Documentaries are created to present facts and information. But often this is done with a specific goal in mind and refuting evidence may be ignored. The latest documentary to be accused of this is Game Changers.
Game Changers is a 2018 documentary produced by James Cameron, Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger that documents UFC fighter James Wilks as he travels the world researching “the truth about meat, protein, and strength”. The documentary came out last year and has only recently gained attention – beyond its vegan fans – after being released on Netflix.
In the film it is argued that any sort of animal consumption – including meat, dairy and eggs – can not only hinder athletic performance but can cause artery problems and lead to an early death. So far so bleeding heart. The documentary, however, steers clear of the words vegan and vegetarian due to the stigma that surrounds them. Instead, it presents “facts” about a plant-based diet.
The problem? Many professionals have taken issue with these so-called facts, arguing that only one side of the argument is presented using controversial sources and questionable studies.
One such critic is Max Lugavere – best-selling author of Genius Foods – who took to Instagram to share his opinions. Max said the film made sweeping claims and it clearly had an agenda.
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Did you hear? There’s a new documentary on Netflix making the rounds advocating an exclusively plant based diet for athletic performance and health, making sweeping negative claims about any and all meat consumption. Unfortunately, it’s a one-sided, agenda driven narrative of cherry picked science. That’s not to say that there aren’t some true things said in the documentary (that’s how a bait and switch maneuver works—offer some truth, and then lots of 💩) but I would not recommend it for anything other than entertainment, and even then I’d say look elsewhere. . Don’t get your science from documentaries, folks—movies are made to appeal to emotion, not provide a balanced scientific argument. 🤦♂️ . Love you guys! ❤️ Max • • • • • #plantbased #vegansofig #whatveganseat #veganfoodshare #veganfood #govegan #thegamechangers #hclf #veganism #veganfoodporn #vegetarian #bestofvegan #dairyfree #rawvegan #vegansofinstagram #wholefoods #veganlife #glutenfree #plantstrong #801010 #rawtill4 #organic #plantpower #gamechangers #plantpowered #veganlifestyle #cleaneating #rawfood #plantbaseddiet #highcarb
Max doesn’t think there is anything wrong with a plant-based diet. He does, however, take issue with how Game Changers presents the facts – as does US personal trainer and author James Smith, who goes into an even more detailed critique of the film on Instagram.
In a recent post, James says that many of the ideas presented in the documentary are untrue. He calls out a few specific facts presented including claims that drinking beetroot juice could increase someone’s bench press by 19%. James also took issue with the documentary’s claim that peanut butter was a superior source of protein to eggs.
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Gonna save you all 2 hours of your life… A lot of what is presented in this documentary is quite simply not true nor factual. For example: – Beet juice will not increase your bench press 19% – A peanut butter sandwich is not a superior choice of protein than 3 boiled eggs – there’s a strongman who’s gained 25kg since being plant based 🤥💉 Arnie is in it for about 9 seconds. The end. 🌱
It’s not just social media that has found a flaw in Game Changers. Founder and CEO of Perfect Keto Dr. Anthony Gustin broke down nine facts presented in the film. Anthony found the film would present elements of the truth but not the full story. For instance, when it comes to protein, Anthony said that animal protein sources naturally contained all the relevant amino acids (something that plant proteins did not).
Anthony also specifically called out the peanut butter claim, like James, because of how ridiculous it was.
“The filmmakers state that a peanut butter sandwich has as much protein as 3oz beef or three large eggs. That’s about five tablespoons of peanut butter, coming in at 500 calories (not including the bread). But calories aside, who uses five tablespoons of peanut butter to make a peanut butter sandwich?”
Like James and Max, Anthony calls on people to do their own research and evaluate whether a strict plant-based diet is right for them. Anthony reminds his readers that not everyone is an elite athlete – like those that Game Changers follow – and as such may have different needs in their diet.
The science in the film does have defenders (beyond regular vegans) including Dr. Josh Cullimore, an author with Plant Based News. Josh praises the film for busting the soy-myth – that soy reduces testosterone – and for exploring the link between masculinity and meat. By showing UFC fighters and elite athletes the film proves that a plant-based diet does not (necessarily) hold people back when it comes to sporting success.
The film will no doubt continue to create controversy. The never-ending war between carnivores and vegans is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon and a film like Game Changers more than likely won’t end it. Ultimately: if you do what is right for you (and your body); you can’t go wrong.