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Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition Hardcover – May 7, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 547 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Campbell's follow-up to his best-selling The China Study is more of the same, in the best way. He continues his quest to convince people that "the ideal human diet looks like this: Consumer plant-based foods in forms as close to their natural state as possible...eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and whole grains." The entirety of the book is a passionate and convincing case for that ideal diet. Campbell has not written a book of diet tips, or even provided recipes. In fact, at times the book delves so deeply into scientific process— for example, explaining how cancer develops or how metabolism works—that many may find themselves having to read slowly to understand his point. Yet he makes the case that Americans are too prone to take pills to solve health issues (and doctors too prone to prescribe them) as a result of "reductionist thinking". His years of scientific study and calm, measured tone are highly convincing, making a firm case that changing one's diet is the best way to assure good health. Readers will be inclined to put down their processed food snacks once they read what could be a life-changer of a book. (May)


“After reading The China Study and drastically changing my diet toward the more whole food, plant-based diet recommended by Dr. Campbell, my career numbers shot up when they were supposed to be declining. I thought to myself ‘Why doesn't everyone eat this way?!’ This new book, Whole, answers that question with great clarity. Never again be confused about diet and nutrition.”
Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons, 16-year National Football League player, record-setting tight end

“America’s premier nutritionist, T. Colin Campbell, with courage and conviction, articulates how the self-serving reductionist paradigm permeates science, medicine, media, big pharma and philanthropic groups blocking the public from the nutritional truth for optimal health.”
Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., MD, author of the bestselling Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease

“T. Colin Campbell, based on his long career in experimental research and health policy-making, uncovers how and why there is so much confusion about food and health and what can be done about it. His explanation is elegant, sincere, provocative, and far-reaching, including how we can solve our health-care crisis. Read and enjoy; there’s something here to inspire and offend just about everyone (sometimes the truth hurts).”
Dean Ornish, MD, Founder and President of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California; Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco; and author of the bestselling Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease

Whole makes a convincing case that modern nutrition's focus on single nutrients has led to mass confusion with tragic health consequences. Dr. Campbell’s new paradigm will change the way we think about food and, in doing so, could improve the lives of millions of people and save billions of dollars in health care costs.”
Brian Wendel, Creator and Executive Producer of Forks Over Knives

“There are very few material game-changers in life, but this book is truly one of them. The information herein—backed up by extraordinary peer-reviewed science—has the power to halt and reverse disease, give you energy you’ve never known, and put you on a path of transformation in just about every positive way. Read it and get ready to soar.”
Kathy Freston, New York Times bestselling author of The Lean and Quantum Wellness

“Dr. Colin Campbell opened our eyes with The China Study. In Whole, Dr. Campbell boldly shows exactly how our understanding of nutrition and health has gone off track and how to get it right. Beautifully and clearly written, this empowering book will forever change the way you think about health, food and science.”
Neal Barnard, Founder and President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

“This book is the key to understanding how to increase our natural longevity and health, it is key to slowing global warming, and all of this at no cost, rather, at immeasurable savings to society.”
Mike Fremont, World Record Holder marathons for 88 and 90 year olds

“In Whole, Dr. Campbell defines a super-paradigm that elucidates a philosophy—wholism—which medicine needs to aspire to in order to attain an enlightened solution. Whole is a masterpiece of intellectual triangulation, outlining the past, the present, and the critical next steps in the future of biochemistry, human nutrition, and healthcare. This book is going to unleash a health revolution!”
Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition and host of What Would Julieanna Do?

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: BenBella Books; 1 edition (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937856240
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937856243
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (547 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audible Audio Edition
The gist of T. Colin Campbell's new book, Whole, is this. After publishing his radical landmark The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health in 2005, let's suppose what he reported there is true. Eight years later, why hasn't that information and perspective broken through to more widespread awareness? Why hasn't your doctor or dietitian told you about it, or heard of it, or given it serious consideration? Why haven't school lunches changed across the board? Whole gives answers.

