Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead is a 2010 American documentary film which follows the 60-day journey of Australian Joe Cross across the United States as he follows a juice fast to regain his health under the care of Joel Fuhrman, Nutrition Research Foundation's Director of Research.[1]

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
Directed byJoe Cross
Kurt Engfehr
Written byJoe Cross
Robert Mac
Produced byStacey Offman
StarringJoe Cross
Joel Fuhrman
Phil Staples
CinematographyRick López
Max Polley
Jamie Rosenberg
Edited byAlison Amron
Christopher Seward
Music byM. E. Manning
Distributed byGravitas Ventures
Release dates
  • April 16, 2010 (2010-04-16) (Sonoma International Film Festival)
  • April 1, 2011 (2011-04-01) (United States)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States


The feature-length film follows Cross, who was depressed, weighed 310 lbs, suffered from a serious autoimmune disease, and was on steroids at the start of the film, as he embarks on a juice fast.[2] Cross and Robert Mac, co-creators of the film, both serve on the Nutrition Research Foundation's Advisory Board.[3][4] Following his fast and the adoption of a plant-based diet, Cross states in a press release that he lost 100 pounds and discontinued all medications.[5][6][7] During his road-trip Cross meets Phil Staples, a morbidly obese truck driver from Sheldon, Iowa, in a truck stop in Arizona and inspires him to try juice fasting.[8][9][10] A sequel to the first film, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2, was released in 2014.[11][12][13]


Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead won the Turning Point Award and shared the Audience Choice Award – Documentary Film at the 2010 Sonoma International Film Festival.[14]

Critical reception

The film has received mixed reviews with review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes giving it a rating of 67% "fresh"[15] and Metacritic having an average score of 45 out of 100, based on 5 reviews.[16] The Hollywood Reporter called it an "infomercial passing itself off a documentary".[17] The New York Times stated that the film is "no great shakes as a movie, but as an ad for Mr. Cross's wellness program its now-healthy heart is in the right place".[18] Journalist Avery Yale Kamila reviewed the film in 2011, reporting Cross planned to continue avoiding junk food and "eating a diet centered around whole food." She reported Cross had created an online community called Reboot Your Life.[19]

See also

  • List of vegan media


  1. "Nutrition Research Foundation: Scientific and Research Boards – Joel Fuhrman, M.D., Director of Research". Nutritional Research Foundation.
  2. "Joe Cross - Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead". London Real. 2015-05-31. Retrieved 2022-05-01.
  3. "Nutrition Research Foundation: Advisory Board – RJoe Cross". Nutritional Research Foundation.
  4. "Nutrition Research Foundation: Advisory Board – Robert Mac". Nutritional Research Foundation.
  5. Rachel Sturtz (November 23, 2012). "Wellness: Juice is the Word". 5280. Archived from the original on 2013-02-13.
  6. "Official press release" (PDF). Reboot Media.
  7. Charlotte McDonagh (January 2, 2015). ""Half my calories come from plants" weight loss tips". Daily Express.
  8. Derrick Vander Waal (September 3, 2008). "Nothing But Juice: Sheldon man drops 95 pounds during documented 61-day fast". The Sheldon Mail-Sun. Vol. 137, no. 16.
  9. "Joe Cross interviewed on CBS "Virginia This Morning"". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2013-01-28.
  10. Sidney Fussell (May 3, 2016). "One man's journey and determination to becoming healthy". Tech Insider.
  11. Paul, Graham (September 21, 2014). "Being Vegan – Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead 2". Las Vegas Informer.
  12. Amy Cooper (February 14, 2015). ""Fat, Sick and Nearly dead 2" – promote juicing". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  13. Maggie Bowers (March 9, 2016). "Reporter's friend takes on juicing and tell all". Newnan Times-Herald.
  14. "2010 Award Winners". Sonoma International Film Festival. Archived from the original on 2015-02-14.
  15. "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-10-10.
  16. "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-10-10.
  17. Frank Scheck (2011-03-31). "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead: Movie Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  18. Jeanette Catsoulis (March 31, 2011). "A Road-Trip Diet". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  19. Kamila, Avery Yale (2011-04-27). "Natural Foodie: Film documents life-changing impact of juicing". Press Herald. Retrieved 2022-05-01.
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