Rest in Peace, China Study | Chris Kresser
HCTP Banner

Rest in Peace, China Study

by

Last updated on

iStock.com/CG-CREATiVE

I know this was all over the blogosphere yesterday but I think it’s important enough for a repost.

One thing I can count on every time I write an article extolling the health benefits of animal products is someone sending me an email or posting a comment like this:

I think you’re absolutely wrong. You should read: The China Study, by Dr. T. Collin Campbell.

Sorry to be contrary, but T. Colin Campbell’s “The China Study” should put this issue to rest. Please consider the information presented there. The methodology is impressive.

Campbell recommends a vegan diet–no animal based food at all. He claims that population studies demonstrate that vegan populations do not suffer from the high incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer that we in the West do with our diets heavy on animal protein.

 

In fact, those are direct quotes from comments that have been left on my blog over the past year. I can’t even show you some of the emails people have sent because the language might offend you.

Usually I direct those folks to Chris Masterjohn’s excellent critique of the China Study. Now, however, I’ll be sending them over to read Denise Minger’s freshly published China Study smackdown.

Here’s the introduction:

When I first started analyzing the original China Study data, I had no intention of writing up an actual critique of Campbell’s much-lauded book. I’m a data junkie. Numbers, along with strawberries and Audrey Hepburn films, make me a very happy girl. I mainly wanted to see for myself how closely Campbell’s claims aligned with the data he drew from—if only to satisfy my own curiosity.

But after spending a solid month and a half reading, graphing, sticky-noting, and passing out at 3 AM from studious exhaustion upon my copy of the raw China Study data, I’ve decided it’s time to voice all my criticisms. And there are many.

Denise got hold of the raw study data and took it apart with a fine-toothed comb. And what she found is that the claims Campbell made in his China Study book are not supported by the data. She also found important data points Campbell never bothered to mention in the book because they didn’t support his vegan agenda.

For example, Campbell conveniently fails to mention the county of Tuoli in China. The folks in Tuoli ate 45% of their diet as fat, 134 grams of animal protein each day (twice as much as the average American), and rarely ate vegetables or other plant foods. Yet, according to the China Study data, they were extremely healthy with low rates of cancer and heart disease; healthier, in fact, than many of the counties that were nearly vegan.

This is just one of many cases of the selective citation and data cherry picking Campbell employs in the China Study. Denise’s critique masterfully reveals the danger of drawing conclusions from epidemiological studies, which can only show correlations between variables – not causal relationships. Campbell should be well aware of this. After all, in his book he rails against the nutritional bias rampant in the scientific community. Yet nowhere is such bias more evident than in Campbell’s own interpretation of the China Study data.

Denise concludes:

Ultimately, I believe Campbell was influenced by his own expectations about animal protein and disease, leading him to seek out specific correlations in the China Study data (and elsewhere) to confirm his predictions.

Campbell’s response to previous critics of the China Study has been something to the effect of: “I’m a trained scientist. Therefore you should believe me and not my critics.” That is a weak argument – to put it mildly. You don’t need six years of graduate school to learn to think critically. Nor does having a lot of letters after your name make you immune to biased thinking or intellectual blindness. A lot of smart, educated people believed the cholesterol hypothesis for decades. But that never made it true.

You can read more – and I mean a lot more – over at Denise’s blog. I recommend starting with her article China Study: Fact or Fallacy? For many of you, it will be more than enough. But if you’re interested in this stuff, she has written several other articles worth reading.

There are also reviews of Denise’s article at Free the Animal, Whole Health Source, Robb Wolf and PaNu. If you don’t have time to read Denise’s article, read Dr. Harris’s review at PaNu. It’s the next best thing.

Rest in peace, China Study.

P.S. You might also want to check out this debate between T. Colin Campbell and Loren Cordain on human protein requirements. Notice that Cordain’s articles contain 164 citations of research studies. How many references do Campbell’s articles contain? Zero. And Campbell’s typical “I’m more educated than the other guy” won’t fly here. Dr. Cordain has some serious chops.

402 Comments

Join the conversation

  1. Reading these comments and there are many for both sides be it plant based or meat. to me there is a bigger issue that most choose to ignore. And that is a fact we are poisoning of our food with pesticides, insecticides. Herbicides . Taking all the nutrients out of the soil . These chemical are slowly killing off the bee population Our meat is contaminated with antibiotics and growth hormones. Our fish are full of mercury second dangerous chemical element of the planet . So maybe these are more important issues we should be talking about

    • I agree, you are right, firstly, those foods are poison, cause disease and are cited in abundant peer reviewed science reviews to be unhealthy or even cause cancer. Second, as far as the human race goes, it is time to choose compassion over greed, common sense over marketing spin.

  2. All the studies in the world do not justify or eliminate causing suffering to defenseless animals. There is no nutrition that can not be garnered from plant based nutrition and that is where the animal products come from mostly anyway. Therefore, it is a choice, cause suffering or not to cause suffering, that is the question. People that want to hide behind studies while slaughtering defenseless wonderful creatures for their own selfish diets and ego is showing that the animals have a greater consciousness and sensitivity than those people eating them. When is the last time you saw a cow eat a human?

    • The fallacy in your argument is in assuming vegetarian foods necessarily cause less suffering. Many vegetarian foods grown by monoculture can destroy animal habitats and contribute to global warming. Humans love to feel saintly because they don’t eat meat but they are blind to their own biases. We need science to figure out the best balance between animal and plant nutrition for the body and the environment. Appeals to emotion are often poor because they blind human reason. Moderation is always better than extremism.

      • Thanks very much for your response. I would be very interested in your data about vegetarian agricultural practices causing as much if not more suffering for animals. I have been a vegetarian more than 30 years and am always interested in factual science based data and I remain open to being wrong.

