Outstanding Critique of The China Study

(I’m probably the last blogger to arrive at this party, but just in case you’re not already aware of it …)

I frequently receive comments and emails from vegetarians who tell me that if I’d just read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, I’d see the error of my ways and start counseling everyone to live on a plant-based diet with as few animal foods as possible.  I usually reply that since Dr. Weston A. Price observed amazingly healthy people all over the globe —  most of whom lived on diets rich in seafood, animal fats, and animal protein — I don’t really care what The China Study says, especially since I’m not Chinese.

Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Neal Bernard also cite The China Study while exhorting their TV audiences to stop eating meats and animal fats.  Considering that I became leaner, stronger and more energetic after giving up grains and eating more animal fat (not to mention improving my blood-sugar and lipid profiles), once again, I don’t really care what The China Study says.  (And I’m increasingly convinced that Drs. Oz and Bernard are what Larry, Moe and Curly would describe as “intelligent imbeciles.”  They both, for example, seem to think hydrogenated trans fats and natural saturated fats are identical.)

I’ve read critiques of The China Study before, but a young blogger recently posted her own, and it’s a thing of beauty.  As I’ve mentioned in a few posts, my college physics professor told us, “Learn math.  Math is how you know when they’re lying to you.”  Denise Minger, who blogs about diet and nutrition from a raw-foods perspective, knows math — and that’s how she knows T. Colin Campbell is lying to us.

Okay, she’s actually too polite to call Campbell a liar.  And given her talent for number-crunching and logic, she doesn’t have to … instead, she takes the data from his own study and smacks him around with it.  She also drives home a point I frequently try to make on this blog:  associations are just that — associations.  They don’t necessarily tell us about cause and effect.

For example, Campbell cites statistics showing that people who eat green vegetables frequently have lower rates of heart disease.  His conclusion:  vegetables protect against heart disease.  Minger digs into the data and shows us that while eating vegetables frequently (especially year-round) is associated with a lower rate of heart disease, there’s no such association with simply eating a LOT of vegetables.  The difference, as she explains, is probably due to geography — the people who eat vegetables frequently live in the southern regions of China:

If green vegetables themselves were protective of heart disease, as Campbell seems to be implying, we would expect their anti-heart-disease effects to be present in both quantity of consumption and frequency of consumption. Yet the counties eating the most greens quantity-wise didn’t have any less cardiovascular disease than average. This tells us there’s probably another variable unique to the southern, humid regions in China that confers heart disease protection-but green veggies aren’t it.

Some of the hallmark variables of humid southern regions include high fish intake, low use of salt, high rice consumption (and low consumption of all other grains, especially wheat), higher meat consumption, and smaller body size (shorter height and lower weight). And as you’ll see in an upcoming post on heart disease, these southerly regions also had more intense sunlight exposure and thus more vitamin D-an important player in heart disease prevention.

Basically, Campbell’s implication that green vegetables are associated with less cardiovascular disease is misleading. More accurately, certain geographical regions have strong correlations with cardiovascular disease (or lack thereof), and year-round green vegetable consumption is simply an indicator of geography. Since only frequency and not actual quantity of greens seems protective of heart disease and stroke, it’s safe to say that greens probably aren’t the true protective factor.

That’s just one example.  She shreds several more of Campell’s leaps in logic, and uses his own data to show that some of healthiest people in China live in regions with the highest levels of meat consumption.  As other critics have pointed out, the only solid conclusion we can take away from The China Study is that rats who are fed a diet of nothing but casein (an isolated dairy protein) will become sick and die.  From this, Campbell indicts all animal products. 

I doubt the vegan true believers will read Minger’s critique, and I doubt their fat-deprived brains could comprehend it if they did.  No matter.  The next time you’re confronted by a vegan who tells you The China Study proves we should all be living on plant-based diets, send a link.  If nothing else, Minger’s logic may confuse the vegan into shutting up for awhile.

In the meantime, read Minger’s post for your own benefit.


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192 thoughts on “Outstanding Critique of The China Study

  1. Walter Norris

    My experience with going from Standard American Diet (SAD) to a vegetable based diet was a SHORT-TERM improvement in health, followed by problems that were a result of the diet.

    Whenever I hear from someone whose been on a vegetable based diet for a year or so about their great results, I think “wait for it….”

    Seeing what you want to see, or what you fear is true is a very difficult trap to overcome. Naive realism is believing that others do this, but you don’t.

    Going from the SAD to almost any planned diet would bring about improvements in the short term. But in the long term, a lot of people will end up malnourished with no animal foods in their diets. Some people, of course, can live just fine without animal foods, and good for them. I just wish they’d stop making the rather gigantic leap that their experiences proves it’s the correct diet for everyone.

  2. Your older brother

    You folks obviously don’t understand how to interpret data.

    I was prepared to read Ms. Minger’s entire tome,which she warns in the beginning is over 9,000 very time consuming words. And, a lot of them are BIG words.

