Society is faced with a terrible epidemic and food is at the forefront of our demise. It is argued that the consumption of the wrong kinds of foods is the reason why obesity is at an all-time high and the health of the nation, as a whole, is in decline. The films Fed Up and Forks over Knives attempt to uncover the real reasons behind the cause of obesity and other nutrition related health issues. In both films the authors focus on the consequences of a poor diet and its effects on your body. While both films are persuasive with their arguments, statistics, and predictions.
I feel Forks over Knives is more statistically sound and strategic in proving their point. In the documentary Fork over Knives by Lee Fulkerson we are taken through a journey of discovery and the benefits of life altering changes through whole food plant based diet. We will be persuaded by a few rhetorical strategies such as logos, ethos and pathos. You will be shown two views from world renowned doctors who were both raised on farms, where they both believed that animal products where the best way to help the environment. This all transformed once they went off to college and completely changed their view of nutrition.
The logos used in this filmed were all supported with the great amount of statistics to hold their argument. They learned that degenerative diseases can be reversed by omitting all animal based and processed food from our diets and switching to a whole food plant based diet. Dr. Collin Campbell PhD grew up on a dairy farm in Virginia where for him milk was considered, nature’s perfect food. He studied animal nutrition and biochemistry at Cornell University. In 1960, Dr. Campbell went to the Philippines to give malnourished children more protein: however, protein from meat was not cost effective.
Therefore, he supplemented with plant protein through soy beans. He then discovered that children from privileged families had a higher rate of liver cancer. During his studies he came across an animal study in India where rats were exposed to aflotoxin then fed a diet of 20% casein then 5% casein, when casein would be dropped to 5% the number of cancer forming clusters would diminish then increase when casein was given at 20%. After viewing this study they came to realization that animal and dairy protein turns on cancer and the lack of it turns it off. During this time in 1970 fast food was booming and cancer cases were also increasing.
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, MD was raised on dairy and beef farm in upstate New York, specializing in breast cancer. He wanted to do more than just surgically remove the cancer, he wanted to find a way to prevent it. Dr. Esselsttyn expresses ethos throughout the film by comparing scientific studies and statistics done around the world. He came across a study in Kenya that showed that women were 82 times less susceptible to breast cancer than women in the US. Insurance companies pay up to $120 billion for heart disease and obesity related procedures and 40 % of Americans are obese, with Lipitor being the most prescribed medicine for high cholesterol.
Pathos will be demonstrated by Dr. Esselstyn who conducted his own experiment on patients with irreversible advanced diseases. He took 24 patients and gave them each small amounts of animal protein with a small amount of cholesterol medicine. 4 stopped progression of disease and 4 reversed the disease. 12 lived for 2 decades when they were told they wouldn’t live another year. From the vast amounts of physical data given, I can say that Forks over Knives is the most reliable persuasive film.
The documentary Fed Up is a wakeup call of America’s obesity problem, it takes an up-close look at the driving factors that led us down this road and who they believe is really behind it. The writer Stephanie Soechtig proves her argument through strong statistics and logos by using the narrator Kaie Couric. She calls out government who is funded by big agriculture and processed food manufactures such as Coca-Cola corrupt. She points the blame towards the food industry and how they are corrupt and are to be blamed for the obesity epidemic.
Ms. Soechtig stresses the fact that big name companies market to children and have incorporated itself into schools by the rhetorical strategy pathos. She begins by introducing the struggles of three obese adolescent teenagers. Each teenager shares their stories that even with diet and exercise they do not see a significant change in their weight loss. This all comes down to how the food industry increased America’s sugar intake by masking its name to high fructose corn syrup and maltodextrose causing the obesity epidemic in 1977. In 1980 there were zero cases of adolescent type 2 diabetes, fast forward to 2010 there were 57,638 cases.
This film tries to educate the viewer that sugar is not only found in cookies or cakes, it is found in all processed food regardless of their label of “low fat” or “fat free” (Fed Up). In 2002, during the Bush administration, the World Health Organization wrote a report stating that no more than 10% of calories in our daily intake should come from sugar. Secretary Tommy Thompson took a jet to Geneva to put a stop to that report and threatened to relinquish their contribution of $406 million if the report was printed, coercing them to delete all sugar reports.
To date, all food labels do not contain the daily % of sugar intake. Their argument was that it would be detrimental to the food industry if this were to surface being that they suggest it should be 25%, 2. 5 times the normal amount. Fed up also uses the ethos strategy mentioning the cocaine rat study, which found that cocaine addicted rats preferred sugar water over cocaine when given the choice and experienced binge eating, cravings and withdrawal when sugar was taken away. Kids were actually getting addicted to sugar as infants through baby formula.
In 2006, big name companies incorporated itself into 80% of public high schools introducing large quantities of processed foods which replaced fresh cooked food. Fed up formulates statistics that show 95% of all Americans will be overweight or obese in 2050 and 1 in 3 Americans will have diabetes. The big picture they want to portray is that exercise in not enough when we are consuming the wrong foods. Both of these documentaries are persuasive and both make me want to throw out everything in my fridge and pantry; however, Forks over Knives is more compelling and powerful.
Forks over Knives emphasizes a more inward approach to change oneself, unlike Fed Up, which I feel wants to place most of the blame through logos on the government. Fed Up makes valid points through ethos and does prove that big corporations and big money drive the push of sugary and processed foods on the American population, but it is still your own decision to change, which I feel is emphasized in Forks over Knives. I feel that both documentary uses rhetorical strategies such as logos, ethos and pathos effectively.
Fork over Knives utilizes heart disease as their main argument and show statistics such as 460,000 American women will die from heart diseases and stroke per year. Heart disease is still the number one cause of death, killing over 600,000 people a year. Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esslstyn both changed their lives to show that a whole food plant based diet is viable for a long and disease free life. In Fork over Knives you are introduced into the lives of the patients and their struggles giving you a sense of reality.
The documentary Fed Up attacks the government and food industries for its corruption and aiding in the obesity epidemic. Their concrete statistics show that between 1980 and 2000 fitness memberships doubled as well as the obesity rates. In 1980 not one case was recorded of children having type 2 diabetes but by 2010 there were 57,638 cases known. They also show us an emotional connection using pathos throughout the documentary by giving us real world examples of three teenagers struggling with their battle of obesity.