        Hard to imagine that agricultural practices could cause the death of 5 billion chickens, millions of cows and pigs. And displaced does not mean killed directly.

        Humbly showing compassion does not invoke or presume egoic saintliness.

        As a former engineer as well, I look forward to your data. Fact, 5 billion chickens die each year, show me some data wherein agricultural practices cause that magnitude of suffering?

        • To start growing something — especially large enough to feed a population — step one is clearing all living things off of it. Vegetables themselves require animal products to live… Farms without animals will eventually lead to dessert. The circle of life requires death.

          • I think you meant to say animals themselves require vegetable products to live.

            In order to grow a cow you need to clear the land for the cow to grow AND the land to grow the food to feed the cow. Why not just grow vegetables and clear less land?

            • Putting cows on a piece of land is going to get you a lot more food than putting vegetables on it.
              So if you want everyone to become a vegetarian, you are going to need a lot more land, which will be at the cost of existing nature/wildlife.

              Here’s a question :
              Imagine two scenarios :

              1) Cows are raised only in a way that gives them a good life ( large pastures, grass-fed, as little stress as possible,etc…, ) and are killed in a way that they feel no pain.

              2) Everyone is a vegetarian, and as such there are no cows.

              Which would be better ? Is it better to not exist or is it better to exist,live a happy life but then die for food ?

              • Please find out how much food, land, water and other resources go into your one piece of stake. There are millions in this world who lack these basic necessities to survive, and instead we choose to feed it to the excess cow populations we have artificially created.
                The “look how many animals you kill on a daily basis even as a vegan” is a cowardly excuse to continue living in your ways. It’s to say, instead of trying to make a difference by reducing our carbon footprint on this earth..since we are already hurting some unknowingly, let’s just go ahead and kill everything else while we’re at it.

                • I totally second that comment about finding out what it really takes to get that meat on your plate. A little evidence would be nice….

    • On this planet something has to die in order for something else to live. A one acre plantation of vegetables causes the death of millions of innocent beings. Slaughtered and crushed. Think of that every time you eat a vegetable.

      vegetables are actually sentient. It has been documented that they respond to human touch and sounds. They hear, smell and feel pain. There is much information on the life of vegetables and the way they interact with humans. Everything on this planet is sentient. This is why the Tibetan monks eat only a porridge consisting of wheat, barley and select non sentient plant life. Day in day out its all they eat. Deciding which sentient being to eat and which to not is having a God complex. Furthermore vegetables crops are damaging to ecosystems that surround them. Animal farms where animals eat from nature and graze freely improve the ecosystem that surrounds them. Animals that are fed grain, corn and other garbage damage the ecosystem. Many people eat meat from the right sources. You will kill millions of animals only to plant a one acre garden yet I will save those animals by having a garden and animal farm….balancing the ecosystem that surrounds and protecting the animals that would be killed needlessly in the growing of my vegetables. It works synergistically. I am against industrialized animal farming but anything we consume will result in the death of something. Its laws nature. That is why veganism is the clearest form of hypocrisy.

  3. So I’ve read through many of the comments here and many comments in response to similar posts/articles. I find that everytime I do this, I get very irritated. Here is why. This always seems to be a contest with people on both sides spouting science. There are legitimate arguments for most points on both sides (including the moral, human design and environmental arguments). But what makes me really angry is the arrogance, character assasination and flippant dismissal of the opposing view.

    I watched a “Ted Talks” recently that seems applicable to this. In this presentation, the presenter stated “You can be right on the facts but be emotionally wrong.” I will soak up points on both sides when they are respectful to opposing view. On the other hand, if it is arrogant or dismissive, I react emotionally and am unable to learn from you. One thing I am certain of, people on both sides are concerned with finding optimal health. Additionally, there are many that have become Paleo and vegetarian/vegan with glowing results. Both sides tend to agree on some key things (nutrient dense, being more vegetable/fruit oriented) and both of these are better than just eating a standard American diet. If the dialogue were more amicable, we may make a real difference in the way people eat. Instead, earnest people looking for answers may get lost in all the unfriendly noise!

    • I think the answer lies in holistic farming… But I dare say the vegans will disagree with this. Holistic farming is a regenerative (yes… more than sustainable) approach to the spreading of grasslands with grazing animals. The animals help spread the grass lands, the grass lands build top soil, sequester carbon, and the animals become some of the most nutrient dense food on earth. This is how nature designed it, and no one — no matter how morally they seem — can design a better way.

    • Great comment, the data shows plant based nutrition to better handle and prevent disease. WHO declares many animal foods as carcinogens, USDA (and lots of peer reviewed scientific reports) says plant based diet healthier and prevents disease. You are right. The focus needs to be positive. Why not eat well, focus on nutrient dense foods from the land vegetable and sea vegetable kingdom, and leave the animals alone?

      Which is better for us, a carrot or bacon?

      Which feels more suffering, a carrot or a pig?

      • There is a lot of science, true. But, all the science in the world does not justify causing suffering and pain. We are not robots. The human consciousness is more than just science, it is about compassion and the Truth, it is about peace and love, on all levels, not just in a selective area or using science as an excuse to hurt others.

  4. We can discuss, agree, disagree forever, but there is no valid argument against the health and environmental benefits of a whole-food plant-based diet and the far-reaching detrimental effects of animal products. While we are comfortable sitting at our computers, with the luxury of even having choices, the environment continues to be destroyed, with animal agriculture responsible for over half of all destruction. The oceans may be void of fish by 2048. So just keep coming up with more excuses and rationalizations while sentient beings are exploited, the oceans are dying, and habitats are destroyed for palate pleasure. These facts are easy to find. Here’s one website with tons of cited sources: http://www.HARPforAnimals.com

    • Nancy P. I could not agree with you more and am happy to see this type of response <3 whole food – plant based diets make the most sense, over and over and over for a million different reasons.

