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VegParadise Media Reviews

Processed People, the Documentary

A Film by Jeff Nelson
Written by Sabrina Nelson

Mostly Magic Productions, 2009
DVD $24.95 (includes free shipping)
Available for purchase at http://www.processedpeople.com

How many doctors does it take to make you better? The answer may be NONE if you follow a diet and lifestyle revealed in Processed People, the Documentary.

In Processed People, Jeff and Sabrina Nelson focus on why Americans are so fat and unhealthy and offer information on how people can break the cycle and de-process themselves. The gifted pair of filmmakers has assembled interviews involving a powerhouse of medical experts to show how diet and exercise impact health. In a 40-minute presentation they offer "the antidote to America's toxic lifestyle."

Processed People Pediatrician Jay Gordon explains the title of the film in the opening by stating that our food and information about food are both highly processed, making us both fat and sick. Dr. John McDougall echoes these views when he says people are "eating like kings and queens" and have all the diet-related ailments that killed off those regal giants.

Quite shocking is to see statistical information flashed on the screen that shows the increase of heart attacks and strokes over the last 100 years. In 1900 2% of Americans died from these two chronic diseases. Today the percentage of deaths from heart attacks and strokes has rocketed to 51%.

The medical experts interviewed in the film charge the health care system with neglect because it is profit-driven and more interested in delivering drugs and surgery as the solution to medical problems instead of actively working on prevention. Dr. Joel Fuhrman comments that people are seeking a pill solution to their medical problems.

In a segment titled "We Are What We Eat," nutritionist Dr. Jan Popper extols the virtues of a plant-based diet. "Humans have thrived on a plant-based diet that's low in fat and high in fiber," she says. Dr. Fuhrman supports her view by advocating an eating program that includes fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds.

None of the experts in the film feel that people need to consume animal protein. Registered Dietician Jeff Novick of the American Health Association says, "Virtually every nutrient you need you could get on a well-rounded, unprocessed, unrefined plant-based diet."

Exercise is the mantra chanted by all of the doctors, but there are variations in how much physical activity is optimal. John Robbins, author of Healthy at 100, says, "Exercise plays a huge role in health. The whole idea of being sedentary is an aberration." Dr. Gordon talks about 2 hours a day while Novick says, "Getting 30 to 60 minutes a day is more than enough for everybody."

The segment on "De-Processed People" provides an opportunity for some of the participating health gurus to reveal success stories of people who have vastly improved their health through diet and exercise. Before and after photos of them includes their weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Novick says, "Fifty to seventy-five percent of people throw away their pills in as little as two or three weeks." Dr. McDougall notes that when people change their diet, "they always get better."

Jeff and Sabrina Nelson Discussing "The Price of Not Changing," author Jeffrey Masson declares, "We are the most obese nation in history." Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn says, "The country will not be able to afford the kinds of drugs and procedures that will be necessary from the carnage the Western diet inflicts." Dr. Milton Mills emphasizes additional perils of current dietary trends. "There is no way this planet can support a meat-eating species as large as human beings in the numbers that now exist. We're just going to destroy our planet," he says.

In addition to the 40-minute film, the DVD contains 2 hours and 45 minutes of extended interviews with the featured medical experts as well as bonus materials that include biographical information about the medical authorities and the filmmakers.

In an era where there is such a confusing clutter of information about diet and health, this is a film that offers an encouraging breakthrough. The facts presented in the interviews make a strong case for a lifestyle that combines an unprocessed plant-based diet with an exercise program. This potent combination would be a giant step in placing prevention at the forefront of alleviating the health care crisis.

At the conclusion of the film Dr. Gordon advises viewers to educate themselves. "Don't be a processed person," he warns. Part of that education is seeing this film and taking personal positive action in making lifestyle changes.

Jeff and Sabrina Nelson are to be commended for their efforts in bringing health education to the public over the years in their Healthy Lifestyle Expos and for their dedication in creating this outstanding film. Hopefully, this film will bring their message to a wider audience to inspire dietary changes in America. Our suggestion--buy a few copies of Processed People for friends and donate one to your local library. While you're at it, why not send one to your doctor and your congressman.

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