April 16, 2010 (2010-04-16) (Sonoma International Film Festival)
April 1, 2011 (2011-04-01) (United States)
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. Cross and Robert Mac, co-creators of the film, both serve on the Nutrition Research Foundation's Advisory Board. 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.
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.
A sequel to the first film, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2, was released in 2014.
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead was the winner in 2010 of the Iowa Independent Film Festival in the Best Documentary Feature category.
The film has received mixed reviews with review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes giving it a rating of 67% "fresh" and Metacritic having an average score of 45 out of 100, based on 5 reviews.The Hollywood Reporter called it an "infomercial passing itself off a documentary".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".