Diseases of affluence -- The China Study

The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health

Referred to as the "Grand Prix of epidemiology" by The New York Times, this study examines more than 350 variables of health and nutrition with surveys from 6,500 adults in more than 2,500 counties across China and Taiwan, and conclusively demonstrates the link between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. While revealing that proper nutrition can have a dramatic effect on reducing and reversing these ailments as well as curbing obesity, this text calls into question the practices of many of the current dietary programs, such as the Atkins diet, that are widely popular in the West. The politics of nutrition and the impact of special interest groups in the creation and dissemination of public information are also discussed.

Review
"Today, AICR [American Institute for Cancer Research] advocates a predominantly plant-based diet for lower cancer risk because of the great work Dr. Campbell and just a few other visionaries began 25 years ago." --Marilyn Gentry, president, AICR --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review
"[These] findings from the most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease are challenging much of American dietary dogma." —The New York Times

"Reflects the profound changes that industrialization is bringing to diet and disease patterns in China, statistics that have had an impact on reevaluating dietary policy in the United States and worldwide." —Washington Post

"This is one of the most important books about nutrition ever written—reading it may save your life." —Dean Ornish, MD, Oprah Winfrey's personal physician, author, Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease and Love & Survival

"Today, AICR [American Institute for Cancer Research] advocates a predominantly plant-based diet for lower cancer risk because of the great work Dr. Campbell and just a few other visionaries began 25 years ago." —Marilyn Gentry, president, AICR

"The most important book on health, diet and nutrition ever written. Its impact will only grow over time and it will ultimately improve the health and longevity of tens of millions of people around the world." —John Mackey, CEO, Whole Foods

1,101 of 1,166 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Every doctor, teacher and parent needs to read this book!, January 25, 2005
By Howie Jacobson, PhD "The AdWords Juggler" (Durham NC USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health (Hardcover)
T. Colin Campbell has made a career of challenging the conventional wisdom around nutrition, and this book is the culmination of his work. His integrity, brilliance, and unflinching courage shine through every page.

The main point of this book is that most nutritional studies that we hear about in the media are poorly constructed because of what the author terms "scientific reductionism." That is, they attempt to pin down the effects of a single nutrient in isolation from all other aspects of diet and lifestyle.

While this is the "gold standard" for clinical trials in the pharmaceutical world, it just doesn't work when it comes to nutrition. Given that the Western diet is extremely high fat and high protein compared to most of the rest of the world, studies that examine slight variations in this diet (i.e., adding a few grams of fiber or substituting skim milk for full fat milk) are like comparing the mortality rates of people who smoke five packs of cigarettes a day vs. people who smoke only 97 cigarettes a day.

Campbell's research, which he describes in a very accessible and engaging fashion, has two tremendous advantages over the typical nutritional study. First, there is the China Study itself - a massive series of snapshots of the relationship between diet and disease in over 100 villages all over China. The rates of disease differ greatly from region to region, and Campbell and his research partners (including some of the most distinguished scholars and epidemiologists in the world) carefully correlated these differences with the varying diets of the communities.

It's not lazy "survey research" either - the researchers don't rely on their subjects' memory to determine what they ate and drank. The researchers also observed shopping patterns and took blood samples to cross-validate all the data.

The second amazing part of Campbell's research method is his refusal to accept any finding without taking it back to his lab and finding out how exactly it works. In other words, we discover in The China Study not only in what way, but precisely how, the foods we eat can either promote or compromise our health.

The book is part intellectual biography / hero's journey (although Campbell is always wonderfully humble - there's no trace of self-congratulation, just a deep gratitude for what he has experienced), part nutrition guide (the most honest and unflinching one you'll ever read), and part expose. The final section leaves no sacred cow standing, and names names! From the food industry, to the government, to academia, Campbell calmly reports on a coverup of nutritional truth so widespread and insidious that all citizens should be enraged.

I have a PhD in health education and a Masters in Public Health - and I can honestly say that no book has shaken my worldview like this one. Anyone interested in health - their own, or that of their family, friends, or community - must read this book and share it. Campbell has started a revolution. Skip this work at your own peril.
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82 of 87 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, December 25, 2005
By Doxie - See all my reviews
This review is from: The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health (Hardcover)
This is a fantastic book that's loaded with so much eye opening information, it's the kind of book that I'll read again. I feel if you don't convert to a whole food plant based diet after reading this book, I don't think anything in the world will convince you....the evidence is just overwhelming.

As for my story, I was on statins for high cholesterol for over 6 years....and a moderate to high dose at that. Over the years, my cholesterol kept rising gradually and my total cholesterol was just over 300 and a triglyceride level in the mid 200's without statins. The moderate/high dose statin brought my cholesterol down to the range of high 190's to low 200's. Over the years, I tried to get off the medication and I was told to try to eat a low fat diet, don't eat shrimp, lobster, etc. I went off the statins, tried this diet for several months and none of this helped....actually my cholesterol went higher....I was told it's hereditary, there's nothing you can do, and I should take the statin and that I would be on them indefinitely. Well, after reading the book "The China Study", there's a few paragraphs tucked in this great book mentioning that the major factor causing high cholesterol is eating any animal protein. The only meat I ate at the time was fish and chicken and small portions of it....and maybe beef a few times a year, if that. I have to say I was skeptical and figured what do I have to lose, so I went on a whole food plant based diet (vegan diet)as Dr. Campbell in the book suggests. I started that last November (same time I stopped taking the statins), and I had my cholesterol checked this past summer and was stunned at the result....my total cholesterol went from over 300 without statins, high 190's/low 200's on moderate/high does statin, to 175 without statins on Vegan diet, with good LDL and HDL. I'm guessing next time it's checked it will be even lower. Also, my triglycerides went from the mid 200's to 64! All as a result of just giving up animal products....amazing. Now I wonder....why wasn't I ever given this option by the doctor's I've seen over the years? Even if a person doesn't want to give up animal products completely as I have, why isn't this advice offered as at least an option to a patient.....and let the patient decide? What a concept!

