The China Study – a book by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II – will help you understand like no other book the root cause of most of the chronic disease in America. To come straight to the point, that root cause is … eating too many animal products.The book will be of great interest to vegetarians, vegans, and those who simply want to cut back on the meat and animal products in their diet. And if you are trying to adopt such a lifestyle and are getting opposition – this book is your best friend.
While there is a chapter devoted to incorporating this insight into your diet and lifestyle, what the book focuses on is the science. And it does it with a vengeance. The largest part of the book is devoted to the scientific evidence that diets high in animal products are responsible for heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, auto-immune diseases, and a host of other chronic maladies.
Exhibit ‘A’ in the book is the “China Study” of the title. This study – the largest of its kind by far – compared the health people in China who had very similar genetic and environmental backgrounds, but who differed in diet. Some had adopted a more western, animal-based diet and some had retained the traditional Chinese diet – mostly plant based. The differences in health were remarkable, particularly because in the homogeneous culture of China, genetic and other factors were more easily ruled out.
The data from this study was combined with cross-cultural studies and hundreds of other papers and research efforts to paint a total picture that is completely convincing. I found myself not only educated – but angry. So many of the problems both I and my family have suffered with simply don’t exist in cultures that feature a more plant-based diet.
The latter part of the book is even more eye-opening. Dr. Campbell narrates his view of the history of government and medical policy on eating. As a part of several important committees and groups, Dr. Campbell was in a front-row position to see them hijacked again and again by the food and drug industry. I am left with a rather low opinion of both organized medicine and government-sponsored “expertise” .
If you want powerful evidence to convince yourself or someone else that a plant-centered diet is a healthier way to live, this is the book for you.