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Panelists and Audience members pose for a picture after discussion

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Netflix & Chill: Baton Rouge Professionals Engage in Discussion on Alternative Dietary Options

Panelists and Audience members pose for a picture after discussion

On Thursday, Sept. 7, The Maxine Firm hosted a panel discussion with health professionals about alternative dietary options after the documentary screening of “What The Health,” which criticized the meat industry, as well as reputable health organizations for not properly addressing processed meat’s impact on health crises of the nation
While both Dr. Orlando Palmer, founder of Parker’s Pharmacy, and Dr. Trecee Short, certified general surgeon, both commended the film for starting a dialogue about food and the health of the United States, many of the panelists criticized the film for being one-sided and qualifying inaccuracies.
Encouraging healthy eating habits in children was also a popular topic of discussion. After recommending two cookbooks – “The Nurse in the Kitchen” by Members of Chi Eta Phi Sorority Inc., and “100 Days of Real Food” by Lisa Leake – Dr. Short encouraged lifestyle changes for the entire family. “If you adopt the lifestyle, your kids will follow,” said Short.
In the film, pharmaceutical companies and physicians received criticism for pushing medications to patients. Dr. Fatemeh Malekian, food scientist and professor at Southern University, urged audience members to educate themselves and to question doctors before receiving medications. “We need to take care of ourselves,” said Malekian. “We can’t depend on doctors and the government to take care of us.”
After sensing the growing frustration toward physicians, Dr. Steven E. Kelley, board certified Interventional Cardiologist, attempted to dispel the growing myth that doctors are money hungry and accept funds from pharmaceutical companies. “Our job is to make the community as healthy as we can,” he said. “If you are going to make the decision to not take meds, you have to make the decision to change your diet as well.”
On the same topic, Dr. Palmer clarified by stating that physicians do not directly profit from pharmaceutical companies. However, “Pharmaceutical companies do fund grant for doctor’s research,” he said.
While each panelist had their own opinions about certain issues tackled in the film, they were all in agreement that it takes more than simply changing your diet to become healthy. Germaine Guy, owner of EatRightGuy’s Nutrition & Fitness, said, “Just because [food] doesn’t have animal product doesn’t mean it’s healthy.”
Dr. Kelley agreed. “This is only a small piece of the puzzle,” he said on the discussion of diet and exercise. “I always here people say ‘When the elderly people ate the hog, they ate every part of it,'” he said. “But they also went outside and worked after.”

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