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What the Health, Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, 2017 USA
This film depicts he link between the food consumed in our societies and the major health problems plaguing most of the population. Guided by the maxim “Let food be the medicine and the medicine the food” the directors have produced an outstanding and comprehensive documentary which has few if any equals. Providing compelling data on cancer and heart diseases and elucidating the diabetes problem which is shared by 350 million persons worldwide and costs the United States one third of the Medicare budget, the documentary proceeds to show that there is a significant relationship between those diseases and what food is consumed. The World Health Organization reviewed more than 800 studies and published ranking carcinogenic factors impacting our health. Processed meats were among the most significant. Even small daily amounts increase cancer risks and eating beacon has been found to be equivalent to smoking cigarettes yet the American Cancer Society does not provide information about that risk factor, though 25% of all US death are due to cancer. The same failure to advise about the role of carcinogenic food holds for other associations such as the U.S. Diabetes Association, The American Heart Society, and the Susan K. Koman group. As What the Health demonstrates there are a large number of readily accessible studies proving that the animal based food in our diet has a significant negative impact. Cholesterol generated through animal protein is clogging arteries and veins with beef, chicken, and dairy consumption as the principal culprit. Fish frequently praised as healthy is considered by food scientists as a “mercury sponge”.
The investigation presented by What the Health is empirically grounded and used data generated by many studies and extensive interviews with medical professionals. A Review of publications by multiple health associations quoted earlier showed that they actually list in their guides to better eating numerous types of food which have a negative an empirically proven negative impact on health. There are no references to food types as negative factors. When the film makers tried to interview executives of these associations about their failure to advise their readers about the relation between the recommended diets and the ailments they developed, the executives refused to discuss this issue. The silence is accounted for by the list of corporate sponsors including but not restricted to, Dannon, Kraft Oscar Meyer, McDonalds, Tyson, KFC, Taco Bell , Watson, Subway, Campbell’s, Kellogg’s, Nestle, Cargill, various meat councils, and many others. As the film makers’ point out, the financial support of the meat and dairy food industry of health associations “…would be similar to the American Lung Association taking money from the tobacco industry” or “serving alcohol at an AA meting”. To obtain accurate information from governmental sources is equally problematic. Each fifth year the guide to food, “the food pyramid” is published by the USDA. This guide includes the listing of meat, dairy and fish and is composed by a group of scientist who all have or have had financial support from the food industry in terms of research grants or otherwise. Legislative relief is close to impossible due to the power of the food lobby and pharma industry. Recent food legislation such as the enterprise terrorism act has made it more difficult to investigate the food industry, actually penalizing the journalists or researchers. Having learned from the tobacco industry’s experience, policies and regulations are set by the food lobby to prevent lawsuits. The pharma and medical industry have no financial interest in researching the root causes of heart diseases, cancer, and diabetes. Maximum profitability if found through the treatment of symptoms via drugs and medical devices. If, for example, obesity as experienced by two thirds of the US population was addressed by switching to a vegan diet, thus greatly diminishing cholesterol clogging the veins, the market for Stent and Statin currently amounting to about $40 billion would eventually collapse.
Education could help to solve the dietary medical impact problem but Andersen and Kuhn show that in the current training of MDs by mainstream medical instructions about the relationship between diets and chronic diseases play little or no role and that the medical literature read by doctors rarely if ever addresses the issue.
Claus Mueller firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bulletin Board
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