Book: The China Study

by T. Colin Campbell

This book is based on The China-Cornell-Oxford Project which was a long-term, observational study on the diets, lifestyle and disease characteristics of 6,500 people in 65 rural Chinese counties. It was jointly funded by the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Cornell University and the University of Oxford and the primary objective was to explore the relationship between nutrition and cancer, heart and metabolic diseases. The project consisted of three studies. The first two were led by Dr. T. Colin Campbell who was a professor of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell. The ultimate conclusion of the project was that  animal-based foods were linked to higher instances of chronic diseases. The opposite was true with plant-based foods.

Campbell summarizes the results of the study in this book then goes on to how scientific research corroborates these results. He dedicates a chapter to each of the major “Diseases Of Affluence” and explains what we know and what we don’t know about each. What he has learned from this research is that many of the missing pieces to the puzzle lie in a common solution. Food. Primarily, food derived from animals.

There are many reasons why science still hasn’t answered many of these important questions: Research is misguided and too focused on individual nutrients without looking at the big picture. Science and government policies concerning nutrition are also heavily influenced by the food and drug industries. Stacked advisory committees, monetary influence, smear campaigns and even spies are used to make sure that their sales remain secure at all cost.

Outside of the science world, the food and drug industries are also making sure that their fortunes are safe. Campbell writes about how the meat, dairy and drug corporations have subtly gained an enormous amount of influence on our daily lives.

Keep in mind that T. Colin Campbell grew up on a dairy farm and initially wanted to research how to make cows and sheep grow faster to increase production. He took a position at Virginia Tech where he coordinated technical assistance for a project in the Philippines working with malnourished children. Part of the program investigated the unusually high liver cancer rate among Filipino children. When he began to notice the effects of an animal-based diet, he changed the focus of his research. This book was published in 2005 which was roughly four decades after that turning point. During that time, Campbell had become one of the world’s leading experts on the topics of nutrition and disease and continues to be heavily involved to this day.

This information coming from someone with the background of T. Colin Campbell makes The China Study an extremely eye-opening book.