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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most important book you will ever read...
I read "The China Study" in one sitting the very day it arrived from Amazon - it blew me away that much! The sheer scope of the research and references, and the clarity of the conclusion they point to, should be enough to turn anyone off animal foods for life.

This book is about as far from a fad diet as you can get - Campbell has spent over 40 years studying...
Published on Oct. 18 2008 by Catherine Palmer

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Good biochemist morphed into bad epidemiologist
Highly credentialed diet gurus, with oversize ego and extreme greed, battling each other with irreconcilable sect-like edicts and operating freely in a country where big agro-alimentary and pharmaceutical businesses have thoroughly corrupted not only governments and professional associations but also the actual process of knowledge acquisition through clinical trials:...
Published 10 days ago by Read and think


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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most important book you will ever read..., Oct. 18 2008
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This review is from: The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health (Hardcover)
I read "The China Study" in one sitting the very day it arrived from Amazon - it blew me away that much! The sheer scope of the research and references, and the clarity of the conclusion they point to, should be enough to turn anyone off animal foods for life.

This book is about as far from a fad diet as you can get - Campbell has spent over 40 years studying nutrition, and has been personally involved in many of the ground-breaking studies this book details (including, of course, the massive China study itself). Not only that, but he came from a background that predisposed him to seeing the typical "Western" diet as the pinnacle of sound nutrition - and yet has come to believe the complete opposite through years and years of research.

I have been a health-conscious vegetarian for nine years, so compared to most people you wouldn't expect my worldview to have been shaken up all that much by this book. However, although my vegetarian diet was based on all the information that was readily available - fruit and vegetables are good, saturated fat is bad, etc - this book still laid waste to some of the myths even I hadn't been able to see through, because there's so much propaganda out there regarding nutrition.

Most importantly, Campbell discredits once and for all the huge conspiracies that have been built around protein and dairy. Most people know vegetables are healthy, even if they don't eat enough of them, but hardly anyone is aware that protein isn't the miracle nutrient it's touted as being. Not only is it very hard to eat too little protein, but most people eat far too much. Similarly, dairy is still promoted as "healthy", especially low-fat dairy (of which I was an avid consumer, until I read this book). We're led to believe we need it for bone health, even though a survey of osteoporosis rates around the world suggests exactly the opposite conclusion. And, as a vegetarian, people were always telling me I needed to eat dairy in order to get a good dose of protein, even though (as Campbell's evidence conclusively shows) the main protein found in milk actually promotes cancer.

The same day I read this book, I became a vegan. Fortunately, my diet had already been a "fringe" diet for years (not that a healthy diet should ever be considered extremist), so I'd long since discovered the joys of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and tofu. But now I'm more determined than ever to "convert" my boyfriend and family to the green pastures of veganism - and I'll start by giving them all this book for Christmas. If you care about someone, and don't want them to die of a premature heart attack or cancer, how could you not give them this book?

Unfortunately, as convincing as Campbell's conclusions are, there are probably many people out there who simply - for some very inexplicable reason - don't care enough about their health to follow his guidelines. It's always baffled me why people continue to take up smoking when they know it's about the worst thing they could do for their health. Similarly, a lot of people who see the animal-based Western diet as the default will probably see Campbell's recommendations as too hard to follow, and will continue to regard healthy eating as somehow abnormal. Despite the solidity of his conclusions, so many people have been indoctrinated with the idea that eating animal foods is necessary for a "balanced" diet that they will remain incredulous, even though the evidence against this idea is so strong. Campbell's exposure of the corruption behind the nutritional information we're given is admirable, though, and I sincerely hope people listen to him.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At 76 a new start., Nov. 26 2011
This book lets us know of all the myths we have believed to be true about the food we have been eating for years. What an easy read, I found myself picking it up whenever I sat down. It's very interesting and full of information everyone should know. Whether you choose to act on that knowledge now or not, for sure you will reread it later and think -like me-I should have been eating this way for years.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Shake-up, March 9 2007
This is a very good book full of very useful, well researched information. A big volume dealing with extensive study of the way nutrition influences our health and longevity. It should be read by anyone who desires to be healthy, especially by all the followers of the many fad diets (Atkins, SouthBeach, low fat, low carb, you name it...)