    • In fact, environmental destruction, sure maybe, if the meat is not sustainable sourced. We have population explosions in the third world- and China- for that matter. If they all ate mostly animal products, it might not be sustainable. the key is population control, but not over Europe and western nations, whose native population is not booming.

      Health benefits of plant over omni are null, or marginal if best, if controlled for fructose intake, omega six vegetable oil intake and alcohol- i.e. don’t compare health vegan with Standard American McDonalds. You can’t be selective. The whole point of this blog is that the health effects are not certain, they are very much up for debate- or the die hard plant based people should not be presumed to have the one healthy way, at the very least.

      Sentient beings? Sure, if that’s your ethics. Wolves kill deer. I think factory farming is horrible, cramming so many animals in so little a space. Most of the meat I eat, I do so at home, and all that meat is from better sources, even if I pay more. I’m not too worried about ethics anymore. You have a luxury of caring, and so do I. I was in that cohort for so long, of people who have inflammation of the conscience. This is not a rationalization because I own it, nor is animal foods nutrition a rationalization. It’s a quest at least, a truth perhaps. The fact is that the western countries believed this vegetarian myth of health, that animal foods were acid forming, would rob you of bones, create plaque in your arteries, cause cancer. I feel cheated and lied to. Where is the ethics in that? Fructose is like liquid fat btw. It hits the liver and turns to fat and waste products, like alcohol. I sound like a muslim lol allah be praised.

      I care, like you, about the planet (and also western civilization) but it’s not a win-win for me anymore; there will be tradeoffs; The diet that’s best for the planet is no longer de facto the diet that’s best for health, although sure, there are so many alternatives and supplements out there today, including taurine and carnitine and creatine and so forth, that it can be done, and eating a great vegan diet is far better than a crappy omnivorous one, maybe even almost equal, but for me, for balance, for body building and meeting my protein needs, for all that stuff, and living like my ancestors who I am descended from, for the taste and society of it all, I enjoy chicken, fish, eggs, lamb, beef, goat, turkey, etc and whey protein.

      I want you to perceive me as a man that doesn’t rationalize, and yet has a heart for his people and country.

      But I’m so mad, that they lied. Or told half-truths and led us on, or did sloppy science- Campbell, McDougall, Doug Graham, and a whole host of ideologues. I don’t trust big pharma either, but it’s not like some bogeyman that I have to fear. Diet of our ancestors, seems to me to be the way, and the science backs it- that includes a lot of plants but also animal foods. And also, a lot of traditions and lifestyles of our ancestors would be good in this politically correct low self-esteem era. Honor thy ancestor, or else. Europe and the west started questioning old traditions and dishonoring their past and now it’s in a state of chaos and instability

      • If you are looking to eat like your ancestors did, that means eating over 100g of fiber a day. The average American consumes about 14g of fiber per day because of our meat/dairy intake. In fact, it is nearly impossible to consume 100g of fiber each day without being entirely (or 99%) vegan. Our ancestors ate meat only when it was necessary for survival during the winter months. We have evolved past this need.
        Wolves eat deer? That is because wolves are carnivorous creatures. Humans show far more common traits with herbivores than carnivores. (We have pathetic nails, not claws–don’t get me started on our tiny “fangs” which other herbivores also have…ever seen a lion’s fangs? that’s a carnivore right there–we have to cook our meat in order to consume it–the number one thing humans choke on is meat products because our throats weren’t designed for it). We most definitely weren’t designed to drink milk past diapers. There’s no argument that can be used against that. Vegans don’t need supplements – everything that can be obtained in a omnivorous diet can be obtained in plants. We are also the only group of people nowadays that average in the “healthy range” BMI level.

      • It is in many ways a reflection of consciousness. We are not wolves, we are not lions, we are not wild animals, we are awakened to the point of knowing consciously if we are causing suffering. We have the opportunity to show and choose compassion and follow conscientious decisions regardless of our animal past or physical bodies. We speak to a higher level of decision making, that which transcends our physical make up. Even if we have fangs or a short esophogus or whatever, none of that physical stuff matters since humans have evolved to the point wherein the mind and more importantly, the heart, override base primal patterns and instead adhere to the awakened morality and ethics and the ultimate universal truth of compassion.

    • This is simply not true. Without a holistic use of animals, farms will eventually lead to desertification. Animal products are only detrimental in the industrial farming sense. They are VITAL to the planet in a holistic sense… They are VITAL to human health, and have been for most of our existence.

  5. This article i based on Denise Minger’s blog about the Tuoli people not having much disease despite seemingly eating lots of meat. However, the researchers noted that the Tuoli people were not eating their typical diet on the days of the survey, which is why they left out the data on them. “[M]eat consumption for one of the counties, Tuoli, was clearly not accurate on the 3 days that the data were being collected. On those days, they were essentially eating as if it were a feast to impress the survey team but on the question of frequency of consumption over the course of a year, it was very different.”
    -Dr. Campbell

    Denise Minger’s blog (which has been reposted so many times), is inaccurate, and shouldn’t be used as proof of debunking of the China Study.

  6. It doesn’t take a scientist to realize that plants are healthy for you, and it’s wrong to murder animals for pleasure.

  7. THIS IS THE DIET! Oh, wait, studies show that diet x is the way to go… Now data suggests that diet z is the healthiest… The FIRST question that should be asked is “Is there anything UNHEALTHY about the diet?”
    If the diet is healthy, it works, and you can stick to it, does it matter how they came up with it?

    • Phil I agree that is a huge point that Dr. Campbell makes in his book. That Americans are very confused on what is right. I personally believe that no matter what you cannot go wrong eating fresh fruits and vegetables. I personally do not eat meat because to the cruely that takes place in factory farming.

