FAT: A Documentary
Produced by Serena Scott Thomas,
Vinnie Tortorich and Peter Curtis Pardini
Fat Squirrel Films
Jim Abrahams is one of the producers of the popular 1980 movie Airplane! His son, Charlie, began to have seizures by the age of one. Because of Abrahams’ success in the movie business, he had the money to go to experts all over the U.S. They all gave him the same answer, saying the only options were drugs or brain surgery. His son tried all that, and it didn’t work. Then Abrahams stopped by a medical library, and one of the first things he came across was the ketogenic diet. He read that it completely cured a third of seizure cases, improved another third and did nothing for the final third. The family tried it. Contrary to the dire prognoses of all the experts, his son is now a healthy adult teaching elementary school.
None of the experts Abrahams talked to mentioned anything about the ketogenic diet, even though the diet is not a new discovery. When one of the experts was asked later why not, he explained that they had not yet explored all the medical options. There is the medical mindset in a nutshell—dangerous drugs and surgery are the preferred approaches over a simple change in diet.
Vinnie Tortorich takes us on a tour through the history of how we landed on the health paradigms we have today. He starts his history with Ellen White, who didn’t want us to eat anything with a face. Then there was John Kellogg; when Ellen White convinced him that sex was bad, he invented Corn Flakes to stifle the evil sex drive. (I’m not sure how he thinks we all got here or how life will continue to exist.) Along the way, any voices of reason were overwhelmed by the likes of Ancel Keys, the McGovern Report fiasco and continuing government recommendations.
And the popular media. Tortorich does a very effective job of illustrating the power of the media. You see beer commercials full of guys with ripped abs playing volleyball on the beach. Just buy the beer and you could be one of them! His best example is from his own experience on the Oprah show. The show was about men who dated older women (certainly an important topic everyone needs to be informed about), and he happened to be dating an older woman at the time. He was bamboozled into misrepresenting who his girlfriend really was, and he was not happy about that. He decided to take control and tried to sabotage the show by making outrageous claims. He succeeded in turning the show into a complete circus and was sure it would never air.
Oprah was literally dancing in the aisles because she knew this was exactly the kind of garbage the American public ate up with a shovel. The show aired more than twenty years ago and to this day remains the seventh most popular Oprah show ever. That is the power of the media.
Many WAPF members will recognize familiar names and faces like Nina Teicholz and Gary Taubes in this film. They do a good job of revealing the real science that discredits our fat-phobia. The thumb is UP.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2019