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The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health Paperback – May 11, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 3,386 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 419 pages
  • Publisher: BenBella Books; 1 edition (May 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932100660
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932100662
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,386 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By R. Pinkerton on December 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: 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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first became acquainted with this book by watching a segment this spring (2011) on the Dr. Oz show. I rented the book from the library and read it thoroughly (renewed it a maximum number for times and then decided I needed to own it). My husband and I decided to change our diet and try a vegan life style. We are in our 60's and want to maintain healthy weights (we've lost 35 and 20+ lbs)over the past four months and plan to enter our older years with few health problems. It was amazing to read about all the health situations which can be prevented by eating correctly--even how cancer cells can be turned on and off.

This book provided an excellent understanding of how important it is to eat correctly and the results we will see. My biggest disappointment is that when we share our reasons for our new eating plan with friends and family they aren't more interested in exploring this book and learning about how they can become healthier. Our feeling was, after reading this book, that we couldn't afford to not do this. I think people basically don't want to make changes, even if they will be healthier.
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By Doxie on December 25, 2005
Format: 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....
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