Film, TV + Theatre

These documentaries will change the way you look at food

Food and us


By Su Fen Tan

These documentaries will change the way you look at food

Food, Inc. (2008)

This Academy Award-nominated film by Robert Kenner will probably change the way we, or at least a lot of us, mindlessly take in food without thinking about how or where they come from. It examines America’s deeply unsustainable food system which is designed to grow everything “faster, fatter, bigger, cheaper”, and its impacts on our health and environment. 


Super Size Me (2004)

To prove the damaging effects of fast food on our health, Morgan Spurlock went on a 30-day McDonald’s-only challenge, plus whenever he was asked if he wants to “super size it”, he must say “yes”. Needless to say, his health began to plummet within the month, with doctors advising him to quit the extreme diet before it does permanent damage. While Spurlock did go to the extreme in this documentary, it doesn’t take that many Happy Meals to do the damage. Fact: you get 10 grams of saturated fat from a sausage and egg McMuffin—that’s 50 percent of your daily recommendation, and 39 percent of your daily sodium intake. 


Hungry for Change (2012)

In its mission to change the way you look at food, this documentary uncovers some of commercial food production and the industry’s little known facts, and debunks common diet and weight loss myths. It also features those who have transformed their own lives with a more natural approach to food. If you are reliant on processed foods, a complete diet change overnight might not be possible, but we’d say take everything in moderation, see how your body reacts and go from there.  


That Sugar Film (2015)

With a premise similar to Super Size Me, filmmaker Damon Gameau set out to show that eating too much sugar—40 teaspoons a day—for two months will have devastating effects on the body. But unlike Spurlock, Gameau actually opted for foods that are usually marketed as being healthy, think granola bars, cereal and low-fat yogurt. He kept the same daily calorie count from before. Just 18 days into the project, he developed fatty liver disease. What else did the sugar spur? Watch and find out. 


Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (2010)

Before the filming of the documentary, Joe Cross was 100 pounds overweight with an autoimmune disease and a body full of steroids. Follow his journey as he attempts to lose weight, offset the effects of an unhealthy diet and regain his health by going on a fruits and vegetables juice-only fast, all while going on a 60-day road trip across the country. 

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