Once in a while a book comes along that upon reading makes you dumbfounded as to why this stuff is not discussed in every home, school and medical facility in the world. The China Study is that book. Author, nutrition and health scientist Dr. T. Colin Campbell has been doing research about how what we eat affects our health an well-being since before many of us were even born.
Dr. Dean Ornish, founder of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute, says: “Everyone in the field of nutrition science stands on the shoulders of Dr. Campbell, who is one of the giants in the field. This is one of the most important books about nutrition ever written — reading it may save your life.”
Dr. Campbell’s message is as controversial as it is clear: animal protein consumption is a major contributing cause of cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. The science behind these findings is clear and the results are unmistakable. We could, simply by changing our diet, dramatically reduce our risk of these major killers. So why aren’t we talking about this?
Well, there’s a murky side to the issue and, in The China Study, Campbell reveals the truth behind special interest groups, government entities and scientists that have taken Americans down a deadly path. Despite spending more money that ever on our health — gym memberships, trainers, all kinds of low-fat, low-carb miracle diets and pills — we have more overweight, unhealthy people than ever before. Two-thirds of adults are obese and children are being diagnosed with Type II diabetes at an ever-escalating rate. Despite incredible scientific achievements and innovations, such as by-pass surgery, people are stricken with and dying from heart disease just as much as we were 30 years ago. The war on cancer has, despite countless millions spent on research, not managed to decrease deaths from the disease. So why are we so sick? According to Campbell’s research findings, it’s because we eat too much protein, meat and dairy.
Working on a research project in the Philippines, Dr. Campbell came upon his first set of findings that indicated that he may have had it wrong all along. The primary goal of the project was to find a cost-efficient way to provide malnourished children with as much protein as possible. There was, however, an alarming amount of Filipino children being diagnosed with liver cancer, predominately an adult disease. This happened not among the malnourished children of the poor but among the children of the wealthier families, where animal protein was abundant. Thus, Campbell began to review reports from other scientists around the world that reflected the findings of his research in the Philippines. Although it was “heretical to say that protein wasn’t healthy,” he started an in-depth study into the role of nutrition, especially protein, in the cause of cancer.
The research project culminated in a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, a survey of diseases and lifestyle factors in rural China and Taiwan. The New York Times dubbed the project the “Grand Prix of epidemiology” and called it the “most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease.” The China-Oxford-Cornell Diet and Health Project, more commonly known as the China Study confirmed the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and also showed that a proper diet has the ability to reduce or reverse the risk or effects of these deadly illnesses. “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored,” says Dr. Campbell.
To say that these findings are controversial is an understatement, especially considering the fact that Dr. Campbell grew up on a dairy farm and spent the early part of his career at MIT and Virginia Tech doing research aimed at promoting better health by eating more meat, milk and eggs. He calls it “an obvious sequel” to his on life on the family farm and acknowledges that he happily believe that the American diet was the best in the world. After deciding to go public with his remarkable research findings, Campbell was ostracized by a large part of the scientific community, mainly because what he was saying went against all the established science at the time.
“After a long career in research and policy-making, I have decided to step ‘out of the system’. I have decided to disclose why Americans are so confused,” says Dr. Campbell. “As a taxpayer who foots the bill for research and health policy in America, you deserve to know that many of the common notions you have been told about food, health and disease are wrong. I propose to do nothing less than redefine what we think of as good nutrition. You need to know the truth about food, and why eating the right way can save your life.”
So what has the power to make us healthy? It’s pretty simple actually — a whole foods, plant-based diet. In The China Study Dr. Campbell not only backs this up by presenting you with the detailed findings from his research, he also challenges the validity of fad diets like the Atkins Diet and The South Beach Diet and issues a startling warning to their followers. Reading this book may actually save your life. Pass it on to friends and family and give them a better chance at a healthy life. If 400+ pages of scientific information seems like too much for you, I highly recommend downloading the audio book.
Buy The China Study from Benbella books