China Study also unveils behind-the-scene manipulation of big food business with no regard for consumer health. The authors make a big step forward in honest consumer education, as their integrity and scientific approach is beyond any doubt. Another no-hype volume with down-to-earth, commonsense approach to health and longevity is "Can We Live 150 Year?" I strongly recommend both books for everyone. Get them, and keep them for later reference. Don't miss it.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Question Of Trust, June 8 2006
By 
Warren Green (Peterborough Ontario) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health (Hardcover)
One thing this book will make you think about is how our government funds a public health care system largely devoted to expensive and invasive medical procedures, and to putting people on drugs for the rest of their lives.

For me, the most thought provoking and intriguing chapters of this book are contained in part IV, "Why Haven't You Heard This Before?" They include, "Science -- The Dark Side", "The 'Science' Of Industry", "Government: Is It For The People?", and "Big Medicine: Whose Health Are They Protecting?"

I attended the 2006 Vegsource Healthy Lifestyle Expo in California, where Dr. Campbell gave the keynote address. At some point in the future, I'd like to find a way to bring his message to my hometown of Peterborough.

Having a population of only about 75,000 hasn't held us back too much. Apparently Peterborough has the largest cardiology clinic in the province, and I grew up next door to the family doctor whose been largely credited with having the vision to create primary health care teams as a means to improve the efficiency of our system, thus providing doctors for doctor-less Canadians. In my view, Michael Moore's Sicko (Special Edition) has painted the Canadian system much too rosy!

If you go to Amazon.com, you can access some negative reviews of this book, and if you go to a "popular American vegetarian website", you can find Dr. Campbell's response to some of the seemingly well researched critical reviews. Some of Campbell's critics claim that the book is not a true reflection of the actual study, and that he has a vegan agenda. If you have access to a copy of this book, read what Colin Campbell says on pages 106 and 107 about how he arrived at his decision to adopt a 99 percent plant-based diet.

It would be interesting to know what all of the colleagues involved in "The China Study" think of the Campbell's book, but they have at least one other top guy in their corner. Junshi Chen's (M.D., PhD., Senior Research Professor Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention) praise for the book can be found on it's first page, along with Dean Ornish and others. Howard Lyman wrote the Preface, John Robbins the Foreward. For me, these people exude integrity.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solidly researched and guaranteed to shake up your worldview, April 15 2008
By 
Lynna Landstreet "www.wildideas.net" (Toronto, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
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I tend to be pretty skeptical of nutrition books, particularly those coming from "alternative" perspectives, since they're often quite faddish and unsubstantiated by science. But this one really blew me away.

While the author advocates a diet that might be considered extreme by some -- a whole foods, plant-based, mostly vegan diet -- his background is anything but fringe or faddish. He's got very solid scientific credentials, and came to his conclusions over the course of years of research. Every claim in this book is backed up by references, the vast majority of them to articles from peer-reviewed medical or scientific journals.

As of starting the book, I was an ex-vegetarian who'd gone back to being a moderate meat eater and had been for over a decade now, but by the time I was halfway through it I was pretty sure my eating habits were about to seriously change. I'm not sure any reasonably intelligent and open-minded person could look at the research Dr. Campbell cites and not come to the same conclusion.

Having said that, I don't think the book is quite flawless -- there are times, particularly toward the latter part of the book, when it gets a bit heavy-handed and feels like the author's trying to drive home his point with a sledgehammer. But on the whole that's a small failing compared to the wealth of useful and potentially life-saving information in it -- not enough for me not to give it a 5-star review, though if fractions were allowed I might have gone for 4.75.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this., Dec 26 2013
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This should be a must read for everyone. Whether or not you like the idea of a plant based diet, it is hard to disagree that it is a healthier way to live.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all., Oct. 31 2013
Anyone interested in finally feeling good should read this book. It's convincing, based on scientific evidence and must know knowledge for all who suffer from a chronic illness. Or if you wish to avoid one, start here!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars now if only I could get my husband and the rest of his family to read this, Oct. 22 2013
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this is a hard one to review because, I am sure there are many fantastic reviews both good and bad out there for this book. I first learned of this book when I was recovering from a case of hip bursitis and I had mention to my new acupuncturist that My mother died of colon cancer at the tender age of 53. I wish this book was available for her in the early nighties when she was first taken with the disease that also took one of my aunts 10 years before. I really think had she read this and took it to heart ( she had read dr Weils 8 weeks to optimum health but never followed through with it ) I feel that she would still be alive today. Needless to say, If your having nagging health issues or just generally want to know or be healthier read this book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Good biochemist morphed into bad epidemiologist, July 21 2014
Highly credentialed diet gurus, with oversize ego and extreme greed, battling each other with irreconcilable sect-like edicts and operating freely in a country where big agro-alimentary and pharmaceutical businesses have thoroughly corrupted not only governments and professional associations but also the actual process of knowledge acquisition through clinical trials: this is the painful situation each citizen now has to face in the western "developed" world.

