Last Updated: November 14th
It’s not easy for a many of us to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle. Several factors can stand in the way — ill-conceived perceptions of food and exercise, emotional well-being, and economic barriers are only the tip of the iceberg. Sometimes we all need a reminder of why it’s so important to eat well and move our bodies.
The below list of Netflix offerings is here to give us all that extra push in the right direction, help us to better understand the food that’s going into our bodies, and teach us how best to burn that energy in a positive way. So here are the best health documentaries on Netflix right now.
Hungry For Change (2012)
There are a lot of diets out there fighting for your hard-earned dollars. A lot of them are straight up scams. Hungry For Change looks at both sides of the health and diet coin and asks how we got to a place where our government looks the other way at a food economy that’s killing us and a dieting industry that’s more concerned with shedding us of our money rather than excess weight.
It’s as frustrating as it’s eye-opening — especially if you’re thinking of paying for that “sure thing” diet in the near future.
Pumping Iron (1977)
Changing your habits is often the most difficult part of losing weight and building a fitter body. Reworking your schedule to include gym or workout time and then sticking to it is a monumental task. Having a little encouragement from one of the most insane work out movies of all time might help.
Watching Lou Ferrigno’s endless and brutal training as he attempts to oust Arnold Schwarzenegger from his Mr. Olympia title will motivate anyone to hit the gym at least a little more. Even if you worked out a tenth of what these guys do, you’ll be in ripping shape!
Fed Up (2014)
Watching this Katie Couric narrated documentary might make you angry. A nation on the verge of catastrophic weight-related health issues in adults and children seems so obviously fixable — yet it remains unattainable because of the government’s inability to break the iron grip of big food lobbies.
Our kids are getting fatter, we’re getting sicker, and everyone’s making money!
Super Size Me (2004)
The film that made Morgan Spurlock’s career is a reminder that excess is a real issue for the American diet. There have been films and studies since that have shown you can also maintain or lose weight by only eating at fast food establishments. But those miss the point — a point that even McDonald’s seemed to get — that excess isn’t necessary especially when it comes to the food we put inside our bodies.
Forks Over Knives (2011)
We’ve become a society obsessed with animal-based proteins. This has an environmental impact that’s horrifyingly dangerous. It’s also led to lifestyle shifts that seemingly have negative effects on our overall health. While some of the stories may be a bit alarmist (like, citing that eastern Asians had zero cases of heart disease and certain cancers before the western diet invaded is a bit hyperbolic without considering reporting or recognition of those diseases in those areas until more recently), the overall message that we need to start eating a lot more plants right now still holds true.
Michael Pollan has done a lot of deep dives into our food and the culture around over the last few years. This all culminated in the landmark series that looks at what we eat, why we eat, and how we can all eat better. There is no gimmick here. No one’s trying to hawk some fad or trendy food stuff on you. It’s just an examination of what ‘good food’ means and how to make it a bigger part of your everyday.