A lot of people are relying on the movie “What the Health” to tell them how to eat. But the gives misleading information about what is really healthy and unhealthy, and health claims backed by no solid evidence.
A new documentary film about the dangers of modern food is coming soon to theaters. Called “What the Health?” (WTWH), the film is being billed as a “groundbreaking documentary exposing the truth behind the food industry and the government’s role in creating our modern diet.” The film’s trailer has garnered a lot attention, and if the trailer is any indication, the film is going to be a hit.
A new documentary with the all-too-familiar Hollywood-style poster shot of a distressed man staring at an iPhone, a hand-written note and the tagline “What the Health?” has been released in theaters.
Is it dangerous to eat meat? That’s what you may believe after seeing the Netflix original film What’s Health (WTH).
WTH is a documentary by filmmaker Kip Anderson, who travels from San Francisco to answer inquiries about healthy eating in his trusty blue van. Since Anderson is already a vegan and stated in his last film, The Cow Conspiracy, that cows are responsible for the planet’s devastation, we’re certain he’ll follow suit.
Despite his best efforts to seem astonished and horrified by his results, he believes that not only is a plant-based diet the healthiest, but that animal products cause death and illness in everyone who eats them.
In Anderson’s defense, the film is persistently disturbing and intriguing to the point where you want to agree with the vegans and never consume cheese, which a character in the film refers to as curdled cow pulp, or the purity of the dead, decaying animal tissue that Anderson refers to as meat.
In the video, there are 37 health claims, and I investigated them thoroughly for this evaluation. (WTH also makes a lot of claims regarding toxins and environmental contamination, but I’m not an expert in that field, so I just looked at the health claims.)
a number of notes
But first, I’ll offer a few remarks on the film’s techniques, return to one point, and take a little detour into science.
First and foremost, I am not a film expert, but I believe this film is reminiscent of a horror film, with images of Anderson driving ominously through dark tunnels or sitting alone in an unlit room searching his computer for secrets. As if speaking with a mafia informant, the conversations are illuminated by a solitary bulb, and eerie music plays in the background, generating a pervading feeling of dread.
Animal products that are plainly intended to kill humans via poisons, chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, steroids, pesticides, mad cow disease, germs, rotting meat, or an infinite variety of infections causing chronic sickness are the dangers lying around.
Images of fat, pulsating flesh being punctured with scalpels or incised with surgical tools are mixed with terrifying footage of pregnant ladies (the most vulnerable!) having needles in their abdomens. We watch a joyful pregnant woman or an innocent infant sipping milk that glows orange neon, a warning of concealed peril, and then we see neon entering their bodies without them even realizing it – if only they knew! One of the film’s specialists advises, “Choose your poison,” alluding to the many ways animal food kills. The decision is yours whether to be shot or hung.
The meat, dairy, and egg industries, according to Anderson, are similar to Big Tobacco in that they use deceptive methods to conceal the risks of a hazardous product. Since the 1970s, vegetarian organizations have utilized this approach to promote the farm animal business, but WTH takes it to the next level.
In the lips of youngsters, hot dogs become greasy, smoky cigars, and an egg nutrition leaflet becomes a note on the health advantages of smokes. According to the most well-known specialist, Dr. Michael Greger, one egg a day is equivalent to smoking five cigarettes. By comparison with the meat, dairy, and egg sectors and their products, I estimate that Big Tobacco or tobacco products are mentioned at least a dozen times throughout the film.
The video also argues that Big Food and Big Pharma’s excessive influence on reputable health organizations like the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association contributes to our health issues (AHA). I agree, but I believe the film should have ended with the following: WTH only refers to the funding of meat and dairy businesses, but the whole food sector is in jeopardy.
These contributions prohibit these organizations from promoting healthy meals (the American Heart Association, for example, labels its healthful grains as rich in sugar) or even encouraging people to eat better than medicines and medical equipment. I also fully agree with another point made frequently by WTH in the video (in the most terrifying manner imaginable), namely that these illnesses are very harmful to our countries’ health and prosperity. It is, in fact.
Then there’s the budget. Because I wrote the book Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Should Be Part of a Healthy Diet, I approach this film with an obvious bias. The book’s primary point is that saturated fats and cholesterol have been misunderstood and, in the end, are not harmful to your health.
