This documentary follows individuals and the doctors behind the very popular and grassroots Forks Over Knives (FOK) diet. Director Lee Fulkerson starts out as patient wanting to see if diet can make a difference in his own life. He then follows some other cases using these cases to delve into the history of the two main doctors of the documentary Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. The documentary not only gets into the diet, but what lead these doctors to such conclusions. The China Study is a the heart of this film, diet and research and gives a fascinating account of the “discoveries” made to get to the conclusions of this whole-plant-based diet. Several patient histories are followed including medical doctors in Los Angeles who actually treat disease with diet. The interesting thing is that diet is not used to cure, but used to remove the collateral damage done by fatty, meaty, and processed food diets.
I have to disclose that after reading the book “Reversing Heart Disease” by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and seeing this documentary, I went on this diet 100% since January of 2014 and have not let up. In January, I suffered from severe chest pains and ended up in the hospital. Although it was not a heart attack, I had been having shooting pains in my left arm, chest, and shortness of breath for a few years. My great grandfather died of a heart attack at age 53, my grandfather at age 60, and my father had his first of several heart attacks at age 55. At the time I started on this diet, I was 54 years old with a cholesterol of over 230, and a 8 year-old-daughter. My wife and I waited 15 years for our first child and I wasn’t about to die when she was barely into her teens. Plus, I thought I was eating “healthier” with a no red meat, low fat diet. Fifteen months later, my allergies are gone, my stamina is through the roof, and all my heart symptoms are gone. My cholesterol is now 146 and aches and pains are more like I’m 25 than 55.
You can read a blog of my account at: http://dehilster.com/home/why-meat-dairy-and-oil-are-not-good-for-you/
[sciflix type=”rating” name=”science” value=”10″ display=”h2″]The science behind this documentary is very solid. The human body is so complex that trying to pinpoint the effect of food on the human body has been futile in isoloation. Given this documentary is based on a diet that is based on the China Study which is purely statistics, this diet and documentary is an exception to the rule. Instead of relying on very small test groups or on small diets or isolated regions of the world, the China Study was the most comprehensive study between the relationship between diet and disease. A correlation of over 9000 diseases were correlated with diet and the consequences of these studies end up being the basis for the diet and the results seem dramatic but believable.
I would have liked to see more indication of the three groups of people on earth that had no significant heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. Other than that, I felt the science was very solid relying on the huge statistics of the China Study which you can’t fake or bias.
[sciflix type=”rating” name=”entertainment” value=”7″ display=”h2″]For those interested in science, diet, and health, this documentary is more informational and inspirational than entertaining. If you were to take out one’s interest in this diet and its effects, the film itself as a piece of entertainment is ok, not great. I feel the director could have pieced together a more entertaining flow to the documentary and if someone were to see this who had no interest in diet, they may be bored. I do give it 7 points out of ten given the director did use real-life subjects in the film including himself. But again, I think it could have been taken to another level.
[sciflix type=”rating” name=”speculation” value=”zero” display=”h2″]There really isn’t a lot of speculation in this film. There are studies sighted but they don’t seem to me to fall into the “hiding behind shady facts” category. Most of them given enough data to make them believable to the audience and there was little to lead one to the conclusion that the “wool” was being pulled over our eyes.
[sciflix type=”rating” name=”conspiracy” value=”1″ display=”h2″]The film doesn’t scream conspiracy yet it does suggest there is some forces working against a whole-plant-based diet. This critic believes that industry does in fact use “bad science” to try and convince the public that milk, meat, etc are healthy despite the findings in this film.
The good thing today is we have a lot of information at our fingertips and we can decide things for ourselves. That is what Fork Over Knives is in the long run.