TV with a Prof- What The Health
What The Health is a documentary by filmmaker Kip Andersen exploring national health organizations and the secrets of what Americans should really be eating to prevent and reverse chronic diseases. This pro-vegan film resulted in controversial opinions, both in online reviews and during the open discussion of TV with a Prof held last Tuesday in the UMC Aspen Rooms. Professor Jamie Bartlett, who teaches Nutrition for Health and Performance for the Honors RAP, led the event, pausing between clips of the film to answer questions and fact check statistics that needed clarification.
What The Health, produced by the same creators of Cowspiracy—a pro-vegan documentary focusing on the environment—is under fire for misrepresenting data to promote veganism. The main criticism is the comparison of eating eggs to being as bad as smoking cigarettes, which Time claims as a misrepresentation.
Nonetheless, the film did get many things right, like exploiting the injustice minorities who live near factory farms face, the overconsumption of antibiotics used in animal agriculture, and highlighting the financial relationships between food industry companies and national public health groups. Specifically, Andersen uncovered the link between the American Diabetes Association diet recommendations to their sponsorship from companies like Oscar Myers, whose foods contribute to such diseases. One astounding statistic Andersen found says one serving of processed meat per day increases risk of developing diabetes by 51%.
Dr. Bartlett stressed the importance of mindful eating. By thinking about our diets and implementing more plant-based foods, Americans can reduce their risk for diabetes and other diseases. While What The Health may have sparked some controversy, it definitely started conversation on the need for healthier eating patterns.
In fact, there was an abundance of pizza leftover after this event…seems like What The Health left an impact!