      • Then abandon factory farming… But don’t think your fruits and vegetables are not exploiting the bone meals and blood meals and fossil fuels of industrial animal farming… There is one way: Holistic farming, animals on pasture. This is the only way nature has presented it to us that is truly sustainable.

        • Holistic farming is better than factory farming, I agree, but there is still a problem with this idea…. it’s not sustainable for 7 billion people. If you calculate how much land is needed for each animal to graze, there simply isn’t enough land.. For example.. there are about 250 million cows slaughtered each year. If you go for holistic farming, they would each need about 5 acres. This means you would need 1,250,000,000 acres of land to support them. Cows also need time to grow before slaughter, let’s say 2 years. That doubles the number to 2.5 billion acres. We have 11 billion acres of good farmable land in the world… You want to use 22% of our good land to raise cows? C’mon! And i’m not even counting the chickens, pigs, turkeys, etc. You also have to consider all the land we need for grains and other farming needs besides meat consumption. There just isn’t enough space for sustainable holistic farming.. Plus, it’s really not ethical to imprison an animal just so we can eat it. We don’t have to eat animals to survive and thrive, so why do it in the first place?

        • How much animal products do you expect to be able to eat on a weekly basis, with holistic animal farming? Right now, 1/3 of arable land is already dedicated to animal agriculture. This includes the crops grown to feed animals. More crops are grown to feed animals than humans. While factory farming is an abomination, this bucolic way of raising animals is unattainable for the masses. There is simply not enough arable land to have animals out grazing. There are also issues of weather exposure, making it necessary to confine these holistic grazing farms to only specific, limited areas. That’s why factory farming is so efficient and cost-effective. Your holistic ideal would result in MAYBE a couple of ounces of any kind of animal product, a couple of times a week. This statement was made by Michael Pollen, famously known for “The Ethical Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food.” Pollen made the statement in the documentary, “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret.” It’s streaming free on Netflix and was produced by Leonardo DiCaprio for Netflix.

  8. I read this, and some of the your other articles, with interest of course, and know how upset and deeply passionate people can get when it comes to health.. After all, everyones an expert now we have the internet.. But this was one of those where it got me thinking.. And had to comment..
    For someone, the blogger and site author, who is qualified in ‘accupuncture’ to comment and basically discredit the years of science based work and research, yes science based, unlike ‘accupunture’, from this study, ‘The China Study’, by world renowned doctors, top of their field, is beyond me. When you are qualified and have put as much work into your research, then yes, poke as many holes as you can, but until then, really! Even the whole semi-Paleo eating pattern you push is so weak an argument.. In fairness, the fact that you sell all types of expensive supplements at your online store says it all, especially after I read your article, ‘Throw away your multivitamins and antioxidants!’. Too funny. I wouldn’t mind if you were at least a qualified doctor.. Now I know tone of an email can get lost in translation, so take it from me, this is not some angry vegan rebuttlal, just my two cents worth.. And for what it’s worth, when someone can travel back in time, and actually confirm the whole paleo fad, then I will take notice.. Sorry but I take the Jerry MaGuire stance on this.. ‘Show me th money’, or proof as it may be.. Thanks for your time.. 🙂

    • Weston a price devoted over a decade researching diet and disease in different countries. His findings were that healthiest people consumed meat…in fact some were consuming only meat. But vegans push this out of the water by saying he was paid by the evil meat industry. The china study has been debunked over a dozen times….the information provided is much like cowspiracy…….cherry picked and presented in a biased and dogmatic fashion. Truth be told…..there is no civilization in history that has sustained itself on a vegan diet…..and if you want someone to show you the money then I wouldn’t go vegan as it has no history. When veganism reaches few hundred years old then you can look at it and say if it works or not. Also using America as an example is stupid…..the world’s worst fast food addicts.

      • There is no civilization in history that has gone to the moon either!

        Are you familiar with the PlantPositive’s site? You’ll find a lot about that “debunking” of literature that presents plant based diets as optimal for humans!

        • Take a look at the best up to date data on the subject, updated constantly with scientific based, peer reviewed scientific reporting, allopathic research as the basis. Dr. Grieger nutritionfacts.org. Go directly to the source if you don’t like the books and want to find secondary things you don’t like about the data such as the author or the presentation. Judge for yourself, be objective, data point by data point, then you decide. You be the author. You will find it is overwhelming. Ultimately, if you are intent on finding excuses to cause suffering, you will find them. Regardless of the fondness of the book, the truth is that cancer rates have increased dramatically over the last 100 years. What would be your explanation?

          In terms of suffering, thus far, humanity has found excuses to kill millions of people under the guise of “war”. You simply have to ask the question for all of our actions, does it cause suffering? Is there an alternative to eating animals and not cause suffering. It does not take monumental effort to choose compassion as the criteria for the basis of what we do and eat instead of simple convenience and obvious suffering. Killing thousands and millions of humans annually is the same wrong pattern. Killing billions of chickens annually, does it cause suffering? You answer that. Go to the source and you be the author. If you want to follow the scientific data, do not deny looking it right in the eye for the facts, that is first and second, there is nothing in the world that can deny that eating animals and the animal industrial complex clearly causes suffering. If you can not see that, go visit one. How would you feel if someone ate you or a family member or loved one? How obvious does it have to be. If you have not written a book on the subject, you have nothing to say in rebuttal. If you have not visited a slaughterhouse, you have nothing to say about the suffering of animals.

          • Did you reply to me? But I’m on your side! Plantpositive debunks all big oponents of vegan diet, including Weston A Price!
            It’s dr. Greger!

            • I commented on your area what seems to be a nistake – I received an email and simply replied – I probably need to go to the source blog and somehow place the response otherwise it seems to just drop things at the end. Thanks for being on my side, the side of compassion and tons and tons and tons of supporting scientific data.

