"Fat Sick and Nearly Dead" offers dieting recommendations

The 2011 film’s poster. (Photo by IMDb)

By Casey Hill
It seems like there is a new diet craze introduced every two seconds. From Paleo to gluten free, there is always a new way to look and feel better in those skinny jeans.
The film “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead” gives a good insight into how drastic diet fads have been lately. The focus of the movie, Joe Cross, is a man with very few options left. He lives his life in Australia trying to get rid of chronic urticaria, a debilitating disease that causes a chronic rash.
Crosse claims to have this disease from living the partying lifestyle and eating poorly. “I started exploring alternative paths,” he says. “Massage, acupuncture, Chinese herbalists, mud baths, cell and hair analysis, even witch doctors.” But none of these options worked. So, as a last resort, he tried fasting on a juice cleanse for 60 days. “I’m on a mission to cure myself,” he said.
Making his way to America, he tries to see if he can drive cross-country and change the views of others and their poor eating habits. He spends his time drinking nothing but freshly squeezed juice for 60 days along with eating just fruits, vegetables and nuts afterwards. This trend has made its way to our own campus. Students are out buying his book and watching the film, giving their own take on this fasting diet.
Nutritionists state that this diet may work well for some if a professional monitors their health over time. Blood pressure, cholesterol and many other functions are measured over the course of this fast to ensure that it does no major damage to your body. “Sixty-one percent of the American diet is processed foods. Processed foods don’t even have probably one-tenth of the original nutrients,” Doctor Joe Furhman says. Therefore Americans are not getting the proper nutrients they need.
This diet seems beneficial due to the macronutrients in fruits and vegetables. “Micronutrients are essentially your vitamins and minerals. They are predominantly found in plant food. It builds muscle and helps with immune function,” states Stacy Kennedy, a senior clinical nutritionist.
Foods that we typically tend to eat are full of macronutrients. These are not good for you due to the fact that they are processed- full of sugars and fats. The misconception with this diet is that you cannot get all the nutrients you need from drinking juice.
Some students on campus have talked with professors in the Exercise Science program who state that you cannot get enough protein from this diet. However, other nutritionists state that with the amount of vegetables that go into these drinks, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle with a physician’s supervision.
Many students are trying this new diet, which leads to the question, what is so great about it? It claims that it can help give you more energy and can eliminate bodily pains, headaches and boost your overall mood and wellbeing. It can change the way you view food and if you stick to it, you can make healthier food choices overall.
“Permanent results only come from permanent changes in lifestyle and diet,” says Furhman. With the continuation of this diet, students could improve their overall physical and mental health. Eventually Cross was able to get off his medications. The people that he helped along the way claimed that they, too, were able to kick their bad habits as well as improve their health.