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What the Health Drives NFL Players to Adopt Vegan Diet

Football players are choosing a plant-based diet during training after watching the health-centric, vegan documentary.

In recent weeks, several professional National Football League players have reported their decision to switch to a plant-based diet after watching vegan documentary What the Health. Theo Riddick, a running back for the Detroit Lions, credited his newfound higher energy levels to adopting a plant-based diet during the summer after watching the film and reading about veganism. “Watching things like that is alarming on a lot of levels because of a lot of things you don’t know … such as [eating] chicken and drinking milk has no nutritional value,” Riddick said. “You have to be conscientious of what you’re putting in your body.” Trent Williams of the Washington Redskins is also transitioning to plant-based diet and said some of his teammates are interested in his decision to go plant-based. “I’ll never go back to eating like I used to,” Williams explained. “It’s a choice. There’s no temptation. No one is policing me saying I can or can’t eat meat. It was a decision on my part.” What the Health began to stream on Netflix in June, and viewers from all walks of life—including musician and producer Ne-Yo—have responded positively to its message that consuming animal products is detrimental to health. Area restaurants in Dallas, TX are also feeling the plant-based shift with vegan eatery Spiral Diner & Bakery’s owner Sara Tomerlin reporting a palpable spike in customers since the film’s release.

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