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Review: The Game Changers – Netflix

Experts have suggested that carbon footprint can be reduced by eliminating or reducing meat consumption. While it definitely seems that plant-based diets are beneficial to the climate, the question is, would they lead to nutritional deficiencies?

I remember I watched the documentary ‘The Game Changers’ much later in the day. One of my friends recommended it to me saying it’s been made so well and presents such important facts that ‘you will not eat meat ever again after watching it.’ Then the next day a colleague announced he had turned vegan after watching the documentary. I was intrigued. 

Produced by Jackie Chan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron It is definitely well-made and presents a compelling case for plant-based diet. It essentially suggests that vegans are healthier and have better control on their cholesterol levels, higher energy and balanced weight. The documentary follows James Wilks (former UFC fighter) who while recovering from an injury embarks on researching nutrition and the benefits of a plat-based diet. He travels to multiple locations, meeting and discussing findings with elite athletes. Athletes and researchers are seen making a case against meats and dairy products, sayingconsumption of these cause inflammation, impair sexual function, affect the heart adversely and of course, lower performance. The documentary however, drew a lot of flak from nutritionists and researchers for presenting a biased view supporting veganism. It was said that research in support of plant-based diet was amplified manifold. 

Over the years there have been many advocates of the plant-based diets. A United Nations report suggested that switching to a plant-based diet could affect the climate in a positive manner. Experts have suggested that carbon footprint can be reduced by eliminating or reducing meat consumption. While it definitely seems that plant-based diets are beneficial to the climate, the question is, would they lead to nutritional deficiencies? A study published in the British Medical Journal has found that vegetarians and vegans have higher (20 percent) risk of a stroke, even though the risk of heart disease is lower when compared to meat eaters. 

“Any well thought out food plan/ diet, be it vegan or otherwise when consciously planned will be fine. The challenge with a vegan diet is that nutrients like calcium, B12, omega 3 need to be given special attention. Further, special age groups and pregnant ladies need to be careful if switching to a purely vegan diet.” Sandhya Pandey, Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics. Head Clinical Nutrition, Fortis.

Veganism is a lifestyle choice but an individual’s health needs to be carefully considered before making the change. 

That said, the documentary is certainly an engaging watch. 

 



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