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The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-term Health
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The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-term Health

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  25,153 ratings  ·  2,678 reviews
More than thirty years ago, nutrition researcher T. Colin Campbell and his team at Cornell, in partnership with teams in China and England, embarked upon the China Study, the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease. What they found when combined with findings in Colin's laboratory, opened their eyes to th ...more
Paperback, 417 pages
Published May 11th 2006 by Benbella Books (first published September 2001)
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Iona Stewart I haven´t read this book, but fish is definitely unhealthy in this day and age, since it is so polluted, now with all the radiation from the Japanese …moreI haven´t read this book, but fish is definitely unhealthy in this day and age, since it is so polluted, now with all the radiation from the Japanese nuclear plant which has spread throughout the oceans of the world. Also big fish are severely polluted by mercury and more. And many fish and other sea animals have swallowed plastic. This threatens their lives and would not be nice to find on your dinner table!

All meds are dangerous, and statins are deadly. High cholesterol is not bad by itself, it simply indicates you have health problems, since cholesterol, which is necessary for us, rushes to the site of these problems to try to fix matters. Low cholesterol on the other hand is deadly. (less)

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May 14, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: critical thinkers since the book is unfortunately very biased :(
UGH! I totally loved this book as of page 150 or so! At the beginning you find out about this really interesting research that showed that feeding milk protein (casein) to rats encouraged them to develop cancerous growths after the rats had been exposed to a carcinogen called aflatoxin, and the cancer barely grew at all in rats that were fed low amounts (5% of calories) of casein. The cancer also barely grew at all in rats that were fed low to medium to high amounts of PLANT protein (wheat prote ...more
Aug 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
Whew, where to start with this one! I do feel compelled to explain why I see this book as a one star. it is frankly bad science. I think most people would read this book and seriously feel scared, he most likely wrote it with that purpose in mind. Many of my thoughts stem from years of math and statistics classes, years of working with statistics in environmental engineering, some come from the dozens of research studies that I’ve read over the years, some come simply from being a die-hard criti ...more
Aug 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
I haven’t read the whole thing yet. I have skipped around a bit and I probably won’t finish it. I am reading it because my sister in law read it and wanted my opinion. At first I had an open mind about what he had to say, but the further I got in to it the less I liked it. The first thing was the evangelical tone of the writing. You can almost hear Amazing Grace being sung in the background… I once was lost, but now am found… Then he completely disses anyone who believes that fiber can contribut ...more
Jul 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone concerned with preventing sickness
Wow! Time to start cutting down on animal protein! This is a well supported (with real scientific evidence) on the dangers of eating animal protein...from cancers, to arthritis to osteoporosis. It also provides good insight into how some in the scientific community, government and industry work together to keep valuable nutritional information from the public. The most interesting and surprising point for me was the dangers of milk and how increased milk consumption can actually cause osteoporos ...more
Flying Monkey
Sep 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
I really wish Campbell would have included the most compelling data from this study. But for some reason he left if out his book.

Below is a study co-authored by Colin Campbell and is derived from the Cornell China Study.

Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A 136 (2003) 127-140

Fish consumption, blood docosahexaenoic acid and chronic diseases
in Chinese rural populations
Yiqun Wanga, Michael A. Crawforda,*, Junshi Chenb, Junyao Lib, Kebreab Ghebremeskela,
T. Colin Campbell, Wenxun Fanb, Rob
Linus Thomas
Aug 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to be/stay/return to a healthy life
Wow. What an impressive book! This book looks at what ails us and what is truly the cause. Based on well over 750 studies done over a 35 year period by various researchers, doctors, etc. it highlights the true cause of many of our cancers, diabetes, aches and pains: animal protein. This isn't a "vegan rules; meat eaters drool" kind of book. This is empirical data that proves that our diet overall and animal proteins specifically are the root cause for most of the diseases/ailments of affluence. ...more
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who are genuinely interested in health and nutrition
To go from a dairy farmer who went to college to learn how to make animals produce more milk and meat, to a human nutrition expert promoting a whole foods, plant-based diet as the key to human health and disease prevention represents a remarkable shift in beliefs, career path, and personal behavior. This book tells the story of that shift - the story of Dr. Campbell's life and career as a scientist who was persuaded by what the growing body of nutrition research (including the groundbreaking epi ...more
Jan 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The most important book I've read in a long time. Changed the way I eat. Strongly recommended, if you're interested in the latest research on nutrition and health, disease, cancer, energy, and longevity.