    Then right there, just about 300 words past that warning into her analysis, is everything you need to know as she lists different correlations (see, another big word!) for animal protein and cancer:

    Penis cancer: MINUS 16 percent

    Study complete — the cow dies!

    Now you can do something useful with the rest of your day.

    Cheers!

    That would explain why more women than men are willing to become vegetarians.

  3. Walter Norris

    My experience with going from Standard American Diet (SAD) to a vegetable based diet was a SHORT-TERM improvement in health, followed by problems that were a result of the diet.

    Whenever I hear from someone whose been on a vegetable based diet for a year or so about their great results, I think “wait for it….”

    Seeing what you want to see, or what you fear is true is a very difficult trap to overcome. Naive realism is believing that others do this, but you don’t.

    Going from the SAD to almost any planned diet would bring about improvements in the short term. But in the long term, a lot of people will end up malnourished with no animal foods in their diets. Some people, of course, can live just fine without animal foods, and good for them. I just wish they’d stop making the rather gigantic leap that their experiences proves it’s the correct diet for everyone.

  4. Your older brother

    You folks obviously don’t understand how to interpret data.

    I was prepared to read Ms. Minger’s entire tome,which she warns in the beginning is over 9,000 very time consuming words. And, a lot of them are BIG words.

    Then right there, just about 300 words past that warning into her analysis, is everything you need to know as she lists different correlations (see, another big word!) for animal protein and cancer:

    Penis cancer: MINUS 16 percent

    Study complete — the cow dies!

    Now you can do something useful with the rest of your day.

    Cheers!

    That would explain why more women than men are willing to become vegetarians.

  5. Joanne Irwin

    Professor Campbell and “The China Study” are the real deal. I’ve met numerous people through my work in the field whose health has dramatically improved by giving up animal protein and dairy. My own lipid numbers reversed significantly over 4 months of plant based eating some years ago. Surprisingly, arthritis in my wrist melted away. Not only do I study the data, and the integrity of physicians and researchers who extoll the benefits of plant based eating, but I look to those who are damning the findings. And many lin that group lack credibility. The Weston Price Foundation, funded by the meat and dairy industries, is running scared because a paradigm shift is happening all across the country, and people are understanding that their health depends on what they are putting on their forks. Schools are jumping on board and offering healthier options to our children; restaurants,too, are including plant based options to meet public demand. We are gaining traction. The truth eventually rises to the surface and we’re climbing to the top. So, you folks, you debunk Campbell’s work and the work of so many other prestigious individuals who are there for the greater good, just watch out. We’re not going away. We’re spreading the word and people are getting healthier.

    Fortunately, the truth does eventually rise to the top. That’s why more and more academic journals are admitting that the theory that fat and cholesterol are killers was never based on real science.

    The paradigm shift is coming, but the shift will be away from scaring people away from animal fat, which never caused heart disease in the first place. You can preach all you want, but considering that I had arthritis and asthma while living on a low-fat, grain-based diet and have seen those ailments disappear since returning to the diet that humans consumed for hundreds of thousands of years (and strangely, the animal protein didn’t make them ill for all that time), you’ll understand if your preaching doesn’t gain a convert here.

  6. Joanne Irwin

    Professor Campbell and “The China Study” are the real deal. I’ve met numerous people through my work in the field whose health has dramatically improved by giving up animal protein and dairy. My own lipid numbers reversed significantly over 4 months of plant based eating some years ago. Surprisingly, arthritis in my wrist melted away. Not only do I study the data, and the integrity of physicians and researchers who extoll the benefits of plant based eating, but I look to those who are damning the findings. And many lin that group lack credibility. The Weston Price Foundation, funded by the meat and dairy industries, is running scared because a paradigm shift is happening all across the country, and people are understanding that their health depends on what they are putting on their forks. Schools are jumping on board and offering healthier options to our children; restaurants,too, are including plant based options to meet public demand. We are gaining traction. The truth eventually rises to the surface and we’re climbing to the top. So, you folks, you debunk Campbell’s work and the work of so many other prestigious individuals who are there for the greater good, just watch out. We’re not going away. We’re spreading the word and people are getting healthier.

    Fortunately, the truth does eventually rise to the top. That’s why more and more academic journals are admitting that the theory that fat and cholesterol are killers was never based on real science.

    The paradigm shift is coming, but the shift will be away from scaring people away from animal fat, which never caused heart disease in the first place. You can preach all you want, but considering that I had arthritis and asthma while living on a low-fat, grain-based diet and have seen those ailments disappear since returning to the diet that humans consumed for hundreds of thousands of years (and strangely, the animal protein didn’t make them ill for all that time), you’ll understand if your preaching doesn’t gain a convert here.

