Tired of mounting health concerns and carrying around 100 extra pounds of body fat, Joe Cross decided to go on both a physical journey as well as one of self-discovery. After consulting with a dietary physician, Cross decided to go on a self-induced 60 day juice diet. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead is that story.
Cross, a likable Australian fellow, decides to coordinate his 60-day juice fast with a 60-day visit to America. Cross spends the first 30 days of his fast in New York City, and the second half driving across America. Along the way, Cross stops and talks with hundreds of Americans about their weight, diet, and health. Throughout his trip you can literally see the weight dropping off Cross like slices of hot butter. Mmm, butter.
Along the way, Cross meets up with truck driver Phil Riverstone. Riverstone, who tops the scales at 430 pounds, takes an interest in Cross’ experiment. Just when Cross’ journey ends, he receives a phone call from Riverstone, asking him for help. With juicer in hand, Cross returns to America to help his friend out.
For anyone who has no idea what a calorie is or how the human body processes food this may feel like a spoiler, but it turns out that changing your diet to 400 calories of vegetables 3 times a day, juiced or not, will cause a person to lose weight. The only thing shocking is how quickly and dramatically this change takes place. By the end of his 60-day stint, Cross has lost 75 pounds. 10 months later, Riverstone has dropped from 429 pounds to 270 pounds!
While the documentary focuses on the achievements of these two individuals, there are also dozens of interviews with people across America, discussing their own personal struggles with food and obesity. Some of Cross’ interviews are borderline awkward as he sits down with Americans and asks them questions about their health and weight as they dig into a chicken fried steak or a slab or ribs. Mmm, ribs.
BY the end of the film we find both of the subjects jogging, exercising, and living more healthy lifestyles. Cross says he not only feels physically better, but mentally sharper as well. Riverstone, a guy that could only walk 5 minutes at a time, goes from a 5xl shirt to a 2xl and expresses the amount of weight he’s lost in terms of bowling balls.
While replacing your meals with juiced vegetables may not be a long term solution, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead is an excellent look at how poorly we, as a nation, are treating our bodies. Expect this film to change the way you think about food for weeks to come.
PS: Less than 24 hours after watching this film, my wife bought a juicer.