The China Study Shows Why We Should Eat Plants

by Rob Tiller

Anyone who is interested in health and nutrition should read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell. The Campbells bring good news and bad news.  The good news is that by changing our diet, we can dramatically improve our risk profile for the deadliest diseases in the developed world.  The bad news is that if we continue eating a normal American diet, we will continue to increase our risk of cancer, heart disease, obesity, and other killers.

The basic message of The China Study is simple:  a plant-based diet is much healthier than an animal-based diet.  The book backs up this claim with abundant scientific research.  The China study of the title was a huge epidemiological study of diet and health, but a number of other studies cited.  What is striking is the coherence of the results over time and different populations.  There is massive support for the proposition that eating animals and their products as food is bad for us.

Admittedly, as a vegetarian I was particularly open to this message, but my reasons for adopting this diet were primarily ethical rather than nutritional.  If the Campbells are right about the science, and we want to take reasonably good care of our health, we need to find a way to quit eating animal-based food.