  7. Todd

    If you want to see who’s funding whom, just check the respective websites:

    WAPF: http://www.westonaprice.org/funding-3.html

    “The main sources of support for the Weston A. Price Foundation are the dues and contributions of its members. The Foundation receives no funding from any government agency or food processing corporation. Although many of our members are farmers, the Foundation has no ties with the meat or dairy industry, nor with any organization promoting these industries. The Foundation promotes the production of food by independent farmers and artisans, and not by industry.”

    ADA: http://www.eatright.org/corporatesponsors/

    Sponsors list – Aramark, Coca Cola Co., National Dairy Council, Abbott Nutrition, Corowise (part of Cargill), General Mills, Kellogs, Mars Inc., McNeil (part of Johnson & Johnson), PepsiCo, SoyJoy, Truvia (another Cargill company), and Unilever.

    I await our vegan friends’ retractions, though I’m not holding my breath.

    They want to discredit the Weston A. Price foundation because they can’t argue with the data.

  8. Todd

    If you want to see who’s funding whom, just check the respective websites:

    WAPF: http://www.westonaprice.org/funding-3.html

    “The main sources of support for the Weston A. Price Foundation are the dues and contributions of its members. The Foundation receives no funding from any government agency or food processing corporation. Although many of our members are farmers, the Foundation has no ties with the meat or dairy industry, nor with any organization promoting these industries. The Foundation promotes the production of food by independent farmers and artisans, and not by industry.”

    ADA: http://www.eatright.org/corporatesponsors/

    Sponsors list – Aramark, Coca Cola Co., National Dairy Council, Abbott Nutrition, Corowise (part of Cargill), General Mills, Kellogs, Mars Inc., McNeil (part of Johnson & Johnson), PepsiCo, SoyJoy, Truvia (another Cargill company), and Unilever.

    I await our vegan friends’ retractions, though I’m not holding my breath.

    They want to discredit the Weston A. Price foundation because they can’t argue with the data.

  9. labrat

    Schools are jumping on board and offering healthier options to our children;

    No they’re not. The more schools interfere with what our kids get for lunch – the fatter and unhealthier they get.
    Stop blaming the schools and start looking at the God-awful food pyramid they are forced to foist upon our children.

    Remember it was the guy from CPSI that gave our kids transfats instead of whole milk and butter!

    The line about schools offering healthier options was laughable, of course. The lunch menu at my daughter’s school is a starch-fest.

  10. labrat

    Schools are jumping on board and offering healthier options to our children;

    No they’re not. The more schools interfere with what our kids get for lunch – the fatter and unhealthier they get.
    Stop blaming the schools and start looking at the God-awful food pyramid they are forced to foist upon our children.

    Remember it was the guy from CPSI that gave our kids transfats instead of whole milk and butter!

    The line about schools offering healthier options was laughable, of course. The lunch menu at my daughter’s school is a starch-fest.

  11. Greg

    Re: Joanne Irwin’s post – this is full of the same kinds of distractions that Dr. Campbell uses when dismissing his critics.

    Professor Campbell and The China Study are “the real deal”? Meaningless.

    “I’ve met numerous people through my work in the field whose health has dramatically improved by giving up animal protein and dairy. My own lipid numbers reversed significantly over 4 months of plant based eating some years ago. Surprisingly, arthritis in my wrist melted away.”

    This subtle invoking of “I’m an expert so I’m right” proves nothing…plenty of folks on both sides of the issue can cite study groups of ONE (themselves). And as many have said, often when moving to a plant-based diet people are also doing other things to change their health, giving up processed/high-carb foods, etc.

    “The Weston Price Foundation, funded by the meat and dairy industries, is running scared because a paradigm shift is happening all across the country, and people are understanding that their health depends on what they are putting on their forks.”

    Innuendo about WPF’s funding that doesn’t bear scrutiny…followed by saying that to disagree with you is “running scared” and “understanding that their health depends on what they are putting on their forks,” as if those who extol different ideas think nutrition and health have nothing to do with one another?

    “Schools are jumping on board and offering healthier options to our children; restaurants,too, are including plant based options to meet public demand. We are gaining traction.” No one is arguing that the mainstream spin is that fat is evil and that Cocoa Puff are “heart-healthy” – that doesn’t make either true.

    “So, you folks, you debunk Campbell’s work and the work of so many other prestigious individuals who are there for the greater good, just watch out.”

    Prestigious = right? That sounds like Campbell’s line. And saying that those folks are there for the greater good more than implies that folks operating from a different perspective are NOT there for the greater good, and that to criticize the former is to be against the greater good. Your meaning is plain.

    Anyway, I could go on and on…and kind of did. This kind of discourse just gets my goat. Or, um, my soybean.

    Let ’em get your soybean. Keep the goat.

  12. Todd

    This article reminds me of the debates raging over The China Study, government food guidelines, and low-carb lifestyles.

