China Study Notes: Introduction

The following are some key ideas from the Introduction of The China Study:

  • We are surrounded by a toxic food environment that even bombards children with junk food marketing.
  • People are told such a range of dietary recommendations; much of it in the form of fad diets and junk science.
  • Yet two-thirds of Americans are overweight and suffering from a host of chronic, diet-related diseases such as heart disease, autoimmune diseases, type 2diabetes, and a range of cancers.
  • Diet can be the most profound way to prevent, treat, and even reverse many of these diseases; in particular, through a whole foods, plant-based diet.
  • Cancer cells can literally be turned on and off depending on the food we consume; animal proteins promote cancer cell growth while whole, plant-based foods tend to stop cancer growth.

  • As Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, Dr. T. Colin Campbell has a long, impressive career in biochemistry that spans six decades. In addition to advising the US government and the American Institute for Cancer Research, he has published over 300 papers that examine the link between nutrition and long-term health. In the early 1980s, he was a lead scientist in the China-Cornell-Oxford study, from which The China Study takes its name.
  • The China-Cornell-Oxford study is considered the most comprehensive study linking diet, lifestyle, and disease. It gathered blood, urine and food samples and administered detail surveys to 6,5000 people in 65 counties across China. It found over 8,000 statistically significant correlations between diet and health.
  • The background of The China Study is the 1981 study by the Chinese Academy of Medical Science that compiled an Atlas of Cancer Mortality in China, showing that the incidence of cancer differed greatly across the country; whereas in the US, the regional variation was up to two fold, in China it was up to a few hundred fold.
  • Data from the China-Cornell-Oxford study confirmed Dr. Campbell’s previous research and the findings of many other studies that diets high in animal protein promote cancer growth and heart disease.
  • The key message of The China Study is that a whole foods, plant-based diet is one of the most powerful ways to increase longevity and prevent chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease. The chapters of the book systematically shows how the consumption of animal-source foods contributes to these various diseases and ailments, and how whole, plant-based foods protect against them.
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