5 documentaries that will get you healthy

20 April 2017 by
First published: 20 June 2016

Looking to make a change? Check out the 5 documentaries that will get you healthy.

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009-2010 found that more than one in three adults and one in six children and adolescents (aged six to 19) were obese. With the epidemic of obesity being one of the biggest in history, and with little to no improvement over the last few years, it’s no surprise that major health professionals and experts have serious concerns for our health and thus, are striving for change.

Despite the topic being widely discussed, many people still have a very narrow view of the food they are consuming, unaware of the truly shocking realities that go on behind the scenes. In truth, we are consuming too much fast food, too much sugar and reaching for the wrong solutions to save ourselves. But the problem is far deeper than this. Clever marketing and even more clever ingredients keep us buying into unhealthy, processed and/or fast food and it’s brave documentaries such as these that dare to reveal the inconvenient truth behind them. Prepare to be enlighted. You have to see these…

Fed Up
‘There are 600,000 food items in America; 80 per cent of them contain added sugar’. This is essentially the backbone of Fed Up, a 2014 documentary written and directed by Stephanie Soechtig. Focusing on the role of sugar in our diet, it explores how detrimental it is to our health, despite the US government overlooking the role of sugar in increasing risks of obesity, diabetes and other health complications in the first dietary guidelines 30 years ago. Guidelines that effectively condoned the unlimited addition of sugar to foods, bringing us into a generation where children are growing up far fatter than their parents. Expect commentary from experts in the field, uncovered footage, frightening statistics and graphics, and real-life stories from those suffering the most from this epidemic.

Food, Inc
When money and time is tight, what do we look for? Food that is fast, cheap and tasty. Academy Award-nominated Food, Inc examines what cost this way of buying and consuming is having on both our nutrition and environment. The film is three-fold: covering the industrial production of meat, the industrial production of grains and vegetables (primarily corn and soy beans) and the economic and legal power of major food companies that have led to the heavy use of pesticides and fertilisers on food and the promotion of unhealthy food consumption. This hard-hitting documentary hears from authors, advocates, farmers and CEOs and goes into slaughterhouses and factory farms to bring us a frank, ‘no BS’ account of the problem. Not an easy watch in parts, but certainly a necessary one.

Food Matters
As inferred by the title, Food Matters asks us to go back to our roots and truly question what a good diet means. It explores the way in which all too many of us seem to have forgotten the healing powers of good food and instead turn to western medicine if we feel sick. It poses the argument that nearly all degenerative diseases actually stem from the processed, nutrient-depleted food we consume as first-world nations and explains the routes we should be taking to not only take charge of our own wellbeing, but to lead a healthier, happier and longer life.

Hungry For Change
Maybe you’ve dieted on and off for years without success; maybe you’re wondering why products targeted at losing weight are actually doing the opposite; or maybe you don’t know how to get out of the diet-trap altogether? Hungry For Change has the answers. Exposing shocking secrets the diet, weight-loss and food industry have concealed, this powerful documentary forces you to question the fad diet foods and products that dominate supermarket shelves and instead re-connect with organic, natural and wholesome produce that is actually good for you.

Supersize Me
It’s an oldie but a goodie. If you haven’t seen it, seriously do (but be warned, you’ll probably never look at a burger in the same way again). American director (and effective guinea pig) Morgan Spurlock takes on the challenge of eating McDonald’s three times a day, every day, for a month. He must say yes if asked to supersize and has to eat everything on the menu at least once. Why? In the most obese and fast-food-loving country, Morgan is out to prove the physical and mental effects of consuming fast food and show, quite literally, its unparalleled link between obesity and decline in health.