I came to this with an eager and open mind, since it was highly recommended by someone I respect greatly, Art Eggertsen, founder of ProBar. I have long been seeking out the best approach to nutrition for two reasons: 1) maximize athletic performance. I am an avid cyclist, formerly a fanatical tr
Oct 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is based on years of research, both in the real world and in labs. It is basically about the remarkable relationship between the foods we eat and cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses. It is information that food companies, doctors, drug companies, etc. don't want you to know about.

On a related note, if you have not seen the documentary "Super Size Me" yet, I highly recommend you go rent it. The DVD also has bonus features. Go to the extra interviews and watch the interv
May 02, 2010 rated it did not like it
Before I go any further, you should know that his conclusions are very similar to the diet from my favorite Nutrition book, "Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy." Dr. Willett uses more reliable scientific data to advocate his diet, which is mostly whole plant foods, with healthy vegetable oils (like olive and canola oil) and a small amount of fish added. Like Dr. Campbell, Dr. Willet found that dairy products and meats - especially those high in saturated fat - should be avoided, as well as products with ...more
Jul 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who eats food
Wow. I This book should be required reading for anyone who...well... eats (especially the average American). I just finished listening to the audio version, and I'm ready to go back to track 1 and give it second go. I'll probably get the print version at some point, for reference, but I'm SO thankful an audio recording exists, because – to be honest – I'd probably just skim through the printed book and not really get the full impact of what Dr. Campbell has to say. The basic premise ...more
Sep 10, 2008 added it
see bottom for update
For openers, I'm biased because I already believe that for me to be a vegetarian is better for the animal, better for you, and better for me. So I find myself wanting to believe this book. I also found a possible conflict of interest: the author is on the advisory board of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a group that reportedly gets funding from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. And the book advocates a diet that avoids animal products.

Having sa
Lisa Vegan
Jun 29, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those ignorant about the health benefits of a plant based diet
I have to say that I was not in the mood to read this book. In fact, I’d decided I wasn’t interested in reading it at all. When it first was published I’d heard good things about it so I bought it, but then heard some negative things and put it aside. However, my real world book club decided to read it as our October selection so I read it, but I was not enthusiastic.

I was a bit irritable reading this as I felt as though I should be taking notes and memorizing material as I would while reading a
Jun 12, 2008 rated it liked it
An interesting read. Comparing how what we eat affects our health. Brad and I mostly skimmed it. I think the author makes alot of assumptions. He is trying to convince us to be vegans, but cannot prove that NO animal products is the better that 10% animal products. What it did was make us go back to the word of wisdom and compare. I hadn't realized how little meat we should eat..."Flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the be used sparingly; And it is pleasing unto me that they should ...more
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very interesting study. We all know at this point already that
Eating fresh and organic veggies and fruits, and unprocessed food,
Staying away from sugar and
Minimizing animal products
are the best you can do for your diet.
May 舞
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-ficition
Disclaimer: This high rating reflects my naive impressions back in 2016. I would probably give it 1-2 stars on a second reading.
Rachel's review

I have very mixed feelings about this one!
Is animal protrein the culprit behind the scenes? Does it cause cancer, heart disease, hypertention, diabetes and autoimmune diseases? It sounds like a very far fetched idea, but the correlations are overwhelming!!

The first part of the book is more about animal e
I just can't do it. I value my non-enraged time too much.

I got a few chapters in and decided that there wasn't any point in continuing. We start off with the usual Pollan-esque call to disregard looking at individual nutrients and just eat whole foods. Wait, scratch that, protein is bad! Oh sorry, I mean, animal protein is bad! Oh whoops, my mistake, I only did my experiments using casein and rats and from there extrapolated that all the animal protein ever will give you the super-cancer. It is
Sean Blake
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, science
The China Study is maybe one of the most important science books of the twenty-first century. Challenging the current scientific paradigm, biochemist T. Colin Campbell, through his decades of nutritional study, presents the reader with a plethora of information that can prevent and reverse the chronic diseases that plague the West. It's all down to what you eat.
Erika ♥OwlwaysReading♥
I borrowed this from the library back in 2018ish. Only got to read about 40% of it before I had to return it.

It thought it was very well written. I enjoyed all of the research articles, and could easily understand the conclusions the authors were trying to make. This book does have an agenda, and a certain point of view. What I'm trying to get at is there is a bias, so take it with a grain of salt.