      • Meat/animal products provide the only source of dietary cholesterol that contributes to heart disease. You won’t find any studies that can debunk that. Paleo is the atkins diet rebooted AFTER Dr. Atkins died from heart disease. His foundation tried to cover it up and it was leaked by the medical examiners office. Imagine that. The fact is the more meat you eat the less your fiber intake– meat has ZERO fiber. No to little fiber in your diet contributes to a whole host of diseases. Heart disease is a disease created by human overconsumption of animal products. It simply doesn’t exist in countries that consume little to no animal based foods.
        What is sad here is that you think you debunked The China Study. Laughable.
        If you are into promoting a meat heavy diet, go get an ultrasound of your arteries and then make your decision.

  9. I think time will tell. How long will vegans who eat a whole food plant based diet live in comparison to Paleos… Let us get together in 20 years and see how it’s going. Last time I saw a picture of Loren Cordain he was looking like an overweight, exhausted, SAD eater. Colin T. Campbell is looking pretty fit for a guy in his 80s. I also noticed Cordain works at a college in the heart of beef country. Coincidence? Maybe. How much money does the beef industry funnel into Colorado State in Fort Collins? I’ve driven through that part of the country and it is cattle country.

    • We already have the research! It is the centenarians who live to their old age in large numbers in the Blues Zones and have been eating that way for…100 years! Dan Buettner’s research has shown this to us

  10. I guess all the people that cleaned out their arteries with the Vegan diet can safely go back to eating burgers and bacon now…NOT!

  11. Chris-

    I have to tell you, The China Study- Plant Based Diet not only reversed the 60% clog I had but it dropped my Cholesterol from 285 (total) to 114. Post heart attack at 55 years! I have adapted to animal free food for 4 years and will not go back and depend on pills to keep me healthy!

      • I’d like to chime in. After two decades of personal training and what I thought was good nutrition advice, and at the age of 52, I ran into The China Study and was very intrigued. I decided to test the book and its theories based on the desire to teach others. I started very healthy and began with a physical without telling my doctor the plan. I lived one year on a 85% vegan, 50% raw diet, so not as pure as the book suggested. I was already active in a gym and very healthy. At the end of one year I had blood work done then visited my doctor two days later when the results were available. He checked me than asked what I had done differently. I told him of the diet change. He informed me that I was essentially 25 years old inside and my colon had reduced in size by almost 30%. That was a diet change alone. I will preach forever about the benefits of resistance training no matter age or physical situation. But diet is the ultimate source of a healthy body, and less meat/more raw fruits and vegetables is the key. Those who disagree are welcome to eat all the meat they want. But their quality of life will suffer!

  12. this is a very good reason why most people cant stand fad lifestyles. its constant bickering and arguing over who is right and who is wrong. the fact of the matter is that for someone who is fat and out of shape and has a horrible diet then either vegan/paleo or anything else is certainly better than McD’s every day. both side promote clean eating, right?

    I honestly think its very sad that people continue to argue for “their” side or who they think is right when in reality what we all need to do is encourage people to change their unhealthy lifestyle to something else, hell anything else. isn’t this the goal? and the reason why a lot of people wont change their lifestyle is because with all of the constant bickering and with high and mighty attitudes they actually don’t like any of you.

    news flash: most unhealthy people wont change because they don’t like you because you are pretentious. so they only people you are really trying to convince are the people who are already firmly on the other side.

    while everyone’s basic anatomy may be the same all of our bodies are very different and what works for some may not work for others. there is no magic diet that works for everyone. so please everyone stop with their holier than thou attitude and just encourage people to live healthier.

    and for the love of pete stop taking everything so personally. just because I don’t agree with your lifestyle doesn’t make mine wrong. that’s why we have chocolate and vanilla. you can have what you want and I can have what I want.

    peace, im outta here
    *mic drop*

    • Love this…. Who gives a shit about protein requirements? It’s the TYPE OF PROTEIN… Sustainable and cruelty free that matters… Yes.. The he said she said and the I’m right your wrong… Tiresome… Don’t we have better things to argue about ? Vegan is better because of environmental, health and sustainability … Argue that.

      • Absolutely right and spot on. I used to eat a little meat once in awhile until I came to know how much animal farming are polluting all our planet and how much water is using. I became vegan for that and Geez if I feel better even phisically! Thank you “Cowspiracy” to lighten me up!

    • Michael, totally agree we should promote “healthy” lifestyle changes, and yes you are completely right in stating that something that works for one person will not work for another. Again totally on point and I agree with you whole heartily. The problem with the China Study is this, I am an oncology nurse and have been so for the last decade. When you tell people with Stage IV disease that if they switch to a completely vegan diet, you’ll basically cure your cancer, that’s where I draw the line. That’s snake oil BS as far as I’m concerned. Now I’m a big fan of whole foods, and I have vegan friends who do amazing with that diet, but they do it for ethical reasons, they aren’t claiming to cure cancer. When you have cancer, you will literally glom on to anything that will give you an edge in beating it, but to deny the inclusion of data that doesn’t fit with your hypothesis is “bad” science, and it’s how we got the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) to begin with. There is no data, absolutely non, that shows one diet to be superior than another.

      There’s nothing wrong with giving people hope, but to totally mislead them by prescribing a diet, that in your own words, might not work for them, is not okay. The fact that America, in comparison to the rest of the world, has an incredibly high rate of obesity, heart disease, and cancer, should be the main concern not which “diet” is the magic bullet.

      Again I totally agree with you on all of your points, but pick the mic back up my friend, and scream “Get off your ass and play, eat your fruits and veggies, fish, meats, eggs….WHOLE FOODS!!!! Then get off your ass and go play again!”

      • Matt, I don’t think the point of the China study is curing stage IV cancer but trying to prevent it with plant based whole foods, no oils, no refined sugar, no refined grains diet, Campbell even “allows” up to 10% animal products in it. Some people cured stage III cancers with this kind of diet (or with raw foods or with juicing or …), I haven’t heard of anyone who would cure his cancer with meat/dairy/eggs based diet, conventional or free range!

