The China Study

by Terry Oliver on October 1, 2012

Hands up anyone who knows their own BodyMass Index (BMI). Keep them up if you know its significance. For those of us who didn’t know, it represents body weight relative to body  height, plus some arithmetic, which provides  a BMI figure. Mine happens to be 26. The normal range is 19 to 24. The overweight range is 25 to 29. Obese is 30 to 40. I’m sorry to report I’m in the overweight category and when I looked at the BMI table for my height, I saw I was six inches too short for my weight. Or to put it another way, I was fifteen pounds too heavy for my height.

At 76, I’m not likely to be able to alter my height. But according to the findings of The China Study, I can do something about all that extra weight. There is a simple solution. Stop eating animals. And their products. That means dairy and eggs. So, vegetarian, right? Wrong. It means vegan. – Oh….

It means abandoning the western diet – our diet, which is primarily based on meat, dairy products and eggs. I love meat, dairy and eggs. How can I switch to a plant-based diet of just fruit and vegetables? And why would I want to – just to shed a few pounds?

Well, losing weight is only part of  it. The China Study, and it’s world-renowned scientists, with impeccable credentials from China, England and the USA, has compiled overwhelming peer-approved evidence, based on surveys of over 880 million Chinese in over 2400 counties, involving 650,000 bio-medical researchers. Using that research on disease mortality rates of over four dozen different kinds of diseases, from cancer to Alzheimers, the China Study team then conducted an in-depth study of dietary and lifestyle factors associated with disease mortality. It involved 6500  Chinese adults in over 170 villages nationwide. It began in 1983 and is still on-going – a 30 year project, widely known as The China Study.

Kind of hard to dismiss.

Weighing in at over 400 pages, you might expect it to be fairly heavy-going. Wrong again. It’s a compelling page-turner of thriller dimensions. I didn’t actually read it in one sitting but I was up till four in the morning and polished it off the next day. And I’ve just read it again. The China Study is the story of Dr Colin Campbell of Cornell University and his life-long research into nutrition and battles with the giant corporations who own the food industry and all the research which they fund and strictly monitor and control and the politicians they manipulate to do their bidding. Fascinating stuff.

So what does The China Study conclude? Only that the evidence is overwhelming: animal-based diets destroy your health via cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimers and auto-immune diseases. Plant-based diets and exercise prevent and even reverse disease, promote long, healthy lives and combat dementia. The science is conclusive.

Along the way Dr. Campbell explodes all the myths about animal-based protein and eggs and dairy being essential to health.

And then he attacks that most holy of sacred cows, – milk. What he has to say about  milk’s devastating effects on both children and adults is potential dynamite to the dairy industry and they will fight dirty to discredit it.

Dr. Campbell is in his seventies now and what he has to tell us about the effects of animal and dairy based diets on seniors is scary. He says our later lives will be greatly compromised  ‘if we can’t see, if we can’t think, if our kidneys don’t work, or if our bones are broken or fragile.’

I guess that’s reason enough for me to keep on with our experiment of living on a plant-based diet.

Read The China Study – the scales will fall from your eyes.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

sheila reid October 6, 2012 at 11:56 pm

I too have been totally convinced by the China Study. What it proves to me, along with the fact that I’ve been on an inappropriate diet for the past 76 years, is that PR works and I fell for it. The beef and dairy industries have managed to keep us consuming in spite of a growing body of evidence that points to the fact that their products are not only bad for us, they’re taking a huge toll on the planet as well.

In a 2006 report, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, (FAO), concluded that worldwide livestock farming generates 18% of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions and by comparison all the world’s cars, trains, boats and planes account for a combined total of 13%. This livestock figure includes the deforestation that is necessary to provide the cattle with grazing land. It appears that an astonishing 30 % of the world’s farm land is now devoted to the production of meat.

To complete the story we’re now told that meat production world wide will have to double before 2050 to meet world demands.

But this is not all bad news. What it means is that we have within reach a way of reducing 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time becoming slimmer, healthier human beings. I think this is what you’d call a win/win situation!

Terry Oliver October 9, 2012 at 1:14 am

Thanks for the bad news/good news, Sheila. At last, we have something to work for which might do us all some good.

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