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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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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  19,185 Ratings  ·  2,222 Reviews
Even today, as trendy diets and a weight-loss frenzy sweep the nation, two-thirds of adults are still obese and children are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, typically an “adult” disease, at an alarming rate. If we’re obsessed with being thin more so than ever before, why are Americans stricken with heart disease as much as we were 30 years ago?

In The China Study, Dr.
...more
Paperback, 419 pages
Published May 11th 2006 by Benbella Books (first published September 2001)
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  • The China Study by T. Colin Campbell
    The China Study: Deluxe Revised and Expanded Edition: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health
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    Release date: Dec 05, 2017
    Featuring brand new content, this heavily expanded edition of Colin and Tom’s groundbreaking book includes the latest undeniable evidence of the power ...more

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    Dianna The author of this book argues that a high amount of animal protein in our diets is what is causing so many health problems. As an animal protein,…moreThe author of this book argues that a high amount of animal protein in our diets is what is causing so many health problems. As an animal protein, fish would be grouped with chicken, meat, and milk that the China Study would have us drastically reduce or eliminate.(less)

    Community Reviews

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    Rachel
    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
    Stephanie
    5 stars for well-researched, comprehensive study on impacts of nutrition on health.... also insight into the motivations to keep this information from the American public... read and decide for yourself!!

    Having read and loved The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health , I was thrilled to see that an expanded edition was being published. In full disclosure, I have happily been a vegetarian f
    ...more
    Kara
    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 certainly 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 critica ...more
    Alison
    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
    Flying Monkey
    Sep 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
    TOO BAD CAMPBELL HAD AN AGENDA TO PROMOTE. HE COULD HAVE WRITTEN A GREAT SCIENTIFIC BOOK!!! BUT HE LEFT OUT MANY OF HIS FINDINGS FROM THE CHINA STUDY IN ORDER TO PROMOTE HIS FOOD IDEOLOGY.

    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
    ...more
    Jennifer
    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
    Linus
    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
    John
    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
    ...more
    Jonathan
    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
    ...more
    Lauren
    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
    Lisa
    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 air...to be used sparingly; And it is pleasing unto me that they should ...more
    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
    ...more
    Brooke
    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
    ...more
    Lauren
    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
    Alison
    Jul 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: anyone who eats food
    Wow. I mean...wow. 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
    Rebecca
    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
    ...more
    Sean Wilson
    Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: science, non-fiction
    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.
    Roxanne
    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
    ...more
    Chanelle
    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
    ...more
    Andy
    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
    ...more
    Aubrey
    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!
    Tamra Copanas Ahlert
    Apr 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
    In laymen's terms, the author, researcher T. Colin Compbell, PhD, demonstrates how animal proteins and animal based diets directly contribute to elevated cholesterol levels, blood pressure levels, and "diseases of affluence."

    Diseases of affluence include heart disease, breast cancer, Type 1 and 2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, kidney stones, cataracts, age related macular degeneration, cognitive dysfunction, vascular dementia, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, autoimmune conditions and more. Diseases o
    ...more
    Ana
    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
    Tatiana
    May 21, 2009 rated it liked it
    Shelves: nonfiction
    I would not have thought one book could completely change my idea of what is a healthy diet, but this one did. I never stopped to think about it, but all the diseases that developed countries get that undeveloped countries don't are pretty much due to the differences in our diets. These disease include heart disease, diabetes, cancer, macular degeneration, autoimmune disorders like MS, Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondilitis, etc. Alzheimer's, and other chronic inflammatory diseases. ...more
    Jenna
    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  "Astute Crabbist"
    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.
    Greg
    Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
    Basically a book about veganism. First 1/3 to 1/2 is very interesting. Basically correlates increased animal protein consumption (which in itself is correlated to how "advanced" countries are) to increases in the Western diseases (cancer, heart disease, etc). Shows correlations both across countries, and over time. Basic premise of the book is that our shitty health is a direct result of overconsumption of animal protein. Animal protein in developing nations is more like a treat, and the Western ...more
    trovateOrtensia
    Forse un po' datato, ma comunque un classico.
    Eliece
    Nov 14, 2008 rated it it was ok
    This book details one study after another that demonstrate the health benefits of eating a plant-based diet and/or the negative effects of animal protein. I have been interested in this subject lately, so the information in the book was good BUT so very boring to read, no practical applications provided, and the author was so annoying (he lets you know about every 3rd page what a distinguished researcher he is and how amazing his work is or give you the stats on his distinguished collegues) I ha ...more
    Julie
    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
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    3373474
    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
    More about T. Colin Campbell...
    “Americans love to hear good things about their bad habits.” 19 likes
    “Everything in food works together to create health or disease. The more we think that a single chemical characterizes a whole food, the more we stray into idiocy.” 17 likes
    More quotes…