As a result, I do not believe that animal meals are harmful for these reasons (for a full summary of these arguments, read my book, and for a quick overview, read a recent article in Medscape or an article I wrote in the Wall Street Journal). However, there are other reasons against animal food in films, and I’m willing to listen to them.
Finally, a scientific remark. WTH’s website has many links to facts that back up its assertions. As a result, I devised an assessment method. The following kinds of evidence are listed by WTH:
The majority of the assertions made in the video are supported by epidemiological research. These studies are inherently restricted in that they can only show correlations and not prove causation. As a result, these data are mostly used to create hypotheses and are seldom used to verify them. The following are only a few of the numerous difficulties that epidemiological research faces:
- Food frequency surveys that rely on individuals remembering precisely what they ate in the previous 6 or 12 months are very inaccurate.
- Confounding variables are not fully corrected. How can we explain, for example, why heavy red meat consumers seem to disregard their physicians’ meat prescriptions (because nearly all doctors now urge their patients to decrease their red meat consumption), and therefore are prone to disregard healthy lifestyle recommendations in a variety of other ways? They are more likely to smoke, not see the doctor on a regular basis, or attend cultural activities – all of which are linked to bad health and which epidemiologists will never be able to accurately quantify or fix. Also, since experts don’t know how many various foods, such as sugar or fructose-rich corn syrup, cause illness, they can’t account for it; and that’s only the start of the issues connected with misunderstanding.
- Hundreds of food and lifestyle factors are compared to death rates for different illnesses by epidemiologists, resulting in a wide range of correlations. There’s a high possibility that some of the favorable findings will turn out to be incorrect. To prevent this issue, statistical adjustments may be performed, although Harvard epidemiologists, whose work is often referenced by WTH, seldom do so.
Scientists in most areas (excluding nutrition) believe that modest correlations with a risk ratio of less than 2 are unreliable for these and other reasons.
Coefficients in epidemiological research are indicated in red.
(It’s worth noting that the risk ratio has nothing to do with the ominous relative change figures mentioned in the articles.) Meat raises the risk of breast cancer by 68 percent, according to the report. However, as stated here, this number is inflated and often makes no sense).
Trials in the clinic
This is a more thorough kind of proof that may demonstrate cause and effect. I’ll grade the studies based on the following criteria: Was it a coincidence? Was there a control group for him? Was it significant? Was it in the correct neighborhood? Was there a sufficient number of individuals who took the survey to make it worthwhile? Is this assertion supported by his findings?
Clinical studies that do not satisfy the majority of these criteria are marked in red.
Clinical research that substantiate the claim have been highlighted in green.
Uncertainty about the evidence
B. Work that speculates on potential theories, case studies on one or two people, or in vitro research on cell cultures, which are either studies that do not support a claim or extremely uncertain evidence. They are the most preliminary kinds of study and should not be regarded as definitive proof. These studies are all marked in red because they are inconclusive.
Articles from newspapers, magazines, and blogs
Because they have not been peer-reviewed, they cannot be considered rigorous sources of evidence, although some publications are better than others. Articles from biased sources (e.g. vegan diet doctors) are flagged as having both commercial and intellectual conflicts of interest. Mainstream media that have verified their articles are more reliable, but are still not a source of peer-reviewed science, so they are marked yellow.
- Items marked in red should not be taken as proof of a complaint.
- The assertion is poorly supported in the yellow highlighted areas.
- The assertion is supported by the elements indicated in green.
… Play the drums… Here’s the evidence:
The statistics does not support 96 percent of the assertions made in this film. The film’s claims are not backed up by thorough, randomized, controlled studies in people. Instead, WTH relies heavily on shaky epidemiological data, one- or two-person case studies, and other unconvincing findings. Some of the mentioned research even reach the opposite result.
Furthermore, it seems that the majority of the papers were written by vegan dietitians, namely Michael Greger and Neil Barnard. Both are enthusiastic about animal welfare, so it’s difficult to tell if they’re searching for the truth about healthy eating or whether they’re beginning with the concept of ending animal domestication and then embracing scientific evidence.