    How facts backfire
    “Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger.”
    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/07/11/how_facts_backfire/?page=full

    I’m afraid that’s often true, but sometimes facts do the trick. Many years ago, I changed my political beliefs rather dramatically after reading a slew of books on history and economics, and I changed my beliefs about what constitutes a healthy diet just in the past few years. But if I live to be 90, I reserve the right to be cranky and closed-minded.

  13. Greg

    Re: Joanne Irwin’s post – this is full of the same kinds of distractions that Dr. Campbell uses when dismissing his critics.

    Professor Campbell and The China Study are “the real deal”? Meaningless.

    “I’ve met numerous people through my work in the field whose health has dramatically improved by giving up animal protein and dairy. My own lipid numbers reversed significantly over 4 months of plant based eating some years ago. Surprisingly, arthritis in my wrist melted away.”

    This subtle invoking of “I’m an expert so I’m right” proves nothing…plenty of folks on both sides of the issue can cite study groups of ONE (themselves). And as many have said, often when moving to a plant-based diet people are also doing other things to change their health, giving up processed/high-carb foods, etc.

    “The Weston Price Foundation, funded by the meat and dairy industries, is running scared because a paradigm shift is happening all across the country, and people are understanding that their health depends on what they are putting on their forks.”

    Innuendo about WPF’s funding that doesn’t bear scrutiny…followed by saying that to disagree with you is “running scared” and “understanding that their health depends on what they are putting on their forks,” as if those who extol different ideas think nutrition and health have nothing to do with one another?

    “Schools are jumping on board and offering healthier options to our children; restaurants,too, are including plant based options to meet public demand. We are gaining traction.” No one is arguing that the mainstream spin is that fat is evil and that Cocoa Puff are “heart-healthy” – that doesn’t make either true.

    “So, you folks, you debunk Campbell’s work and the work of so many other prestigious individuals who are there for the greater good, just watch out.”

    Prestigious = right? That sounds like Campbell’s line. And saying that those folks are there for the greater good more than implies that folks operating from a different perspective are NOT there for the greater good, and that to criticize the former is to be against the greater good. Your meaning is plain.

    Anyway, I could go on and on…and kind of did. This kind of discourse just gets my goat. Or, um, my soybean.

    Let ’em get your soybean. Keep the goat.

  14. Todd

    This article reminds me of the debates raging over The China Study, government food guidelines, and low-carb lifestyles.

    How facts backfire
    “Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger.”
    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/07/11/how_facts_backfire/?page=full

    I’m afraid that’s often true, but sometimes facts do the trick. Many years ago, I changed my political beliefs rather dramatically after reading a slew of books on history and economics, and I changed my beliefs about what constitutes a healthy diet just in the past few years. But if I live to be 90, I reserve the right to be cranky and closed-minded.

  15. shelley

    Thank you Dr Bill Misner.
    It isn’t only the China Study which shows the overwhelming evidence of the benefits of a whole food plant based diet. Dr McDougal, Dr Ornish, Dr Fuhrman, Dr Barnard, John Robbins -and many more, all have documented scientific studies showing that as animal consumption increases so do the rates of heart disease, diabetes, cancers of the breast & colon, osteoporosis, macular degeneration and some auto-immune diseases.
    The people of the United States are becoming the fattest and unhealthiest people in the world with their diseases of influence. Obviously the Standard American Diet which quite typically includes meat and dairy at every meal is not working. At the present rates of the increases in diabetes diagnosis the health care dollars will not support treatment. So, why not be open to the possibility that there is another way? All of those authors above are slim and healthy. Coincidence? Perhaps there is something to this. More and more of us are moving in this direction. Perhaps you’ll join us one day.

    And they all use the same crappy, cherry-picked observational studies. You want evidence? Look around the world. Look at history. There have been countless cultures in which people lived primarily on animal foods, and they weren’t sick, didn’t get heart disease, didn’t get cancer, didn’t get diabetes. Inuits, Masai, Plains Indians, etc. A hundred years ago, heart disease in America was a fraction of what it is today, yet Americans consumed four times as much butter and lard. Nobody was on a low-fat diet, and meat and dairy were consumed just as much if not more than today.

    We didn’t see a spike in heart disease until we started eating a lot more sugar and a lot more processed, rancid vegetable oils. That’s the part of our diet that isn’t working. As Dr. Cleave said when testifying to Congress just before McGovern and the other morons told Americans to live on grains and give up fats, “For a modern disease to be related to an old-fashioned food is one of the most ludicrous things I have ever heard in my life.”

    Even today, the French consume far more animal fat than Americans, yet have a fraction of the heart disease and obesity. But they don’t consume nearly as much sugar or refined carbohydrate as we do. It’s only when sugar and white flour are introduced into native meat-eating cultures that they become ill. There’s a reason heart disease and cancer are called “diseases of civilization.”

    Join you someday? I don’t think so. I already went through my vegetarian phase, and I was rewarded with extra weight, arthritis, gastric reflux, and asthma. Now those are all gone.

