the documentary, The Game Changers bombards you with the scientific terms TMAO, hetereocyclic amines, heme iron, neu5gc a doozy! Here, again, Wilks presents claims that these compounds, unique to animal products, increase the risk of inflammation, which can lead to a host of nasty diseases, particularly cancer.
Except that the scientific understanding of these compounds is far less studied than The Game Changers leads the viewer to believe. And the results of emerging studies are not nearly as concrete as those done on cigarettes, as the film later implies. Sounds scary. Pierre says. In reality, actual risk goes up by about 1 percent total, to a new absolute risk of about 6 percent. The 'degree of risk' is not even in the same sport, let alone the same ballpark," he says.
You could even go so far as to say "virtually eliminate your risk", as they can decrease HCA formation by up to 99 percent, says St. The Game Changers does an incredible job of pulling in high-performing athletes who have made a switch to a plant-based diet and excelled. For all the vegan undertones to The Game Changers , the documentary sure features a lot of man meat—boxers beating up tires, powerlifters flipping cars, linebackers blasting through drills.
The implication is look what plants built. In the film, Wilks shows two experiments. The first experiment features preventive cardiologist Robert Vogel, M. The second experiment features urologist Aaron Spitz, M. Both tests surprise! But there are so many variables left unconsidered in both of these experiments. None of the athletes featured talk about these things either. The Game Changers makes athletic performance all about diet.
But diet is only one component of a larger concept of what it means to be a healthy person, whether you're an athlete or not. Wilks is correct in his presentation of the overblown connections between the phytoestrogens in soy products and their supposed effects on estrogen levels in men.
But what about low sperm count and man boobs? Back in the s, a few small studies and rodent research suggested that the phytoestrogens in soy products could disrupt hormones. The Game Changers repeatedly pits a vegan diet against a diet that includes meat. Either you eat animal products and suffer the consequences or avoid animal products and thrive, the movie argues. This is the choice that qualified and experienced registered dietitians of which none are featured in The Game Changers , by the way urge their clients, professional athletes and regular people alike, to adopt.
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