I'm a documentary junkie. There, I admit it. I'm curious about why things are the way they are. On some days I'd rather watch a good documentary than a movie or sitcom.
These documentaries sometimes are alarming, making us all wary about the state of health the nation is in. Some, such as “The Weight of the Nation,” are made in concert with U.S. medical officials. Others are produced by those who want to tell their own story or express frustrations.
Reaction to these films varies greatly. Some beat you over the head with controversial messages. They sound a little like this: “We're a gluttonous nation and the industrialized food industry is a profit-seeking evil.”
I am not bothered by strong messages. The key is to keep an open mind and look at a subject from different points of views.
It's through these films that we've learned that corn is in just about everything we consume, tens of thousands of products are in a typical grocery store, processed and fast food can be as addictive as some illicit drugs, and the term “genetically modified”' has become commonplace.
These films show us that we may be over-simplistic in our approach to obesity and chronic illness. We're told to eat less and exercise more, and we certainly need to, but it's not always that clear-cut for every individual.
Depending on the message, you may find yourself feeling powerless, as though we don't have a lot of control over our food supply.
My dietary journey is evolving. I, like most others, want to find a balance. I want to eat as healthy as I can with the resources I have but without becoming the maniacal food police. I want to prevent disease and have abundant energy. It's not enough to just lose weight.
Documentaries to watch:
Killer at Large
Hungry for Change
Forks Over Knives
Soul Food Junkies
Fast Food Nation
Future of Food
Bigger, Stronger, Faster
Appetite for Profit
America the Beautiful
America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments
Many documentaries are available on Netflix. Others may stream live online at topdocumentaryfilms.com, ovguide.com or snagfilms.com.
What are your favorite health-related documentaries and why? Share with us at www.facebook.com/fitcitychallenge or www.facebook.com/LightenUpEastTexas.