    Orish? Are you kidding me? Are you aware that Stanford conducted a clinical trial comparing his diet to the AHA diet and the Atkins diet … and the Atkins dieters not only lost the most weight, they showed the greatest improvement in cardiovascular markers. (Ornish came in last in that category.)

    By the way, are you people trained by Jehovah’s Witnesses? You have this annoying habit of showing up on low-carb or paleo blogs and preaching. You want to be a vegetarian? Knock yourself out. I don’t care if people are vegetarians. I don’t visit vegetarian blogs and preach at them, unlike you presumptive, self-righteous twits.

  16. shelley

    Best wishes to you in your search for optimum health.
    Perhaps all that flesh food you’re consuming is what turns you nasty and mean. No chance for healthy debate here obviously.

    We have plenty of debate here. I debated you. I’ll happily debate the vegetarian missionaries in the world if they want to come here and pick a fight. Trade ya study for study. But I don’t visit vegetarian blogs and preach to them, because that’s not actually debating, and I’m pretty sure it would me make a self-righteous jackass.

    By the way, Hitler was a vegetarian. Glad avoiding meat turned him into such a nice person.

  17. shelley

    Thank you Dr Bill Misner.
    It isn’t only the China Study which shows the overwhelming evidence of the benefits of a whole food plant based diet. Dr McDougal, Dr Ornish, Dr Fuhrman, Dr Barnard, John Robbins -and many more, all have documented scientific studies showing that as animal consumption increases so do the rates of heart disease, diabetes, cancers of the breast & colon, osteoporosis, macular degeneration and some auto-immune diseases.
    The people of the United States are becoming the fattest and unhealthiest people in the world with their diseases of influence. Obviously the Standard American Diet which quite typically includes meat and dairy at every meal is not working. At the present rates of the increases in diabetes diagnosis the health care dollars will not support treatment. So, why not be open to the possibility that there is another way? All of those authors above are slim and healthy. Coincidence? Perhaps there is something to this. More and more of us are moving in this direction. Perhaps you’ll join us one day.

    And they all use the same crappy, cherry-picked observational studies. You want evidence? Look around the world. Look at history. There have been countless cultures in which people lived primarily on animal foods, and they weren’t sick, didn’t get heart disease, didn’t get cancer, didn’t get diabetes. Inuits, Masai, Plains Indians, etc. A hundred years ago, heart disease in America was a fraction of what it is today, yet Americans consumed four times as much butter and lard. Nobody was on a low-fat diet, and meat and dairy were consumed just as much if not more than today.

    We didn’t see a spike in heart disease until we started eating a lot more sugar and a lot more processed, rancid vegetable oils. That’s the part of our diet that isn’t working. As Dr. Cleave said when testifying to Congress just before McGovern and the other morons told Americans to live on grains and give up fats, “For a modern disease to be related to an old-fashioned food is one of the most ludicrous things I have ever heard in my life.”

    Even today, the French consume far more animal fat than Americans, yet have a fraction of the heart disease and obesity. But they don’t consume nearly as much sugar or refined carbohydrate as we do. It’s only when sugar and white flour are introduced into native meat-eating cultures that they become ill. There’s a reason heart disease and cancer are called “diseases of civilization.”

    Join you someday? I don’t think so. I already went through my vegetarian phase, and I was rewarded with extra weight, arthritis, gastric reflux, and asthma. Now those are all gone.

    Orish? Are you kidding me? Are you aware that Stanford conducted a clinical trial comparing his diet to the AHA diet and the Atkins diet … and the Atkins dieters not only lost the most weight, they showed the greatest improvement in cardiovascular markers. (Ornish came in last in that category.)

    By the way, are you people trained by Jehovah’s Witnesses? You have this annoying habit of showing up on low-carb or paleo blogs and preaching. You want to be a vegetarian? Knock yourself out. I don’t care if people are vegetarians. I don’t visit vegetarian blogs and preach at them, unlike you presumptive, self-righteous twits.

  18. John Davis

    Why are so many people on this website so harsh, demeaning of those of different views, and yes sometimes arrogant. As if to say that the word vegetarian or vegan equates to stupidity or close mindedness? What ever happened to civility and fair mindedness even when people disagree? As a practicing vegatarian, I plan on reading minger’s blog and give it a fair hearing. Can’t we agree to disagree without impugning a person’s mentality or motives?

    John

    If you are referring to my reply to an earlier commenter, it’s because I’m sick of vegetarians knocking on the door and preaching to me because they believe their lifestyle is morally superior. I have the same reaction to religious zealots who try to convert me. I believe wholeheartedly in a low-carb paleo diet, which has done wonders for my health, but I don’t visit vegetarian websites and try to convince them their dietary choices are wrong or morally inferior.