        Those who say that whole foods diet including meat/dairy/eggs from free range systems (you said just meat, I hope you don’t think hormones/antibiotics and tiny cages in conventional meat industry can be particularly healthy?) can be equal to a healthy (!) vegan diet, have yet to write a similar study as is the China study!

          • What you take really doesn’t matter here, you’re obviously a meat head for your description of a varied vegan diet as “lousy”!
            Hash oils plus what? Plus paleo/atkins/low carb nonsense? Sure thing, buddy! And like I said, prevention is the mother of all wisdom!
            If you think your diet suits you as preventive medicine, enjoy it!

    • I would agree with you on most of what you wrote, But its not as easy as you can have what you want and I can have what I want. One choice out of the two effects the entire world in a negative way, and while no eating system is completely perfect, the impact of one in regards to sustainability for a growing population compared to another is something that has to be taken into account when your trying to decide what to eat. If you choose vanilla and its killing the world, chocolate becomes more then just a choice. 7 billion people can’t continue to eat from animals. But we can eat from a plant based diet. It’s that simple. Why point this out? Again on so many levels one is better for everyone then the other. One effects us all negatively and one effects us all sustainably. But everyone should know the truth of it. And if you decide after that to eat from an unhealthy diet, its on you, but at least you will know. Garbage like this blog muddies the waters so people who don’t want to change will think they don’t have to. But once you know the truth, its up to you to make the better choice. M.

  13. The interests of PALEO should be investigated. They are obviously backed by the unconscious and ignorant meat-producing business. It is a terrible shame to masquerade as someone working in the interests of human health when you are selling just the opposite (obesity, disease and global warming to boot) by promoting the meat/fish/milk business.

  14. I am not going to say you should read the China Study…I am going to say that if you are not paid by the meat and poultry industry you missed your calling.

    There is so much wrong with the meat sold in the US that it is just beyond reason that any honest person would try to support consuming it…Your grass fed beef is a fake for the most part and your Paleo diet doing more harm than good…

    Whole plants is the way to go, dump the dairy, processed foods and meat which includes fish…

    • It’s amazing to read comments like this. Few years ago would have been impossible to find. Thanks good people to study and research. One day we will be all embracing a Vegan type diet because if we will not do so humans will disappear from earth.

  15. Graph Smaph. Who cares about statistics. Really. I mean, come on. Here’s an interesting back up to Derk’s story. This isn’t my opinion. It’s a FACT. I can say that because I have proof. Self Proof that is. I have a thyroid disorder. In short, I’m a fat pig. Yup, I wrote that. I AM A FAT PIG! Have I used my thyroid disorder as a means to eat whatever the heck I want. Of course I have! At age 28, I was a svelte 135 pounds. I was beautiful; I had long tanned legs, bright beautiful eyes, and I modeled from age 20 to 28. Then, about a week after turning 28 I began gaining a significant amount of weight. This was terrible for me! I was horrified because after all, I was eating a “well balanced diet” and I was getting ample exercise. I swam, danced, and I was heavily into gymnastics. I was a rock star! How could this happen to me???! Well, it did. Now, well; now I’m 50. Yup, call me Fifty and Fatty. I’ve been this way since the age of 28. I found out I had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis at the age of 28 and I was told at that time there was absolutely no cure and that I would continue to gain weight and I should just “get use to it and get use to being on medication for the rest of my life.” It was a sobering entrance to the next 2 decades of my life. Well. I figured, what the hell. Why not just consume whatever I want. After all, why not; I’m just going to be fat anyway; might as well get use to being the fat girl on the bus that nobody wants to sit next to. So, I ate and I ate. I ate a lot of meat. I loved meat. I was a heavy meat eater. I loved bacon and eggs in the morning and I loved fried pork in the afternoon! I loved steak and I adored ham. Then, one day I had chest pain. I was 35 at the time. I had an EKG done right away. I was fine, no sign that I had had a heart attack but blood tests were taken and they came back with some very sobering news. My Cholesterol was well over 350! My BP was around 145/95. I was instructed to lose weight. Yeah, sure okay doc; whatever you say. I went back to eating the very same way. I figured I was going to die an early death from heart disease anyway according to all the people I spoke to who had relatives with thyroid disease and who ended up dead or on death’s door with heart issues. Basically, I spent the last 2 decades of my life feeling pretty sorry for myself. I thought and believed I did NOT have a say in my health. Do I still have thyroid disease. Sure, it isn’t going away anytime soon, that’s for sure. About 4 years ago, I lived in rural PA. I loved it there. It was beautiful. Kind of reminds me of the dairy farm the doc from the China Study spoke about. It was quiet too. I decided that while I may never be a size 2 again; I was going to begin an exercise regimen and after reading the very rewarding book by Dr. Furhman, who wrote, “Eat to Live”, I decided…why the hell not take a chance! So, for three whole months I ate nothing but vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds, etc. I ate no grains to speak of, including my much beloved theater popcorn (that was a pretty hard sell but I did it!). Three months later, I stood on the scale at the docs and I was down 30 pounds and my blood work showed an excellent cholesterol panel! My BP was 118/75! It was suburb! I was completely stoked by this! Then, Then. A tragedy struck my family; my mother passed away from cancer. Her cancer was from heavy drinking and smoking; so they claimed. I believed that too. I was devastated. My best friend in the whole world was struck down way to soon. She was only 55. I couldn’t stay on the wagon too long after that. Soon, I was drowning my grief in donuts and fat laden meats and pizza. I gained the 30 pounds back PLUS another 20 on top of that! So, that being stated and with all due respect to you flesh eaters…I have to side with the plant eating, animal saving, tree hugging hippies. Eating a diet rich in fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds is HIGHLY beneficial in lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and lowering your weight. Ok, so why on earth am I at fat little piggy still? Hmmm…it is more than likely all that lunch meat I consumed last week! So, what am I going to do about it? I am going to get off my fat @@#$ and get back to my herbivore lifestyle! If you one percenters out there eat all of this crap and STILL maintain a lovely cholesterol level and have no BP issues, GREAT FOR YOU; but please, have some respect for those of us who have not reached your evolutionary status; not all of us are blessed with such rich favor as you. Until then, eat your veggies and you too can grow hair on your chest!

