The China Study

by Colin Campbell | Benbella Books © 2006 · 417 pages

Curious what the largest epidemiological study ever conducted has to say about the connection between diet and disease? Then The China Study is pretty much required reading. Over 8,000 (!) statistically significant correlations were discovered in the study and in this Note, we’ll explore some of their implications—from diseases of affluence vs. diseases of poverty to the #1 dietary factor in turning cancer on or off (hint: it’s animal protein). Powerful.

He who does not know food, how can he understand the diseases of man?
Hippocrates, the father of medicine (460-357 B.C.)

“I went on to direct the most comprehensive study of diet, lifestyle and disease ever done with humans in the history of biomedical research. It was a massive undertaking jointly arranged through Cornell University, Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine. The New York Times called it the “Grand Prix of Epidemiology.” This project surveyed a vast range of diseases and diet and lifestyle factors in rural China, and more recently, in Taiwan. More commonly known as the China Study, this project eventually produced more than 8,000 statistically significant associations between various dietary factors and disease!

What made this project especially remarkable is that, among the many associations relevant to diet and disease, so many pointed to the same finding: people who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease. Even relatively small intakes of animal-based food were associated with adverse effects. People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored. From the initial experimental animal studies on animal protein effects to this massive human study on dietary patterns, the findings proved to be consistent. The health implications of consuming either animal or plant-based nutrients were remarkably different.”

~ T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell from The China Study

The China Study.

It’s easily the largest epidemiological study *ever* conducted. Imagine 650,000 workers cataloguing the death rates for 880 million (!!!) Chinese citizens—96% of China’s population.

That’s beyond huge. And this book thoroughly outlines the significant findings from that study.

It’s PACKED with goodness. My book is highlighted with “WOW!”s everywhere. If you take your health seriously and value science over seductive get-skinny-quick schemes, I highly recommend you check it out.

In this Note, we’ll barely scratch the surface of all the wisdom from the book, but I’m excited to share some of my favorite Big Ideas. I hope to inspire you to take some positive steps that we *scientifically know* can add life to your years and years to your life—and to your loved ones.

So, let’s jump in!

P.S. If you only get one thing out of this Note, know this: “people who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease… People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease.”

In short, if you want to suffer from less chronic disease, eat less animal-based foods and more whole, plant-based foods. If, on the other hand, you like to watch your loved ones suffer, keep enjoying your bacon, chicken, burgers, milk, cheese and pizzas and stay away from the produce section! ;)

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About the author


Colin Campbell

American biochemist who specializes in the effect of nutrition on long-term health.