- 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
- Average Customer Review: 3,847 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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
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The New York Times
Reflects the profound changes that industrialization is bringing to diet and disease patterns in China, statistics that have had an impact on reevaluating dietary policy in the United States and worldwide.”
Everyone in the field of nutrition science stands on the shoulders of Dr. Campbell, who is one of the giants in the field. This is one of the most important books about nutrition ever writtenreading it may save your life.”
Dean Ornish, MD, Founder & President, Preventative Medicine Research Institute; Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco; Author, Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease and Love & Survival
Colin Campbell’s The China Study is an important book, and a highly readable one. With his son, Tom, Colin studies the relationship between diet and disease, and his conclusions are startling. The China Study is a story that needs to be heard.”
Robert C. Richardson, PhD, Nobel Prize Winner; Professor of Physics and Vice Provost of Research, Cornell University
The China Study gives critical, life-saving nutritional information Dr. Campbell’s exposé of the research and medical establishment makes this book a fascinating read and one that could change the future for all of us.”
Joel Fuhrman, MD, Author, Eat to Live
The China Study is a life changer . . . After reading it I felt compelled to recommend this book to as many people as possible.”
Bob Napoli, Senior Vice President, Operations, Hudson Group
About the Author
A 1999 graduate of Cornell University and recipient of a medical degree in 2010, Thomas M. Campbell II, MD, is a writer, actor and five-time marathon runner.
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Unfortunately, his advice that we should go vegan is not backed by his own study.
After reading this book, I went to find the actual study (the monograph "Diet, Life-style and Mortality in China") and there were many holes in his hypothesis. There was no correlation between animal protein and disease! I also found conflicting evidence in science journals. He ignored contrary results and left out data that did not support his view.
What I find disturbing is, this book is for the general public and will affect the dietary choices of many people. Most people don't have the time to research these facts for themselves so he takes advantage of that (but if you do, PLEASE go check the information for yourselves before making a decision on removing meat entirely for health reasons). Critical thinking is important.
Anyway, here are the problems with the information in this book:
- This study was an observational study. Problems with studies like these, it doesn't prove causality. Even with that, the results showed no correlation. In fact, it revealed that wheat had a stronger correlation than animal protein intake - which of couse, he left out of the book.
- Casein in milk, he demonstrated, causes cancer. But he also left out feeding SUGAR along with the protein. Sugar has been shown to promote tumor growth. He also didn't mention that casein is not consumed isolated in nature (human breast milk has casein too, should we ban that too?)
- He cited an Indian study that showed rats taking 20% casein with the toxin aflatoxin will develop cancer whereas rats taking 5% casein did not. He just forgot to mention that the rats on the low casein diet died after 6 months. While the 20% casein rats lived for 2 years.
- Protein from plants can also be "complete proteins" if you eat a wide variety of plant foods, based on Campbell's conclusions that complete protein like animal proteins can cause cancer, that must apply to plant proteins as well.
- He says "..there is a mountain of scientific evidence to show that the healthiest diet you can possibly consume is a high-carbohydrate diet". Actually, clinical studies show the opposite - that high carb diets (particularly refined carbs) are bad for diabetics, those who are obese, those with metabolic syndrome and some even show that it's bad for people with heart disease.
- He links total cholesterol with cancer mortality rates. Researchers still have trouble proving high cholesterol is associated with heart disease let alone cancer! (high triglycerides, with high VLDL and low HDL are better indicators than cholesterol. In fact, 50% of people who develop heart disease have mid to LOW cholesterol levels).
- He says overall, the more meat the Chinese consume, the higher the cancer rates. But unfortunately, he left out the county of Tuoli (as demonstrated by Denise Minger) a county with high consumption of meat AND dairy enjoyed ironically low incidences of cancer. The Masai, the Eskimos and even the French with their diets of high fat or dairy and animal protein have good health (low rates of heart disease, low cancer rates, low obesity).
- He believes that the lower rates of cancer among the Chinese compared to Americans must be due to their diet of low animal protein. It is well known that calorie restriction in animals and even in humans can improve health and longevity. This was shown during the world wars when food was rationed, rates of cancer and other diesases fell! The China study was done in the mid 1970's to 1980s - the tailend of the mass starvation of the Chinese before the Mao government loosened its grip on capitalism in the late 80s. For decades prior to the China Study, many counties had little food to eat. Ask any Chinese baby boomer from China and they can tell you how poor they were as children. I've heard stories of people eating roots and bark from trees out of desperation. Meat was highly valued and hard to come by. So the whole notion that the Chinese CHOSE to be vegans is insulting.
