Published on July 15th, 2012 | by Todd Smekens1
Forks Over Knives Raises Awareness About Health
Muncie Voice was happy to co-host the first viewing of Forks Over Knives in the Muncie, Indiana area with the Muncie Public Library.
As highlighted in previous articles, Forks Over Knives is the critically acclaimed food documentary promoting a whole grains, plant-based diet. It’s not a fad diet to help you lose weight. It’s about making informed decisions about your health and wellness in the prevention of commonly known diseases such as cardiovascular/heart, cancer and diabetes.
Our health and wellness is deteriorating and the cost of healthcare has skyrocketed. Attempts at introducing sweeping changes by our President, Congress, Senate, and Supreme Court Justices have been met with political resistance in protecting the status quo.
Unless your head is buried deep into the sand, you cannot escape hearing, reading, or listening to one study after another revealing that over 30% of our children are obese. Juvenile diabetes is growing rampantly across America. The cost of treating our children with pharmaceuticals and medical procedures will only increase as they transition into adulthood.
Adults are in worse shape, and locally, the County of Delaware ranks 87th of 92 counties for its health.
The trends are too staggering to avoid, and need to be reversed.
Our leaders in government are not interested in providing real leadership when the country needs it. Both parties have too many ties to lobbying groups. Big Food, Big Medicine and Big Pharma are entrenched with public policy makers and insiders sit on boards and committees making decisions on public policies that impact our food costs and choices. Their decision-making is based solely on what’s best for businesses bottom-line versus what is best for the health and wellness of their constituents. When an elected body of congressman assemble in 2012 and declare that pizza should be defined as a vegetable for kids in school instead of revamping nutritional guidelines, we have a serious leadership problem.
To quote T. Colin Campbell, PhD, who was instrumental in the China Study for which Forks Over Knives was based, on the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) most recent recommended nutrient intakes:
This report represents a backlash against emerging but convincing evidence that now terrifies the food and drug industry. However, it does its best to remedy this problem by cooking up a bunch of sweets for these industries. Corporate health will undoubtedly be enhanced but consumer health will undoubtedly be set back, perhaps for decades.
I take no comfort in discovering a very troubling corporate influence in the making of this report. For example, the Chair of the sub-committee responsible for setting the upper limits for these macronutrients departed the panel before its conclusion for an executive position with the world’s largest food company who will find these goodies especially tasty for their bottom line. His replacement was someone who openly acknowledges that he knows very little about nutrition, as this has not been his field. The FNB Chairman, who helped select panel members, is a well-known associate of the dairy industry. During his chairmanship of the companion Dietary Guidelines Committee, his industry ties regrettably became known only through court-enforced legal action. I also find it troubling that this report received funding from food and drug companies who will find its contents especially tasty.
I do not recall such egregious conflicts of interest during my tenure with such advisory panels. It is time that advisory panels and their parent organizations who develop diet and health policy take more responsibility of fully revealing all potential conflicts of interest. Further, I would urge that they consider disallowing researchers with serious conflicts from holding leadership positions on these panels. The public deserves far more than they are getting from this very important report.