Reviews film

The Game Changers: An Objective, Evidence-Based Review

Game changers movie review

“the game changers” makes numerous claims and references various studies. however, it does not present both sides of the plant-based versus omnivore debate.

This is what the research says.

heart health

“the game changers” repeatedly discusses the beneficial effects of a vegan diet on cholesterol levels and heart health.

In fact, vegan diets have long been linked to lower total cholesterol levels (10).

however, while the vegan diet is associated with lower levels of total and ldl (bad) cholesterol, it is also associated with lower levels of hdl (good) cholesterol, and does not appear to affect triglyceride levels (10 ).

Alternatively, a less restrictive diet that allows some animal-based foods may increase levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, which may reduce the risk of heart disease (10).

Also, the film fails to mention that excessive sugar consumption can increase the risk of heart disease more than animal foods.

Vegan diets, and especially processed vegan foods, can still contain high amounts of added sugar (11).


“the game changers” also claims that plant-based diets are anti-inflammatory, especially when compared to omnivorous diets.

Goes on to state that meats generally considered healthy, such as chicken and fish, are inflammatory.

This statement is flatly false.

many foods, both animal and plant-based, can contribute to inflammation, including added sugars, highly processed foods, and seed oils such as vegetable and soybean oil (12, 13).

Similarly, several plant and animal foods are widely considered anti-inflammatory, including olive oil, many fruits and vegetables, certain herbs and spices, and foods high in omega-3 fats, including fatty fish such as salmon (14).

Compared to a low-fat omnivorous diet, a vegan eating pattern improves inflammatory markers (15).

However, diets that include animal products, such as the Paleolithic diet, are also associated with decreased inflammation (16).

Both plant-based and omnivorous diets can be inflammatory or anti-inflammatory depending on the foods that make them up, as well as other factors such as total caloric content.

cancer risk

long-term studies in humans indicate that vegan diets can reduce the risk of any type of cancer by 15%. this is in keeping with the claims made in “game changers” (5).

However, the film erroneously suggests that red meat causes cancer.

Research often lumps red meat with processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats, which are linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer (17, 18).

however, when studies look only at red meat, the association with these cancers disappears (17, 18).

While a vegan diet may lower the risk of certain types of cancer, the development of cancer is a multifaceted problem that requires further study. In general, unprocessed red meat does not appear to increase the risk of cancer.

ancestral diets

The film also claims that humans do not have teeth or digestive tracts suitable for eating meat and that historically all people have consumed a primarily plant-based diet.

In reality, humans have hunted animals and eaten their meat for a long time (19).

In addition, there are large regional variations in healthy diets, both modern and historical.

For example, the Maasai of Tanzania and Kenya, who are hunter-gatherers, have an almost exclusively animal-based diet high in saturated fat (20).

By contrast, Japan’s traditional Okinawa diet is largely plant-based, high in starch from sweet potatoes, and low in meat (21).

Regardless, both populations have low levels of chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, suggesting that humans can thrive on a wide range of dietary patterns (20, 21).

Furthermore, humans can function in ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body burns fat instead of carbohydrates, when no carbohydrate-rich plant foods are available. this fact indicates that the human body does not favor only a vegan diet (22).

physical performance

Finally, “the game changers” touts the superiority of the vegan diet for physical performance, particularly for athletes. however, it relies heavily on the testimonies of the athletes featured in the film rather than a presentation of evidence.

This may be because there is little evidence to support the idea that vegan diets are superior for physical performance.

Furthermore, no evidence suggests that omnivorous diets are better than plant-based diets in this regard when calorie and nutrient content is equal.

As long as you optimize your hydration, electrolyte, and nutrient intake, plant-based and omnivorous diets appear to be on equal footing when it comes to exercise performance (23, 24, 25).

Although vegan diets may lower your risk of certain types of cancer, most of the claims in “game changers” are misleading or do not stand up to scientific scrutiny.

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