- Campbell makes it out as though we should all eat like the Chinese, for disease-free long life. Go find the statistics for longevity of the Chinese and you'll find the average life expectancy of the Chinese is lower than Americans. Yes, you heard right. You can check this yourself online. In fact, the countries with the highest life expectancy are the ones who consume the highest intake of fat and meat. It is a myth that the Japanese centenarians in Okinawa eat a low fat diet. They eat plenty of fish and seafood and their dishes are greasy.
There are more inconsistencies with the information. But you get the point. Before anyone accuses me of being a Campbell basher, think about this: he is SELLING a book, he has his reputation to defend, I don't sell anything, I'm not associated with the meat industry (I dislike them in fact), I bought this book (verified by Amazon) and giving an honest review without vegan-rose-colored-glasses on. I read it with an open mind and came out disappointed and mildly disgusted. Why? Because his suggestions may cause harm to his readers.
I'm not suggesting we go and eat as much factory farmed meat as we want. But free range, organic grass fed meat is healthy - high in omega3, low in omega6, low e.coli count, higher vitamin A and vitamin D in organs.
My review is not an attack on Dr Campbell as a person. I have not made any personal remarks about him. Nor am I attacking veganism or vegetarianism. I think they're morally valid ways to eat that work for some people. What I am attacking is the information, the content and what adverse affects it could have on people's health.
If you're hell bent on giving veganism a go, please take out sugar, refined wheat and Western tofu products from your diet.
I highly recommend this book - read it, check the facts and judge it for yourself.
Vegetarianism is an invention of the past 10,000 years. Previously, Paleolithic people (from the pre-agricultural era) only RESORTED to Vegetarianism because a hunt was unsuccessful. Human consumption of grass-fed beef (ideally bison), wild-caught fish and free-range chicken, for example, is the basis for a healthy diet -- in addition to cruciferous vegetables and healthy fats. Ancestral people ate copious amounts of naturally raised/wild animal products (as confirmed by objective studies, not speculation) for the 1.5-2 million years that modern humans (in their present form) roamed the earth preceding agriculture.
(Consider that many Paleolithic people in the world could not have survived primarily on a plant-based diet, by and large, because there were not always sufficient amounts of edible plants available prior to farmed plants throughout every season. Have you ever tried foraging for plant foods in a harsh winter climate? Or surviving entirely on coconuts? If you consistently expend more calories than you harvest in a food search you will DIE. This is why nutrient-dense animal protein was so necessary and beneficial to primitive people. Again, genetically we are the same primitive people, only with modern clothes and iPhones.)
Dr. Loren Cordain (one of the fathers of the Paleolithic eating movement) has systematically destroyed the viability of Dr. Campbell's China "Study" with a few elegant comments in the course of a debate they held (easily Googled). The "study" is an undisciplined mess with skewed conclusions based on a predetermined agenda -- much like the Ancel Keys work in that respect.
The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolff will save more lives than any unnatural, subsistence diet based on non-animal foods -- especially grains, legumes, dairy (these are also new foods invented in the last 10,000 years). Please explore Paleo eating, folks. And believe only your bloodwork, your body-fat calculations, and generally how you look, feel and perform. These are objective facts no one can take away from you. Paleo knowledge is like a shield of objective results against romantic propaganda from basically well-intentioned but unscientific advocates of vegetarianism. So many people have finally discovered health and relief from auto-immune disease and other ailments caused by vegetarian malnutrition through Paleo.
Eat based on your evolution, not based on some diet people have only been following for just a few years, in the big picture of human development. Thanks for reading.
[By the way, as I note in the comments below, if you want to hear a basic explanation of the obvious problems with the China Study methodology (e.g., Cambpell's spectacular FAIL in purporting to show that isolated cow casein in rats can be extrapolated to be equivalent to all varieties of protein in all humans; Campbell's rudimentary omission of a wide variety of damaging circumstances affecting the Chinese population studied; Campbell's insufficient emphasis on the issue of the quality of the protein being ingested by that population; Campbell's utter lack of any testable hypothesis) -- Google "robb wolf" "episode 6"]