Unfortunately The China Study, does not provide a solution. Reading it feels like being forced to attend a preacher meeting by a pushy friend trying to ensnare you in his sect.

The book start with a worthwhile description by the author of his biochemistry/nutrition research which establish that casein enables aflatoxin carcinogenicity in rats. This is good research that very likely was instrumental in propelling the author to a certain fame.

But there is a monumental step from showing that casein is bad for rat to wildly extrapolating that *all* animal proteins are bad to *men* and therefore a plant-based diet is required, a step which the too enthusiastic author unfortunately takes. Such ultimately irrational crusade by a well-meaning scientist is not without similarities with the late Linus Pauling ill-fated vitamin C crusade.

The author appears to lack the minimal undergraduate-level statistic/epidemiology knowledge to navigate the treacherous field of nutritional correlation. He explains to the reader what (he thinks) a statistically significant test means: he explains that if the test pass for example the commonly accept treshold of 95%, that means that the effect we see has 95% of being "real".
This is a classical immensely common rookie mistake.
The explanation requires some context that can be found in any good undergraduate level statistical/epidemiological but the main idea is this: a 95% significant test means that there would be only a 5% probability that we would observe the difference of results between the 2 groups if the treatment had no effect. It does NOT mean that there is 95% probability that the effect is real. This is a very subtle difference and typically requires to read a more detailed explanation to understand it.
But you can get a taste of it with this example: suppose you have a state lottery small price that you have a 1/20 (5%) change to win. Now you make the experiment with a friend: you are both going to buy a ticket, you will wear a red shirt and your friend any other shirt color, the goal being to see if wearing a red shirt is a factor in winning a lottery. Now suppose you did win. There would be only a 1/20 (5%) chance of this occurring by chance and therefore you could be tempt to say "Wearing a red shirt is a factor in winning a lottery (95% confidence)". However because you have *prior* knowledge that lottery are unrelated to red shirt, the correct statement would be something like "Winning this lottery was simply a great strike of luck and unrelated to my red shirt (100% confidence)" which is basically the opposite of the other statement! Applied to epidemiological research this has considerable importance, often not sufficiently appreciated.

The author almost never mention plausible alternatives to observed effect, again another common rookie mistake. For example, when a study shows a link between consumption of milk and prostate cancer, the author concludes this has to be related (not even just to the specific casein protein) but to "animal protein facilitating/causing cancer". Absent from the discussion, is some sensible alternative such as that perhaps milk is now produced by cows subject to hormonal treatment and these could affect the milk and ultimately have an effect on a possibly hormone-dependent prostate cancer.
In reality, the entire book if chock-full of unwarranted generalization and unfounded admonishment. For this reason, it was truly painful to read.

Finally the condescending tone of the book is very irritating: the author never miss a chance to mention how great he is and behaves like a common unpleasant diet-guru/preacher.

I suggest as an alternative an immensely better book: "Food and Western Disease" by Staffan Lindeberg. It is extremely well researched book. It lists the result of an incredible number of studies in a well organized way. Furthermore it is written in a very professional and scientific style (Note: I have never met and have no personal, professional nor financial relations whatsoever with Dr Lindeberg)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book should be mandatory reading. I've bought five ..., July 21 2014
This book should be mandatory reading. I've bought five copies so far. I don't generally write reviews but in this case I couldn't help myself. This book should give you hope that you can turn things around and the guidance needed to take responsibility for your own health. Thank you T. Colin Campbell.
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