  19. shelley

    Best wishes to you in your search for optimum health.
    Perhaps all that flesh food you’re consuming is what turns you nasty and mean. No chance for healthy debate here obviously.

    We have plenty of debate here. I debated you. I’ll happily debate the vegetarian missionaries in the world if they want to come here and pick a fight. Trade ya study for study. But I don’t visit vegetarian blogs and preach to them, because that’s not actually debating, and I’m pretty sure it would me make a self-righteous jackass.

    By the way, Hitler was a vegetarian. Glad avoiding meat turned him into such a nice person.

  20. John Davis

    Why are so many people on this website so harsh, demeaning of those of different views, and yes sometimes arrogant. As if to say that the word vegetarian or vegan equates to stupidity or close mindedness? What ever happened to civility and fair mindedness even when people disagree? As a practicing vegatarian, I plan on reading minger’s blog and give it a fair hearing. Can’t we agree to disagree without impugning a person’s mentality or motives?

    John

    If you are referring to my reply to an earlier commenter, it’s because I’m sick of vegetarians knocking on the door and preaching to me because they believe their lifestyle is morally superior. I have the same reaction to religious zealots who try to convert me. I believe wholeheartedly in a low-carb paleo diet, which has done wonders for my health, but I don’t visit vegetarian websites and try to convince them their dietary choices are wrong or morally inferior.

  21. Brendan

    The militant vegans/vegetarians are not only knocking on your door and preaching their “truth”, they had also mounted a counterattack by trolling and spamming all the paleo and health blogs linked to Denise’s post. But from what I can see so far, their posts are lacking in critical thinking and logic. Instead of arguing logically the points made by Denise, they rely mostly on personal attacks and their personal experiences. They also put all their trust on their “experienced” and “qualified” gurus like Dr. Campbell even though his scientific arguments are weak, especially on the effect of casein and plant proteins on cancer. According to Chris Masterjohn, plant protein does not cause cancer because it is not good source of protein, lacking in some amino acids. So plant protein doesn’t really protects us from cancer like what Campbell claimed.

    I am really amazed by their overzealous effort in protecting their ideology and prophets. I wonder if extreme diets make people aggressive and annoying, or it is just that aggressive and annoying people are drawn to extreme diets?

    I think it’s that vegetarianism and especially veganism are more like a religion to some people. So like most religious zealots, they’re impervious to logic and feel justified in proselytizing. Paleo is an extreme diet, but even the most ardent paleo dieters don’t go preaching on vegetarian/vegan web sites.

  22. Drew @ How To Cook Like Your G

    I’m convinced the attitude is because a huge proportion of veg*ns do it for ethical reasons, not health reasons. And since they know most of us simply disagree with the ethical concerns, health is all they have left.

    So they
    1) believe that this really is about good and evil, but

    2) know that the rest of us don’t think so, meaning health is the only argument that can possibly sway us, which is a problem because they

    3) don’t actually know all that much about the health issues, because that’s not why they eat that way to begin with.

    You nailed it. When vegans refer to omnivores as “animal murderers,” it’s clearly about good and evil to them.

  23. Brendan

    The militant vegans/vegetarians are not only knocking on your door and preaching their “truth”, they had also mounted a counterattack by trolling and spamming all the paleo and health blogs linked to Denise’s post. But from what I can see so far, their posts are lacking in critical thinking and logic. Instead of arguing logically the points made by Denise, they rely mostly on personal attacks and their personal experiences. They also put all their trust on their “experienced” and “qualified” gurus like Dr. Campbell even though his scientific arguments are weak, especially on the effect of casein and plant proteins on cancer. According to Chris Masterjohn, plant protein does not cause cancer because it is not good source of protein, lacking in some amino acids. So plant protein doesn’t really protects us from cancer like what Campbell claimed.

    I am really amazed by their overzealous effort in protecting their ideology and prophets. I wonder if extreme diets make people aggressive and annoying, or it is just that aggressive and annoying people are drawn to extreme diets?

    I think it’s that vegetarianism and especially veganism are more like a religion to some people. So like most religious zealots, they’re impervious to logic and feel justified in proselytizing. Paleo is an extreme diet, but even the most ardent paleo dieters don’t go preaching on vegetarian/vegan web sites.

  24. Drew @ How To Cook Like Your Grandmother

    I’m convinced the attitude is because a huge proportion of veg*ns do it for ethical reasons, not health reasons. And since they know most of us simply disagree with the ethical concerns, health is all they have left.

    So they
    1) believe that this really is about good and evil, but

    2) know that the rest of us don’t think so, meaning health is the only argument that can possibly sway us, which is a problem because they

    3) don’t actually know all that much about the health issues, because that’s not why they eat that way to begin with.

    You nailed it. When vegans refer to omnivores as “animal murderers,” it’s clearly about good and evil to them.

