By Libby Znaimer
It was an obscure book written by a father-son research team about the benefits of a plant-based diet. But The China Study, became a runaway bestseller. It’s based on a series of studies conducted in rural China and Taiwan through a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine. The findings show that high consumption of animal-based foods is associated with more chronic disease, while those who ate primarily a plant-based diet were the healthiest.
To everyone’s surprise the book has sold 500,000 copies, with the likes of President Bill Clinton talking about it. He lost 24 pounds by converting to a plant-based diet in hopes of improving his heart health. He gave up dairy, switching to almond milk, and says he lives primarily on beans and other legumes, vegetables and fruit, although he will, on rare occasions, eat fish.
Co-author T. Colin Campbell, believes North America’s health woes can be solved by plant-based eating. He doesn’t like to use the words “vegan” or “vegetarian” because they have ideological connotations. But those are the diets he advocates.