Of course, I feel my cholesterol and triglycerides levels are just the tip of the iceberg on how my health has improved on a plant based diet....the only regret?....I wish I started the vegan diet earlier....I never have had so much energy and just downright have never felt so good....seriously...this is not an overstatement.

As to all the doubters out there with harsh reviews, I say to each is own but ignore the evidence at your own risk. I've seen many of my friends and family sick by what I feel this book has proven by many studies to be nothing more than a bad diet for the most part and most of them are looking for a magic pill to save them....and the old standby argument that it's all genetic doesn't appear to hold much water either....again, proven by studies in the book.

My friend, family, and co-workers know how I eat now and wonder why I want to live forever....that's not the issue....quality of life over quantity of life...isn't this what we should all be after?
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78 of 84 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Why, oh why didn't I take the blue pill?, December 24, 2006
By R. Pinkerton "RP" (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
I love juicy steaks, delicious cheese, and big bowls of ice cream. I love to eat out at nice restaurants. And I really like eating without thinking about the operations and consequences of our dietary industrial complex. But I don't get to enjoy these things any more because I read the China Study. Like Neo in the movie the Matrix, you have a choice, take the blue pill and believe what you want to believe, take the red pill and you will be exposed to the reality of the world we live in. The China Study is the red pill.

This is a fascinating book on the capitalism, politics, and human behavior that drives the food industry. It is also frighteningly insightful into the health consequences of an affluent societies' diet. I am not a scientist so I don't know if this is good science. But I did work ten years ago as a government attorney on the USDA dietary guidelines and was surprised by the political influence and acceptance of what the author would call scientific reductionism. I also worked for a man who lived and worked until he was 100 years old, and he had a dietary regime very similar to that recommended by the China Study: not vegan nor vegetarian, but largely based on plants and whole foods rather than animal based foods. So I found this book very persuasive - in fact, too persuasive. It scared me straight so I eat healthy now and that's good for the long term...but I don't enjoy it like I used to.

http://www.amazon.com/China-Study-Comprehensive-Nutrition-Implications/d...

What do 100,000 readers know that you don't? Learn more about this best selling, ground-breaking book, embraced by thousands who want to improve their health and their lives. Summarily ignored by the mainstream media, the ground-swell support speaks volumes about the importance of this provocative and timely book by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II.

The science is clear. The results are unmistakable.

Change your diet and dramatically reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Respected nutrition and health researcher, Dr. T. Colin Campbell reveals the truth behind special interest groups, government entities and scientists that have taken Americans down a deadly path

Even today, as the low-carb craze sweeps the nation, two-thirds of adults are still obese and children are being diagnosed with Type II diabetes, typically an “adult” disease, at an alarming rate. If we’re eating healthier, why are Americans stricken with heart disease as much as we were 30 years ago?

Drawing on the project findings in rural China, but going far beyond those findings, The China Study details the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The report also examines the source of nutritional confusion produced by powerful lobbies, government entities, and opportunistic scientists. The New York Times has recognized the study (China-Oxford-Cornell Diet and Health Project) as the “Grand Prix of epidemiology” and the “most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease.”

“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,” said 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.”

Early in his career as a researcher with MIT and Virginia Tech, Dr. Campbell worked to promote better health by eating more meat, milk and eggs -- “high-quality animal protein … It was an obvious sequel to my own life on the farm and I was happy to believe that the American diet was the best in the world.”

He later was a researcher on a project in the Philippines working with malnourished children. The project became an investigation for Dr. Campbell, as to why so many Filipino children were being diagnosed with liver cancer, predominately an adult disease. The primary goal of the project was to ensure that the children were getting as much protein as possible.

“In this project, however, I uncovered a dark secret. Children who ate the highest protein diets were the ones most likely to get liver cancer...” He began to review other reports from 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. More commonly known as the China Study, “this project eventually produced more than 8000 statistically significant associations between various dietary factors and disease.”

The findings? “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,” said Dr. Campbell.

In The China Study, Dr. Campbell details the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and also its ability to reduce or reverse the risk or effects of these deadly illnesses. The China Study also examines the source of nutritional confusion produced by powerful lobbies, government entities, and irresponsible scientists.

The China Study is not a diet book. Consumers are bombarded with conflicting messages regarding health and nutrition; the market is flooded with popular titles like The Atkins Diet and The South Beach Diet. The China Study cuts through the haze of misinformation and delivers an insightful message to anyone living with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and those concerned with the effects of aging. Additionally, he challenges the validity of these low-carb fad diets and issues a startling warning to their followers.

http://www.thechinastudy.com/whole/about/

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