    • Mary what a story! Thanks for sharing. I firmly believe that any decision based upon compassion and caring for ourselves, the animals, and the earth is ALWAYS justified and that any decision that involves cruelty and destruction is NEVER justified, regardless of rationalizations or scientific data.

    • Hi Mary,

      You said you ” I couldn’t stay on the wagon too long after that. Soon, I was drowning my grief in donuts and fat laden meats and pizza. I gained the 30 pounds back PLUS another 20 on top of that! ” Donuts and fat laden meats and pizza isn’t really part of the Paleo diet. I am not advocating the Paleo diet, as I am currently reading information on both the Paleo diet and reading the book the China Study. I have also lost weight from eating health on a Paleo style diet in the past and my brother did the same with a Vegan diet. Both of us gained our weight back because of temptations like beer, buffalo wings, pizza (lots of pizza) and more. You cannot say that Veganism is better but if it works for you continue. If you can’t stay on the wagon try and focus more on getting away from processed foods and other unhealthy choices. Maybe focus more on baby steps than going all in.

  16. Ragdoll, here’s a thought. Maybe, just maybe…you know since some of you LOVE to tack that word, “hereitary” on to just about everything and anything…perhaps the group of people you are referring to that ate a high protein diet but had no diseases or cardiovascular issues, are a lucky bunch of people whose “heredity” plays a part! In other words, if it works for Derk…great! Why say it’s biased…it’s not. His “OPINION” is based on factual evidence. He lost a lot of weight, his dad lost a lot of weight, they both were able to get rid of the dangerous drugs that docs like to push. I think you are all just pissed off because you know it’s the truth and like those who choose to be an atheist so they don’t have to face the eternal consequences (or they at least believe that), you’d much rather eat and drink yourselves into a boiling, festering, artery clogging cesspool. Well, by all means! Go eat your meat…go fill your arteries with cholesterol…that way once you’ve perished from all those nasty diseases…the rest of us can commence to getting on with our lives and rescuing all of those poor animals you love to consume.

  17. This is cherry picking stats at its worst. How an unqualified so-called stat junkie can get her hands on raw data and decipher it (have never heard of that ever!) is pure fiction. And the fact you are using it as a defence here shows you have little else in your arsenal.

  18. The fact that people believe that a low carb, high protein, high fat diet is healthy is just ridiculous. No research that has been undertaken on the long term health effects of the paleo diet.Whereas there is plenty of highly credible in depth research that has been conducted on the long term health effects of a whole food plant based diet (reversing heart disease, diabetes, obesity etc etc).
    All the research shows that high protein, high fat diets will lead to heart disease and overall bad health. The paleo diet is another fad and people are cashing in. Wake up people!!!

    • Oh stop your arrogant vegan promo… A lot of people, including Chris if I’m not mistaken, have gone the vegan/vegetarian route at one time or another believing it was the best way to eat for health and guess what? It simply wasn’t the case.

      I personally followed Dr.Dean Ornish’s recommendations in the early 90s for almost a year and never felt worse, or looked as bad in my entire life (I know… I must have been doing it wrong LOL)

      You wake up darlin’!!! Not everyone thrives on the same fare.

      • Yes, your arteries are different than any other human and sugar, saturated fat plus animal protein make you not only feel good but healthy. Good luck with that and I still think Ornish has it right!
        When the Paleo diet fans can prove that one person has reversed heart disease on that diet I will eat my hat.

        • Going vegan doesn’t cure anything idiot. Many cultures use organs to cure disease….including cancer. You see a movie then read a book and get fucking brainwashed to point where you change your life overnight? What stupid fucking people…..preaching shit over a biased and dogmatic movie and a book full of cherry picked information that has been debunked so many times. Two things you’re too stupid to understand.
          #1 no civilization in history has sustained itself on a vegan diet.
          #2 diet doesn’t cure shit….your body does

          • But why are you such an asshole about it while calling out vegans about “preaching shit” ….. whilst preaching shit yourself?? Do you need a hug??

            By the way, talk to an Forensic Archaeologist about what humans USED to eat. No comparison to the foods there are now. So please, educate yourself.

            Education is key.

    • It would be nice to have more research but the fact is that there are long-living populations that can better provide evidence of the benefits of a whole plant-based diet than studies on rats…
      And no long-lived population that we know about was vegan but at least 80% of the calories are whole plant-based.

      • But Richard, we were never 7 billion people, and even a small usage of animal products for our population is unsustainable. We have never been this large as a species on this planet, and if there ever really was a time when including meat was a good thing, we have gone way past that point now.

    • Why would anyone mimic the lifestyle of people who grunted to communicate, knew nothing about health, and didn’t live past 35? Whole foods, plant-based is the healthiest, the kindest to all life, and the most responsible for the planet.

    • Please research paleo. It is not Atkins. I lost quite a bit of weight and improved my labs. I eat approximately 65-75% of my calories from plant, nut, or seed based foods. I eat approximately 1-2 servings of animal protein a day. This is usually free range or 100% grass fed. Often it is from eggs from my chickens that I keep. My chickens are very healthy, happy, free range birds who will come when I call. I do little dairy, as I find the cons outweigh the pros, nutritionally, so dairy is typically reserved for things like yogurt or cheese on occasion with infrequent use of milk for a treat.

