LET THEM EAT DIRT looks at the role microbes play in the development, physical and mental health of our children, and argues that good health may begin with kids playing in the dirt.
Allergies, obesity, asthma, diabetes, auto-immune and intestinal disorders are all on the rise, with the incidence of some diseases doubling every ten years. New research points to changes in the ecosystem of microbes that live on and inside every one of us — our microbiomes — as a major cause. But how could one's gut microbes increase the odds of developing conditions as radically different as asthma and diabetes?
Hosted by Good Morning America's Becky Worley, and based on the book of the same name by B. Brett Finlay, PhD and Marie-Claire Arrieta, PhD, LET THEM EAT DIRT features families, doctors, and researchers who are sleuthing out what's harming our microbes — and what we can do to reverse this dangerous trend.
Directed by Rivkah Beth Medow, Brad Marshland
Produced by Rivkah Beth Medow, Brad Marshland
Executive Producer: B. Brett Finlay, PhD
Associate Producers: Chris Brown, Becky Worley
Writer: Brad Marshland
Editor: Chris Brown
Animator: Lieve Keustermans
Assistant Editor: Crystal Villamayor
Host: Becky Worley
Based on the book "Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World" by B. Brett Finlay, PhD and Marie-Claire Arrieta, PhD
"LET THEM EAT DIRT goes a long way toward solving the mystery of the missing microbes. It shows us how microbes are an essential part of human biology, and it identifies the social and medical trends that are eliminating them from our bodies for the first time in the history of our species. Many questions remain, but it is reassuring to know that there are things we can do — as individuals, families, and societies — to harness the power of the microbiota to promote healthy development and prevent disease."
Dr. Thomas McDade, Professor of Anthropology, Director, Cells to Society (C2S): Center on Social Disparities and Health, Northwestern University
"Compelling...The film nicely breaks down the role that microbes play in these diseases by highlighting years of work done by pioneers in the field. Although the scientific community still has much work to do to fully understand the human microbiome and its immense complexity, the audience is left with simple take-home messages that are supported by the evidence that has been gathered so far."
Dr. Joseph Zackular, Assistant Professor of Pathology, University of Pennsylvania, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
"This entertaining and informative video helps parents, educators, and physicians understand the impact of microbes on child health and disease. Supported by examples from the latest research, complex scientific concepts are accurately distilled down so they can be easily understood and acted upon. LET THEM EAT DIRT provides a new and important perspective on how the body's microbes are necessary for maintaining health and preventing disease."
Dr. Michael Bailey, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, Principal Investigator, Center for Microbial Pathogenesis, Nationwide Children's Hospital
"While it might come as a surprise for many viewers, whether they are parents, teachers, primary school students or even undergraduate students, microbes are essential to our biology and health. LET THEM EAT DIRT does a great job of celebrating our microbial world and suggesting that embracing it instead of fighting it will insure that kids grow up healthy! More educational materials like this could impact the trend of increasing chronic and allergic diseases that we are experiencing in the western world."
Dr. Jacques Ravel, Professor and Associate Director for Genomics, Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine
"Excellent film. This is a comprehensive, clear, and up to date portrait of how the microbiome had changed over time, and how the microbiomes of children in the developed world may be affected by facets of modern life and medical decisions and practices. The relationship between the microbiome and common pediatric illnesses is well explained, the presentation is scientifically sound, and the guidelines that are advocated are clearly explained in terms of current knowledge. The film not only presents facts and data by experts in the field, but also provides tools for healthy living and health care decisions that will be appreciated by parents and educators."
Maureen W. Groer, RN, PhD, Professor of Nursing, Adjunct Professor of Internal Medicine, University of South Florida