  25. John Davis

    I think I am beginning to understand why some people are so hostile to vegetarians and vegans. If all were strident animal rights activists, which I am not, and they were out to beat their brand of eating into others brains, then I too would be upset. I am on this website for the purpose of trying to comprehend the issues and dialoge with others regardless of their views. I will certainly not change anyone’s views by my arguments. In response to Drew’s comment, I for one do practice vegetarianism for health reasons. I certainly am not a PETA fan nor are most of the vegetarians or vegans I know. I don’t fit the profile described by many on this website. I certainly do not claim to be an expert in the field of nutrition. The research I have done so far leads me to believe that a plant-based diet offers many health advantages. Would some of you please explain why you do not? I have not met many people who advocate a paleo diet and I am unfamiliar with the terminology. Some one needs to fill me in here.

    Thanks.

    John

    Paleo is based on the theory that many (if not most) humans haven’t adapted at the genetic level to the dietary changes brought about by the dawn of agriculture, which only began about 12,000 years ago. That sounds like a long time, but it’s barely a blip in human history, and we don’t evolve genetically that quickly.

    So in a nutshell, people who “eat paleo” try to mimic the diets of our paleo ancestors, which means relying mostly on meats, eggs, fish, nuts, vegetables, a few tubers and a bit of fruit, but not too much … paleo humans could only eat fruit when they found it in season, and too much fruit can cause blood-sugar problems. It also means no sugar, no processed carbohydrates, pretty much nothing that came in a box, and for many, no dairy products. Hard-core paleo dieters only eat meat if it comes from livestock raised in a pasture, eating a natural diet of grass.

    Grains especially can cause a myriad of health problems for people who don’t tolerate them, because the lectins can leak from the gut into the bloodstream and lead to autoimmune diseases. For example, when I ate grains because I believed they were good for me, I had arthritis, psoriasis, asthma, and other conditions which have vanished since I gave them up. (Jared Diamond, author of “Guns, Germs, and Steel,” looked at the health of agricultural and pre-agricultural humans and called grain-farming the worst mistake in human history.) Legumes can also cause autoimmune problems for many people because of the lectins. I get digestive disorders if I eat too many legumes, and I’m not talking about simple flatulence.

    Tolerance to grains and other post-agricultural foods seems to depend largely on ancestry. The farther back in time your ancestors began eating them, the more likely you are to be genetically adapted and the less likely they’ll give you health problems. So people whose ancestors came from the Middle East are more likely to be okay with them than people whose ancestors came from northern Europe — one of the last places grains became a dietary staple.

    The most common reason people offer for giving up animal foods is that red meat and saturated fat will kill you, which simply isn’t true. The theory that saturated fat and cholesterol are killers was based on shoddy, cherry-picked research, much of it funded by companies selling processed vegetable oils. Recent and more honest studies have shown zero association between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. A controlled clinical trial conducted by researchers at Stanford put subjects on the Atkins diet, the AHA diet, and the Ornish diet for a year. The lead researcher — a vegetarian who admitted the results pained him a bit — reported that people on the Atkins diet showed the greatest improvements in metabolic and cardiovascular markers.

    There have been cultures all over the world in which people lived on paleo diets heavy in meat and animal fats, but they were remarkably healthy. The diseases of civilization — heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, etc. — didn’t show up in those cultures and until sugar and white flour came along. If there’s one thing vegetarian health nuts and paleo health nuts have in common, it’s that they typically don’t eat sugar or refined carbohydrates, which is why people in either group are usually healthier than people who eat the Standard American Diet. The SAD, of course, is full of processed garbage.

    As far as relying solely on plants, some people can get away with it, but many (and perhaps most) cannot without becoming malnourished. Animal fats and animal proteins have been in the diet for millions of years, and our bodies rely on many nutrients found only in animal products. For example, quite a few hormones are based on saturated fats and cholesterol. Take those away, and many people will become fatigued and depressed.

    Another problem many of us have experienced on plant-based diets is blood-sugar control. I’m sensitive to carbohydrates. It doesn’t take many of them to send my blood sugar on a roller-coaster ride. When I was a vegetarian, I started showing signs of pre-diabetes.

    So add it up for someone like me: I can’t eat grains, I can’t eat legumes, I can’t base my diet on rice or potatoes without having blood-sugar problems, and I feel fatigued and lethargic without animal protein and animal fats. How would a plant-based diet possibly work for me?

    If you’re really on a health expedition and don’t view vegetarianism as a moral issue, I’d suggest reading Lierre Keith’s book, but also “Primal Blueprint” (Mark Sisson) or “Primal Body, Primal Mind” (Nora Gedgaudas). If after reading those and experimenting with different diets, you still believe you should avoid meat and live on a plant-based diet, then here’s to your health and I hope that works for you.