      I have worked on farms. Meat is not always full of cruelty and horror, as you imply. The animals I have been exposed to have either been wild or humanely raised and quickly killed for butchering with minimal to zero trauma to the animal. Many people find the idea of this objectionable, and I understand. However, if you have ever seen what diseases from over-population will do, it might change your thinking. This is particularly true in the case of wild herd animals like deer. If local food and water sources cannot sustain a population, the animals will begin to starve or suffer from things like blue tongue disease. We have interfered with carnivorous predator populations in many areas, understandably, as they do not differentiate between wild animals and pets or children. It is, therefore, both humane and responsible for men to control the population for the sake of the species. Unpleasant, yes, but still the right thing to do.

      I do not do well without meat sources of protein, myself. I tend to have reduced energy and lean towards anemia. I cannot do gluten, so many grains are problematic for me. I have found Paleo to answer quite well for my health and nutritional needs. Vegan does not work for everyone, though I find both of these whole foods approaches to be light years away from the SAD that is causing so many health problems.

      As a nurse who deals primarily with older adults, it is shocking to see the detrimental effects of the low fat, sugar free generation and the damage caused from the preserved, processed food we consume. I think it would benefit our population at large if we could find some common ground and promote a healthier attitude towards whole foods, moderation, and thoughtfulness when It comes to our diets, as opposed to drawing battle lines over whether or not to eat animal based foods.

      • Killing an animal in any way, shape or form, is cruel, no matter how nice you have treated them along the way. If you don’t think they feel pain like you and I, your are delusional. If you believe eating a high fat animal diet or even plant based diet is healthy, you are simply uninformed.

  19. Chris’s, do you seriously want us to dismiss Campbell’s research based on the comments of a 23 year old with no scientific experience, nor any related credentials what so ever??? Read Campbell’s response. However, everyone should how they want. Americans do. And see for yourself how healthy this nation looks…

    • This blog holds no weight. The China Study is not the work of one person. It’s a collective effort which consists of many PHD’s in the field of nutrition just to name a few.

      I think critics want to bite because the information The China Study offers, will pull you away from the processed food we eat, and the money the government & big corporations stand to make with the misleading marketing that brain washes America.

      Dr. Campbell is asking of nothing in return. He’s just keeping people informed, and he isn’t the only one.

      Processed Foods, Meat & Dairy are bad for the body. Just because we’ve done things a certain way for hundreds of years, even thousands, doesn’t mean it’s right.

      Reading this blog makes me recall on a comment a US soldier made. He said, people don’t know what it takes to defend our freedom. If you live in the states, & you think you’re free, you’ve been duped.

      Just because we live in better conditions than the majority of the world, doesn’t mean what’s occurring in the states right now is right.

      Money & government, in theory, is supposed to work. Why isn’t it? Greed. We have enough land to harvest plant based foods for 10 billion people, from what I read, and there are only about 7 billion people on this planet.

      Farms cause a great deal of pollution. Not to mention how they’re slaughtered daily.

      When ever knowledge is provided that can truly reshape the way we behave, and the government/corporations are threatened, they attack you with lies.

      Okay. I’m done lol Have a great day.

      • The Cancer Research Institute did more studies and compared those with varied diets. They came to the opposite conclusion, and weren’t linked to vegan extremist groups or PETA.

        • I have no idea what your comment is trying to say because standing alone it is nonsense.

          Can you make complete sentences so that someone might follow your train of thought?

          Which diets did they study and what was their conclusion????

        • From the American Institute for Cancer Research: “Plant-based studies link to lower risk of cancer but research has not shown that plant-only diets – vegetarian diets – lower cancer risk. But the latest study on the topic suggests that among a population known for having a healthy diet, eating a vegetarian diet may reduce overall cancer risk modestly compared to meat-eaters. The study was published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.”
          http://www.aicr.org/cancer-research-update/2013/february_20_2013/cru_vegetarian_cancer.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/
          Here’s the study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23169929 published by Cancer Epidemiological Biomarkers Prevention, a scientific, peer-reviewed journal.

          • Keep in mind they are comparing it to “conventional” meat products, which is not what Paleo or other whole foods type diets support. These meats are laden with toxins. Also, don’t forget that even vegetarian diets ought to be organic and non-GMO to be healthy. Again, “conventional” veggies, fruits, and grains are soaked in herbicides and pesticides, many of which our bodies cannot easily remove. And on that note, don’t think for one second that Monsanto hasn’t had something to do with any results anywhere in the USA.

      • You should know that arguments from authority don’t make the claims correct. If the study is correct, and isn’t flawed, then you get to say it’s true.

      • Why do you quote the government along with corporations. The government doesn’t make money off of the way we eat. M.

        • Actually, they do. Don’t think for a second that big pharma, the farmers, the ranchers, and the dairies don’t pony up big bucks for the lobbies in Washington DC.

      • Please do some research on fructose malabsorption and hereditary fructose malabsorption. Vegan is no option for us with this intolerance. I’m thankful that I’m able to eat animal products.

        • I do not have any problems avoiding animal products so if you have something to say why not say it instead of suggesting I do research on your problems?

        • “Concern exists that increasing fructose consumption, particularly in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, is resulting in increasing rates of fructose intolerance and aggravation of clinical symptoms in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome. Most clinical trials designed to test this hypothesis have used pure fructose, a form not commonly found in the food supply, often in quantities and concentrations that exceed typical fructose intake levels. In addition, the amount of fructose provided in tests for malabsorption, which is thought to be a key cause of intolerance, often exceeds the normal physiological absorption capacity for this sugar. “http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3471321/
          The problem is with high-fructose corn syrup

        • i have a FODMAPs intolerance and autoimmune disease so being vegan as much as i would love to be is out of the question. WHICH most vegans don’t understand