Three p-words permeate Campbell's thesis here: profits, power, and paradigms. Power and profits drive the big businesses of livestock and processed food, Campbell argues. For elaboration on how the processed food industry influences people's eating habits against public health while in pursuit of sales and profits, I recommend Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us (2013) or The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite (2009). More controversially perhaps, Campbell also argues that profit motives fuel the chase for pills, patents, and procedures in "health care" or as Campbell calls it, the "disease care" industries of pharmaceuticals, hospitals, and medical practitioners.
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Format: Hardcover
"History is a race between education and catastrophe" -HG Wells, quoted in Whole.

As T. Colin Campbell writes, Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition is built on two basic insights: "First, nutrition is the master key to human health. Second, what most of us think of as proper nutrition--isn't." While for many (though, alas, still the minority) this isn't news, showing why this is the case with a carefully crafted, well-researched thoroughness is what makes this a signature T. Colin Campbell book. As anyone who has read The China Study knows, this MIT-trained, 50-plus year veteran of nutritional research and politics packs a crisp and well-trained punch. His power comes from his clarity of expression and the thoroughness of his research. Campbell builds his thesis with tight reasoning, backed by solid research that considers the big picture. That's why, even if you feel like you don't need convincing, it's great to have the data and clear rationale beyond what may feel intuitive to you; that is, that a whole foods, plant-based diet is the healthiest diet there is and our current nutritional-medical complex is harming millions and millions by disguising that nutritional fact (did you know that pharmaceutical companies spend considerably more on political lobbying than defense contractors?).

If you've read The China Study, Campbell's important bestseller, you'll be familiar with themes in Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition. But the focus is different. As Campbell writes, "The China Study focused on the evidence that tells us the whole foods, plant-based diet is the healthiest human diet. Whole focuses on why it's been so hard to bring that evidence to light -- and on what still needs to happen for real change to take place.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved the China Study. Now this just adds to it, explaining the reductionist thinking that passes for research nowadays. I have been plant-based for many years. unfortunately, it has been tough to convert my family to this way of eating.
I feel so healthy and good on this diet. At my age, (59) my mother started on high blood pressure medication. When I gave blood recently, mine was 108/80.
It is a tough sell for the people I know. This book highlights how hard it is to change age-old thinking. (Especially when there's money involved). The only person in my family who read the China Study, my daughter, eats healthily like I do. The rest of them won't read it. (Heads in the sand?)
Thank you, Dr. Campbell, for another great book.
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Format: Paperback
T. Colon Campbell, in his book WHOLE, provides information, based on his extensive nutrition research, what to eat to be in good health. He believes that a diet of whole; plant- based foods (WFPB), rather than animal-based diet, will keep us healthy; longevity is in our hands. Campbell avers: "Not financial incentive, but I owe it to you (the reader of this book) to share the results of my research."

I am not a scientist. In fact, I haven't even graduated from Elementary School. Based on my empirical life, I believe that eating whole plant-based foods is essential and even critical to stay healthy. Under the Nazi occupation of Poland in 1939, at the age of 13, I was forbidden to attend school. I was put behind barbed wire in forced labor and concentration camps, where I was beaten, wounded, and starved, for three years. I never received any medical treatment. The German doctors, instead of treating the ill captives, ill-treated them. Some physical and mental scars stay for the rest of my life. In May 1945, when the Russian Army liberated me I weighed 80 pounds, a skeleton. The Russian military doctors gave me a thorough examination and predicted my life expectancy to be no more than two years. I was a teenager then. Seventy years later, I am here at the age of eighty-nine.

For many years after the war, I was a sickly young man. The most troubling ailment, for many years, was my inability to digest common staples of food such as meat and dairy products. My stomach rejected and ejected the meals that I prepared or was served. Many Holocaust survivors died soon after the war when it became difficult, and even harmful, for their digestive system to assimilate the normal food their bodies were weaned off during the war.
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