November 2, 2010

Meat-y Diets Linked to National and Global Health Concerns

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Today, America is in the midst of a health crisis: the leading cause of death is heart disease, two-thirds of the nation’s adults are obese and increasing proportions of children are being diagnosed with Type II diabetes. These health problems threaten a new generation of Americans, and as a consumer-mentality pushes Americans toward prescription drugs, retired Prof. T. Colin Campbell, nutritional science, advocates that the healing process must begin with a fork and knife at dinner tables.

Campbell is the author of The China Study, a 2005 book that describes the correlation between consumption of meat products and illnesses, particularly heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It has been called “the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted” because it describes the relationship between mortality rates and dietary, lifestyle, and environmental factors in rural China. The book recommends minimizing the consumption of animal products to reduce the occurrence of chronic conditions.

On Oct. 29 Campbell lectured about his work in nutrition, “a biological symphony that involves infinitely complex mechanisms orchestrated together to produce comprehensive health.”

“Unfortunately,” he said, “America regards nutrition as a third- or second- rate science. Here it is poorly understood by the public, not taught to doctors in medical school and underfunded and underexplored as a result of [a] national policy corrupted by the food and drug industries.”

Campbell said that his research in China can provide the necessary steps for solving America’s nutritional plights. He explained the differences between “poverty diseases” – pneumonia, intestinal obstruction, peptic ulcers, rheumatic heart disease and diseases of pregnancy development – and “affluent diseases” – colon cancer, lung cancer, diabetes, coronary disease, stomach cancer and liver cancer.

A “western diet” leads to the development of affluent diseases. The major component of the western diet is animal protein.

Campbell stumbled upon this conclusion early during his career in the Philippines while investigating the unusual development of liver cancer in young children. Normally, liver cancer occurs in middle-aged to older people, and it occurs only rarely in children.

He discovered that these children were experiencing third-degree malnutrition, and were not getting enough calories or high quality protein.  The majority of their protein came solely from animal sources. After further research, Campbell came to the conclusion that there was a link between the development of certain types of cancer and the consumption of animal protein.

The prevalence of Western diseases, like various cancers, in China’s rural counties was the direct result of their adherence to the “Western diet.”

From these and many other experiences, Campbell developed eight main principles of food and health that define his central dogma of nutrition. His nutritional advice is this: stick to a plant-based diet of beans, legumes vegetables and fruits, and abstain from animal products, including meat and dairy.

Though this design may seem radical, the results show significant results.  Of the people who have followed this diet regime since 1986, 82 percent have demonstrated great success in breaking up arteriole blockage and clearing their hearts up from calcium.

Campbell’s work has received national acclaim, including recognition from former President Bill Clinton.

“Food needs to be our medicine, and the future as far as nutrition is concerned will be a plant-based diet … the field of plant science, joined with what we now know, can work together to benefit human nutrition,” Campbell said.

Original Author: Nicholas St. Fleur