Doc Talk: Forks Over Knives

What has happened to us? Even though medical technology is getting advanced in the world, we are sicker than ever by nearly every measure. Two out of every three of us are overweight. Cases of diabetes are exploding, especially among our younger population. Major medical operations have become routine, helping to drive health care costs to astronomical levels. Heart disease, cancer and stroke are the country’s three leading causes of death. By the way, here is a film that could save our lives.

Forks Over Knives (2011), a documentary directed by American independent filmmaker Lee Fulkerson, shows the possibility that people who change their diets from animal-based to plant-based can help eliminate or control the degenerative diseases. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of American physician Cardwell Esselstyn and professor of nutritional biochemistry T. Colin Campbell.

In the film, the researchers conducted several groundbreaking studies. One of them took place in China and led to a startling conclusion: degenerative diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even several forms of cancer, could almost always be halted and reversed by leaving animal-based and highly refined foods off the plate. Throughout the film, cameras follow “reality patients” who have chronic conditions from heart disease to diabetes. Doctors teach these patients how to adopt a whole-food, plant-based diet as the primary approach to treat their ailments-while the challenges and triumphs of their journeys are revealed.

This astonishing film reminded me of “You are what you eat”, one of the most famous quotes in the world, meaning you need to eat healthy to be fit. Numerous reviews of the science behind the movie have shown that conclusions drawn in the movie are not in line with standard statistical analysis practice. Nevertheless, here is unchanging and eternal truth that nobody can contradict; Good nutrition is the basis for healthy living.


By Sunmin Oh