‘You Are What You Eat’: Netflix Experiment Has Twins Changing Their Diets

'You Are What You Eat'
'You Are What You Eat'

Everyone is buzzing about Netflix’s new food show “You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment” and thinking about their S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) meals.

The four-part docuseries follows four pairs of identical twins as they follow completely opposing diets for eight weeks and track their improvement. The individuals were chosen from a larger trial at Stanford University that included 22 pairs of identical twins.

Throughout the trial, nutrition scientist Christopher Gardner establishes the conditions, with one twin in each pair following a vegan diet and the other following an omnivore diet.

Participants were given meals for the first four weeks of the trial, but they had to follow their separate diets on their own for the final four weeks.

According to the paper summary, researchers picked twins for this experiment because they could control for genetics while limiting other factors because the twins grew up in the same houses and reported similar lifestyles. Meet the four sets of twins featured in Netflix’s “You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment.”

Pam and Wendy Dew

Pam and Wendy, who live in South Africa, are twins, business partners, and everything in between. According to Netflix Tudum, the two have a catering business, a cocktail brand, and a YouTube channel, among other endeavors.  Pam was put on a “plant-based diet,” while Wendy was put on an “omnivore diet.”

Pam and Wendy Dew
Pam and Wendy Dew

Both sisters were described as omnivores before they participated in the study, and while they continued to eat both plants and meat after the study, the two stated that they were consuming roughly half the amount of meat that they did before the trial. They have also reduced their cheese consumption, making it a special treat rather than a regular mainstay.

In addition to making dietary adjustments, the sisters have expanded the menu of their catering business, providing more plant-based foods, according to Tudum.

Charlie and Michael Kalish

Charlie and Michael Kalish are “Cheese Twins,” who are enthusiastic surfers, food safety experts, and regulars on culinary and cuisine shows.

The two adored their cheese, referring to it as their “ticket to the world,” which allowed them to visit cheese farms all over the world.

According to Tudum, the two met their wives through their cheese-related adventures. However, even before taking part in the series, the two were conscious of their food choices and the health and environmental consequences of meat eating.

Charlie and Michael Kalish
Charlie and Michael Kalish

Charlie, an omnivore before the study, followed a plant-based diet, while Michael, a pescatarian (one who eats fish and seafood but not red meat or poultry), followed an omnivorous diet.

Following the study, Michael became a vegetarian, only consuming cheese from farms where he is familiar with their environmental and ethical policies, while his twin Charlie is “almost” vegetarian, except for a few Chinese favorites and the occasional chicken soup. Concerns about climate change, animals, worker safety, food safety, and health are among the causes of a shift in their habits.

Interesting Facts About You Are What You Eat

Here are some interesting facts about the Netflix documentary series and the scientific experiment:

  • Stanford University experimented in 2019 with the participation of around 100 academics, doctors, dietitians, and personnel. The National Institutes of Health supported the trial with a $10 million grant, and the findings were published in the journal Nature Medicine in 2021.
  • Weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, inflammation, gut flora, brain function, and gene expression were all assessed as part of the investigation. The twins’ psychological well-being, such as mood, stress, sleep, and sexual drive, was also examined during the experiment.

‘You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment’ trailer

The trailer for “You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment” was released by Netflix on December 20.
Alex Hoffman-Ellis is a nerd who love technology and computers. He has been building computers for over 5 years now, and have always loved the challenge of learning how to make them faster, better, and more efficient. He's here to share his insights on these as a journalist, a designer and a technologist with love for writing and tech stuff. Words from Alex Hoffman: “Technology is best when it brings people together.”