Movie Review: “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2”

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by Nils Osmar. © 2021. Nothing in this article is intended as or should be taken as medical advice. Please read the full medical disclaimer here.

I like Joe Cross, and have a lot of respect for him. His previous documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, recounts how he lost some excess body fat and healed a major health problem through fasting. He was doing juice fasting at the time. His progress was remarkable.

The first documentary was inspiring, and was helpful because it motivated a lot of people, including me, to start learning more about fasting. But I found his second movie, which came out a couple of years ago, discouraging.

At the start of this one, a somewhat overweight Joe is shown talking to his somewhat overweight followers about rebooting (juicing). One follower tells him that “rebooting” made it easier for her to switch to a plant based diet. This ties in with the main theme in the movie, a contention that eating a diet which excludes all animal -based foods is the best path to health.

The problem is that, while many health authorities tend to parrot this recommendation, there really isn’t universal agreement about it.

  • Some people on the road to better health find that eating plant-based, at least for a while, does help their health. (When I was vegan, I felt better for a few months after giving up animal-based foods, but then I started feeling awful all of the time and developing nutritional deficiency symptoms. I didn’t recover until I added animal foods back into my diet.)
  • Like me, some others have found that adding in some meat, fish, eggs and/or dairy actually improves their health.. Some even go full carnivore, at least for a stretch of time, and experience positive changes as a result.
  • Joe heavily promotes fruit consumption. But fruit, being fully of fructose, is inherently problematic for many people. I can eat it, but only in small amounts. If I eat too much, my blood sugar goes through the roof.
  • The documentary would be more useful if it questioned Joe’s assumptions, instead of wandering around searching for confirmation of them.
  • One particularly silly (or sad) sequence shows Joe self-righteously burning a bacon cheeseburger, implying that meat and cheese are what are making people sick and fat. He’d have been better off, I suspect, burning the bun and eating the meat and cheese, as long as both are from grass fed cows.

Note to Joe, if by chance you’re reading this: I sincerely with you well, but in this movie I don’t see much evidence that you’re on the right path. I wonder if you’ve ever considered switching to an omnivorous paleolithic/ketogenic diet for a few months, or even a few weeks, to see what happens? If you’re like me, and many people I know who tried a vegan approach and found that it led to health problems, you’ll find an omnivorous diet a better and more reliable path to maintain a healthy weight.

You don’t have to give up plants; most people who eat ketogenic diets eat a lot of them. But you will, I think, make more progress toward your health goals. And you’ll have something brand new to educate people about in your next movie.

Take care, my friend. Wishing you the best.

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