Fat Sick And Nearly Dead: A Movie Review from Dr. Whimsey
Recently, I watched the movie “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead,” available on Netflix. The film chronicles the real life adventure of Joe Cross, an entrepreneur from Australia, who decides to go on a 60 day juice fast. Cross had a series of medical conditions that included obesity, and an autoimmune disease commonly referred to as “Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria.”Cross’s decision to go on a juice fast, is based on the idea that his lifestyle choices made him sick. In fact, many healthcare providers now believe that much of America’s epidemic of obesity and chronic disease have more to do with diet and lifestyle choices than anything else.
The film was shot in the United States, and depicts Cross traveling across the country asking people about health and diet, while discussing the current medical epidemic of obesity and chronic disease that has lead to Americans consuming more prescription drugs than any other nation on earth. Along the way Cross meets a truck driver named “Phil,” Phil is 425 pounds and suffering from the same debilitating disease. Phil decides to go on his own juice fast and not only recovers his health but looses close to 200 pounds (for his part, Cross lost around 90 pounds during his fast).
This film is amazingly inspirational, and I highly recommend people watch it. Not just because it demonstrates how diet and exercise can cure disease, but because it addresses, what I have come to believe, are gaping holes in our current healthcare system. Mainly, the lack of emphasis we have placed on diet and lifestyle changes to cure disease in this country, and have opted instead for the “quick fix,” medications can offer instead.
The film maker argues that juicing is better than eating foods raw because it would take far too many fruits and veggies to equal the amount of nutrients found in a single glass of juice. Therefore, in order to maximize the amount of micronutrients available in vegetables it is better to juice them.
This is not a perfect film. I am not a huge proponent of a juice only fast. One of the main reasons I don’t like this type of fast is because it eliminates fiber from the diet. Fiber is vital to our health for a number of reasons. For starters, fiber bulks up our stool helping us to have healthier and more frequent bowel movements (preventing constipation, and decreasing our risk of diverticulitis and polyps). Fiber is also thought to reduce our risk of colon cancer and type II diabetes. Fiber also helps keep our blood sugar stable. It does this by slowing down how quickly sugar can enter the blood stream; preventing the elevated levels you can sometimes get from consuming high sugar content food items like soda pop and white bread.
Instead of the juice only diet seen in this film, I advice people to do both a juice fast combined with nutrient dense foods like plenty of raw veggies, brown rice, and beans. This keeps the blood sugar stable during the fast, while still gaining all of the added benefits of taking in nutrient dense juices.
Like every article we write on Anderson Health Watch, we always want you to ask your doctor before starting any diet or exercise regime to see if it is right for you.
See the original Dr. Whimsey review at: