Food- and Health-Related Movies
Movies can be a great way to introduce students to health issues and start a lot of discussions about food in our society. Recent research has shown that using movies that discuss societal issues related to food and agriculture may help students choose healthier diets.1 Check out the following movies to show your students in the evenings or as part of a wellness class. Then have a discussion about the students' reactions to the movie.
- Fat: What No One is Telling You
Fighting fat in America is the focus of this documentary that not only underscores the challenges experts face in finding solutions for obesity, but also uncovers the painful prejudice toward those who struggle with this health issue. The program includes features designed to help viewers attain a healthier lifestyle.
- Food, Inc.
Drawing on Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation and Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, director Robert Kenner's Oscar-nominated documentary explores the food industry's detrimental effects on our health and environment.
- Food Matters
With a staggering number of Americans suffering from obesity and other food-related maladies, this film takes a timely and hard-hitting look at how the food we eat is helping or hurting our health, and what we can do to live (and eat) better. Nutritionists, naturopaths, scientists, doctors, medical journalists and more weigh in on everything from using food as medicine to the value of organic food and the safety of the food we consume.
- Forks Over Knives
Focusing on the research of two food scientists, this earnest documentary reveals that despite broad advances in medical technology, the popularity of modern processed foods has led to epidemic rates of obesity, diabetes and other diseases.
- King Corn
In Aaron Woolf's thought-provoking documentary, friends Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis move back to America's Corn Belt to plant an acre of the nation's most-grown and most-subsidized grain and follow their crop into the U.S. food supply. What they learn about genetically modified seeds, powerful herbicides and the realities of modern farming calls into question government subsidies, the fast-food lifestyle and the quality of what we eat.
- Supersize Me
While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald's food for one month.
** The above movie descriptions are from Netflix.
1 Helkler, E.B., Gardner, C.D., & Robinson, T.N. (2010). Effects of a college course about food and society on students' eating behaviors. American Journal of Preventative Medicine. Epub ahead of print.