Aug 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
The authors could be right about the benefits of a vegan diet, but "The China Study" is not strong evidence for their argument. Basically they state that poor, rural Chinese people have low levels of cancer and heart disease [no surprise there for a pre-industrialization population], then make this huge logic leap that the explanation is low animal protein intake.

How do they know it's not one of many other possible explanations? For instance, how do they know animal protein intake isn't just a
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the science supporting a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet. It is compelling and filled with study after study on how diet dramatically affects one’s likelihood of getting cancer, suffering heart disease, developing diabetes and contracting many more chronic illnesses associated with a Western diet.

Of note, the Campbells are not fans of vitamin supplements as they are “never the same as eating the whole food, which provides the natural network of health-supporting nutrients”. Further, they re
Apr 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a must-read for every American. You will love and hate reading this book at the same time, because once you are presented with the facts about how our Western diet is killing us, you will never be the same. This book provoked me to read more and more about it, and after all the reading I've done on the benefits of a plant based diet, my shopping list to the grocery store is forever changed.

I've always tried to eat from a spiritual point of view, I figure we are only supposed to eat the t
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Several prior reviews give excellent and extensive critiques of the methods and assumptions made in this book. I won't reiterate them, I'll just add my own thoughts.

Dr. Campbell doesn't recommend fanatical adherence to a vegan lifestyle. While he does suggest that it's easier to eat 0% animal protein than it is to eat 5%, he also suggests relaxing about incidental animal products that may be found hiding in food (meat soup stocks and egg in baked goods, e.g.). This is not in keeping with PETA's
Oct 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!!
Shelves: favorites
Hands down my favorite non-fiction book. This book will change your life, if you let it. Please, please consider reading it!
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: health, non-fiction
Update 2nd read: I think I liked this one more than the first time I read it. Parts were still annoying, but I enjoyed his dedication to his field.


There were things I really appreciated about this book and then there were things that really pushed my buttons. So where to start?

The good:
I liked the passion the author has for this topic. He has dedicated his life to research so that he can better educate people (and all health care professionals) on obtaining and sustainin
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Eat to Live (by Joel Fuhrman) mentioned this book/study more than a few times so I checked it out. Wow. We have changed a lot of things in our diet because of this book. Not only do meat and milk have a lot of calories but they are loaded with cholesterol and cancer feeding properties. So glad I read this. I can't say enough about this book. It basically backs up the diet that Daniel in the OT ate and is right in line with the Word of Wisdom--lots of fruits, vegetables, grain and legumes and lit ...more
Feb 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A gritty scientific approach to the relationship between diet and disease. Scientific citations abound. It combines his work with the work of many others from fields looking at cancer, cardiovascular, etc. diseases and their correlations to various foods. This book is oft-cited by other books of the same genre. It is for the person who wants to see the nitty-gritty details for themselves. Having said that, it is not nearly as dry as a text book, but definitely puts forth more data for the reader ...more
Jeanette (Again)
This book changed my life, literally. The writing is a bit scholarly at times, but worth working your way through for the information.
Previous reviews give enough info, so I won't duplicate.

I strongly suggest Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. as the ideal companion to The China Study. Fuhrman clears up anything that might have been confusing in The China Study, and explains the best way to choose your foods for nutrient density.
Feb 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. People who love their meat are often turned off by it, but I he has strong scientific basis (which he conducted himself) to support what he is saying about an optimal diet. After reading this book I know that I will no longer have any problems with weight. Also, I found a greater motivation to eat healthy besides losing weight, and that is to prevent disease. The correlations between food and heart disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and cancer are ast ...more
Sarah Ehmke
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a very important book for our health, and it has prompted myself and my family to make some changes that I'm sure will lead to better health and well being for us all. Everyone should read this!
ONE WEEK LATER FOLLOW UP: After being on an animal protein-free, whole food diet for almost 2 weeks, I called my hubby at work this morning and he told me he was having a good day, feeling optimistic. WHAT?! This is a man who hates his job and struggles to find a single thing to look forward to wh
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Biochemist who specializes in the effects of nutrition on long-term health. He is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, and the author of over 300 research papers. He was one of the lead scientists in the 1980s of the China-Oxford Cornell study on diet and disease (known as the China Project), set up in 1983 by Cornell University, the Univer ...more

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