Pro-vegan documentary claims eating eggs as bad as smoking

Health professionals have slammed a Netflix documentary that encourages people to ditch animal food products and eat vegan, claiming eating one egg a day is as bad as smoking five cigarettes.

What The Health has proven to be a success on the streaming site and says meat, fish, poultry and dairy are making us fat, giving us cancer and poisoning us with toxins.

It also claims that eating one serving of processed meat a day increases the risk of developing diabetes by 51 per cent.

The film claims eggs are unhealthy. Source: AAP

The pro-vegan film explores food and the links to disease.

Film-makers Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn got the film over the line with the help of Leonardo DiCaprio, a high-profile vegetarian.

However, claims made in the film, that are leading viewers to vow they'll never eat animal products again, have the scientific community questionning how valid Anderson and Kuhn's information is.

Alexandra Freeman from Cambridge University told The Times the claim about eggs being as bad as smoking cigarettes was sourced to an "extremely controversial paper".

New York City dietitian and nutritionist Mary Jane Detroyer said claims in the film is "distorted science".

What The Health explores the relationship between food and disease.

“It’s distorted science, and if you misrepresent something like that, I just can’t trust anything you tell me,” Ms Detroyer said.

She also told the Daily Mail the film was choppy, quick, and used scare tactics instead of actual science to support their claims.

Cancer researcher Alice Howarth said while the film has a good message, she believes the film doesn't have much evidence backing up the claims.

“While it is true that diet plays an important role in diseases including cancer and diabetes, the claims in this film vastly overstate and misrepresent the scientific understanding,” she told The Times.

“What the Health overwhelms the viewer with scaremongering ‘facts’ which do not hold up to scientific investigation.”

The film says living a plant-based diet is the best way to be healthy. Source: AAP

Leading dietitian, Susie Burrell, said while the film presents many claims that are "relative risk", it does get the relationship between the food industry and pharmaceutical sponsorship right.

“They are massive conflicts of interest. Such associations breach the trust of both health professionals who work in their fields and the general public,” she told

“It’s a massive wake up call for governments to regulate such vested associations and financial relationships, but more importantly, adequately fund public health.”