Given the film’s shaky or non-existent evidence, the second theory seems to be the most probable. WTH is most likely animal rights propaganda masquerading as a public health video, since it is based on no research at all.
This PDF document contains a complete list of all WTH health claims as well as their exact confirmation.
Defenders of the film may argue that the finest research is lost in all those vegetarian doctoring stations, but every researcher understands that original sources, not secondary ones, are what should be cited. What happened to science? It doesn’t seem to be there.
And we may infer that if health claims have been twisted and misrepresented, statements on other topics, such as environmental pollutants, poisons, antibiotics, hormones, human evolution, and so on, have been similarly twisted and misrepresented.
I’m not sure whether this is the best proof that a vegan diet may promote excellent health. Part of my skepticism stems from several reasonable observations:
- No human population has ever lived on a vegan diet in the history of civilization.
- A vegan diet is lacking in nutrients because it lacks vitamin B12, iron, and folic acid (which means we should always be talking about a vegan diet plus supplements).
- A nearly vegan diet regularly results in lower HDL cholesterol and occasionally greater triglycerides, suggesting an increased risk of heart attack, according to thorough clinical research. Consumption of animal products has decreased significantly in the United States over the last 30 years, but the number of obese and diabetic individuals has increased substantially: whole milk is 79 percent, red meat is 28 percent, beef is 35 percent, eggs are 13 percent, and animal fats are 27 percent. Fruit intake rose by 35% and vegetable consumption increased by 20% at the same period. As a result, these indicators show that Americans are shifting from an animal-based to a plant-based diet, contradicting the notion that a permanent shift to plant-based meals is beneficial to health.
- Over the last decade, diabetes has risen dramatically throughout the Indian subcontinent, where beef is not eaten by the great majority of the people.
WTH isn’t a movie that health groups don’t want you to watch, either! Since the president of the American College of Cardiology, who is featured in the video, is a major proponent of a vegan diet, and an expert group for the United States Dietary Guidelines recommended eliminating meat from the list of healthful foods in 2015, this is as stated.
As a result, these two big health organizations will most likely be pleased to watch this film. In reality, the plant-based diet has many high-profile advocates, including the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, which is responsible for many of the film’s weak epidemiological correlations. As Michael Moore argues, being an outsider is just one of the film’s rhetorical techniques.
Finally, as a journalist, I’d want to make a remark about this film. Anderson’s performance as a reporter in WTH does not match industry standards. He not only jumps over a barbed wire fence that makes it seem as though he wandered into a North Carolina pig farm, but he also conducts a series of interviews that made me chuckle.
If you need information from the American Cancer Institute, the American Heart Association, or the American Dietetic Association, like Anderson, you contact the press office and ask to be connected to the relevant specialist. Anderson doesn’t appear to know, or at least pretends to know, so he asks the operators on the phone or, more amusingly, the security guy behind the counter in the lobby.
That’s fantastic. Again. Anderson said that there are more questions that no one can answer. Yes, Mr. Anderson, since these guys were recruited as cameramen and guards, not as scientists. Anderson presents these meetings as a sequence of moments in which he tries to persuade him, but it’s all a trick of the light.
And that is precisely what this film is about: terrifying visuals, persuasive language, the appearance of certainty and facts when none exists. Friends, eat your eggs, dairy products, and meat since there is no convincing proof that these traditional, nutritious foods are unhealthy.
Nina Teicholz (Nina Teicholz)
Although there are no obvious scientific grounds to become a vegetarian or vegan, many individuals find it to be a good personal decision.
We strive to make low-carb meals as simple as possible, and here are some of our favorite vegan low-carb recipes:
there has been a lot of talk about the pending release of “What The Health” , a documentary film that accuses the government of the United States of covering up the truth about the link between animal fat/meat consumption and cancer. The film is a far-fetched and paranoid conspiracy theory.. Read more about what the health pareri and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are examples of health claims?
There are many different health claims that people make, but some of the most common ones are This product will help you lose weight, This product will help you sleep better, and This product will improve your mood.
What is the Helf?
The Helf is a mythical creature that has been around since the beginning of time. Its said to be a large, hairy creature with long claws and horns.
Does what the health show animal cruelty?
The health bar is a representation of your current health. It does not show whether the animal was being treated humanely or not.
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