The China Study

The most influential book that I have read in a long time is The China Study. I’m already vegetarian, so I don’t need any convincing that a whole foods-plant based diet is superior to the traditional American or Western diet. However, I’ve recently cut way back (virtually eliminated) dairy products from my diet as well. The China Study, written by T. Colin Campbell and his son, Thomas Campbell II,  is provocative and has its fair share of detractors. One example of disagreement that I found online from Chris Masterjohn:

Yet the 19 years of research into this project leave us with more questions than answers, and have left T. Colin Campbell with a foundation of unsupported conclusions upon which he has built his tower of vegan propaganda.

Propaganda? Yeah right! Read the book yourself. If you don’t have an “a ha” moment, then you are probably not interested in making the radical changes necessary to improve your lifestyle. I’m sure that there are others detractors, like Masterjohn. I’m sure that many of the have Ph.D’s. I am not a student of medical research, but I have still read a lot about nutrition over the years. I’ve paid close attention because there is a long history of heart disease in my own family. The Campbell’s profess that the “moderate” low fat diet that is professed by major US organizations, like the American Heart Association, is “watered down.” The Campbell’s believe that a much more rigorous approach to diet and nutrition is the only way to reverse the effects of heart disease and other “diseases of affluence” that primarily impact Americans and other Westerners.

I’m not done with the book yet. I’ll be diving into the obesity chapters next, then on to cancer. I’m sure the Campbell’s have even more to say about how the typical American is killing himself/herself with an animal protein laden diet. Good luck trying to convince your friends that going vegan, or at least vegetarian, is the best way for them to lower their cholesterol. They won’t hear it. They won’t believe it. We have been brainwashed into thinking that cholesterol level under 200 is good. Folks in Asia, who predominantly get their protein from plants, and who get less than 10% of their protein from animal sources, have cholesterol levels under 100. It is a world of difference. Their hearts are much healthier.

Another reason why this book’s message is resonating with me: healthy eating is MUCH less expensive than surgery (by-pass, angioplasty, stents, etc.) and less expensive than drugs (statin drugs, blood pressure medication, etc.); and it focuses on preventive maintenance. None of the practices that are common in the bloated, inefficient, and wasteful US medical system are nearly as cost effective as prevention. I think that most of our society is blind to the real cause of our demise. No one wants to admit that in our fast food society, we eat a lot of crap. Hey, it isn’t just at McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell. Even the best five star restaurants serve dishes loaded with animal protein and fat. It takes real knowledge, effort, and conviction to eat a healthy diet. I know. Most people live in denial. Give me a pill so I can keep on eating my 32 oz. steaks and washing them down with Coke. Many Americans are just plain eating themselves to death.

4 Responses to “The China Study”


  1. 1 thegirlcanwrite 9 June 2008 at 1:25 pm

    With all due respect to your ethics, it is not meat eating that is killing Americans, but unfood. No society in the history of the world has ever been vegan, only individuals. It is a very modern experiment. We have been hunter/gatherers since the dawn, and that is the healthiest diet. It is to our detriment that we add toxic ingredients to meat, to plants, and to ‘new’ unfoods. Not everyone who eats meat eats at Burger King.


  1. 1 Whole (Foods) Lot of Problems « Life Adventures Trackback on 14 August 2008 at 9:26 am
  2. 2 World Vegetarian Day « Life Adventures Trackback on 30 September 2008 at 10:25 pm
  3. 3 Healthy Architecture: Dr. Art Mollen & Taliesin West « Life Adventures Trackback on 6 November 2010 at 11:29 am

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