Netflix's ‘You Are What You Eat’ Put Identical Twins on Opposing Diets, and Veganism Came Out on Top

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Jan. 2 2024, Published 3:12 p.m. ET

Twins Pam and Wendy pose together in blue and red shirts in a kitchen in front of several trays of food in the trailer for the new Netflix documentary series in which they star.
Source: Netflix

The Gist:

  • The Netflix documentary series You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment follows a cast composed of of four sets of identical twins, where each individual within each pair is assigned either a plant-based or omnivore diet.
  • The series is based on research at Stanford University published in 2023 and is helmed by Louie Psihoyos, the director of the revolutionary 2018 documentary The Game Changers.
  • Many of the cast members have made changes to their diets since the experiment.
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There is no shortage of eye-opening health-focused documentaries on Netflix, on topics spanning regenerative agriculture to other critically important and enlightening categories that educate on the status of our environment. And in early January 2024, perhaps in honor of the new year and Veganuary, Netflix dropped another important, stream-worthy title to add to the collection.

From Louie Psihoyos, the director of Netflix's The Game Changers, comes You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment to bring to life the results of a Stanford University research study published in November 2023.

The eight-week study of 22 pairs of identical twins from May to July 2022 found that a vegan diet is superior to an omnivore diet in many critical health outcomes, according to the Stanford Medicine News Center.

Want to learn more about the eight subjects of this series? Keep reading.

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Twins Michael and Charlie, also known as the "Cheese Twins," pose together in wet suits on the beach with yellow and pink surfboards in the trailer for the new Netflix documentary series in which they star.
Source: Netflix

The cast of Netflix's 'You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment' have mostly improved their diets since the study.

All but one of the eight stars of You Are What You Eat maintained an omnivore diet prior to the study, according to Netflix's fan-focused Tudum news blog. But how are all of their diets now?

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Overall, as we'll explore below, it seems as if most of the participants have upped their plant-based intake over their previous red meat preferences. As the Stanford study upon which the show is based concluded, a plant-based diet provides several healthful and nutritious advantages compared to an omnivorous diet.

The documentary series also features vegan-friendly celebrity faces including Miyoko Schinner, U.S. Senator Cory Booker, and the African American Vegan Starter Guide editor and public health nutritionist Tracye McQuirter according to green queen.

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Carolyn Sideco and Rosalyn Moorhouse

Twins Carolyn and Rosalyn pose together in gray and pink shirts while eating strawberries and toast in the trailer for the new Netflix documentary series in which they star.
Source: Netflix

Prior to the study, twins Carolyn Sideco and Rosalyn Moorhouse both maintained an omnivorous diet. After the study, both still identified as omnivores; however, they are making a conscious effort to increase plant-based options in their meals and develop a greater awareness of the nutritional impact of their food choices.

Born in the Philippines and raised in the U.S., Tudum reports that the pair have participated in other twin studies in the past.

John and Jevon Whittington

Twins John and Jevon pose together in purple and brown sweatshirts in front of a neighborhood house in the trailer for the new Netflix documentary series in which they star.
Source: Netflix

John Whittington III and Jevonny “Jevon” Franklin Whittington hail from a family of healthcare professionals, per The Cinemaholic. The Black and LGBTQIA+ pride representation of ethical, veg-focused young adults is a score for Netflix and likeminded individuals everywhere.

Since the study concluded, the brothers have almost entirely eliminated red meat from their diets since learning about its destructive environmental impact, according to Tudum, and they have entered the healthcare field.

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Michael and Charlie Kalish

The "Cheese Twins" previously appeared on The Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race and have steadily grown their internet presence over the last decade.

The cheese aficionados are known in their community as food experts, and both have made improvements to their diets since the study. Tudum reports that Charlie is "almost 90 percent vegetarian" and the previously-pescatarian Michael is now vegetarian.

Vegan cheese, it should be noted, is better for the environment, affordable and ubiquitous in stores, and easy to make at home.

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Pam and Wendy Drew

Pam and Wendy Drew are no strangers to reality television or the limelight. The two founded the restaurant Amawele’s — so-named for the Zulu word meaning “the twins” — in San Francisco after moving from South Africa, per the Bay Area-based The Source's Good Eggs blog.

The two have made appearances on a special episode featuring twin chefs on season 29 of Food Network’s Chopped as well as season 15 of The Great Food Truck Race per TheCinemaholic. They also featured in a mini-documentary produced by Northern California station KQED for their "Dishes of the Diaspora: African Food Across the Bay Area" series.

Tudum also reports that the pair went from eating meat on a daily basis to reducing their consumption by roughly 50 percent, also noting that cheese has only become a rare "treat" for them. Their catering services have likewise included more plant-based options since the study concluded.

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