What the Health is a recent Netflix documentary that attempts to link the cause of chronic diseases to meat, eggs, and dairy products. Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn produce a convincing film, and it can be tempting to believe every word. However, to conclude that all animal products produce detrimental effects on human health and are the cause of all chronic diseases is a hefty conclusion. Indeed, those who eat plant-based diets typically experience fewer health issues. However, these people also tend to adopt healthier lifestyles overall.
Eggs, meat, and dairy products are certainly part of the MyPlate message (as the documentary indicates) because they provide many quality nutrients like complete proteins and calcium. Too much of anything is generally harmful so instead of eliminating nutrient-rich foods, it is much more advisable to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
The filmmakers and featured doctors in the film are all either vegans or animal rights activists. With this being said, it is important to know who is making the health claim. Are they qualified to be making such statements? Are they academic experts on the topic or avid activists rolling with the next popular trend? Andersen and Kuhn are filmmakers, not medical professionals, much like the representatives on the phones at the American Diabetes Association and American Cancer Society were secretaries, not dietitians. While some of the featured individuals in this film are highly-educated physicians, they still make up a very small portion of the accredited doctors in the U.S. The chances of only a handful of qualified professionals knowing the solution to ending all chronic diseases is slim.
If a health claim leads you to make drastic, life-altering decisions, it’s time to pause and ask questions. The link below features a review of the film by a vegan dietitian. She has some wise words to review her own specialty.