  26. John Davis

    I think I am beginning to understand why some people are so hostile to vegetarians and vegans. If all were strident animal rights activists, which I am not, and they were out to beat their brand of eating into others brains, then I too would be upset. I am on this website for the purpose of trying to comprehend the issues and dialoge with others regardless of their views. I will certainly not change anyone’s views by my arguments. In response to Drew’s comment, I for one do practice vegetarianism for health reasons. I certainly am not a PETA fan nor are most of the vegetarians or vegans I know. I don’t fit the profile described by many on this website. I certainly do not claim to be an expert in the field of nutrition. The research I have done so far leads me to believe that a plant-based diet offers many health advantages. Would some of you please explain why you do not? I have not met many people who advocate a paleo diet and I am unfamiliar with the terminology. Some one needs to fill me in here.

    Thanks.

    John

    Paleo is based on the theory that many (if not most) humans haven’t adapted at the genetic level to the dietary changes brought about by the dawn of agriculture, which only began about 12,000 years ago. That sounds like a long time, but it’s barely a blip in human history, and we don’t evolve genetically that quickly.

    So in a nutshell, people who “eat paleo” try to mimic the diets of our paleo ancestors, which means relying mostly on meats, eggs, fish, nuts, vegetables, a few tubers and a bit of fruit, but not too much … paleo humans could only eat fruit when they found it in season, and too much fruit can cause blood-sugar problems. It also means no sugar, no processed carbohydrates, pretty much nothing that came in a box, and for many, no dairy products. Hard-core paleo dieters only eat meat if it comes from livestock raised in a pasture, eating a natural diet of grass.

    Grains especially can cause a myriad of health problems for people who don’t tolerate them, because the lectins can leak from the gut into the bloodstream and lead to autoimmune diseases. For example, when I ate grains because I believed they were good for me, I had arthritis, psoriasis, asthma, and other conditions which have vanished since I gave them up. (Jared Diamond, author of “Guns, Germs, and Steel,” looked at the health of agricultural and pre-agricultural humans and called grain-farming the worst mistake in human history.) Legumes can also cause autoimmune problems for many people because of the lectins. I get digestive disorders if I eat too many legumes, and I’m not talking about simple flatulence.

    Tolerance to grains and other post-agricultural foods seems to depend largely on ancestry. The farther back in time your ancestors began eating them, the more likely you are to be genetically adapted and the less likely they’ll give you health problems. So people whose ancestors came from the Middle East are more likely to be okay with them than people whose ancestors came from northern Europe — one of the last places grains became a dietary staple.

    The most common reason people offer for giving up animal foods is that red meat and saturated fat will kill you, which simply isn’t true. The theory that saturated fat and cholesterol are killers was based on shoddy, cherry-picked research, much of it funded by companies selling processed vegetable oils. Recent and more honest studies have shown zero association between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. A controlled clinical trial conducted by researchers at Stanford put subjects on the Atkins diet, the AHA diet, and the Ornish diet for a year. The lead researcher — a vegetarian who admitted the results pained him a bit — reported that people on the Atkins diet showed the greatest improvements in metabolic and cardiovascular markers.

    There have been cultures all over the world in which people lived on paleo diets heavy in meat and animal fats, but they were remarkably healthy. The diseases of civilization — heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, etc. — didn’t show up in those cultures and until sugar and white flour came along. If there’s one thing vegetarian health nuts and paleo health nuts have in common, it’s that they typically don’t eat sugar or refined carbohydrates, which is why people in either group are usually healthier than people who eat the Standard American Diet. The SAD, of course, is full of processed garbage.

    As far as relying solely on plants, some people can get away with it, but many (and perhaps most) cannot without becoming malnourished. Animal fats and animal proteins have been in the diet for millions of years, and our bodies rely on many nutrients found only in animal products. For example, quite a few hormones are based on saturated fats and cholesterol. Take those away, and many people will become fatigued and depressed.

    Another problem many of us have experienced on plant-based diets is blood-sugar control. I’m sensitive to carbohydrates. It doesn’t take many of them to send my blood sugar on a roller-coaster ride. When I was a vegetarian, I started showing signs of pre-diabetes.

    So add it up for someone like me: I can’t eat grains, I can’t eat legumes, I can’t base my diet on rice or potatoes without having blood-sugar problems, and I feel fatigued and lethargic without animal protein and animal fats. How would a plant-based diet possibly work for me?

    If you’re really on a health expedition and don’t view vegetarianism as a moral issue, I’d suggest reading Lierre Keith’s book, but also “Primal Blueprint” (Mark Sisson) or “Primal Body, Primal Mind” (Nora Gedgaudas). If after reading those and experimenting with different diets, you still believe you should avoid meat and live on a plant-based diet, then here’s to your health and I hope that works for you.

  27. Shannon

    I adopted a little 15 month old boy from China. He was overweight, short, and malnourished. I have fed him a high fat, rich in protein, low in carbs diet and he has grown 4 inches in less than 6 months, his hair, skin, and nails are much better, his memory has improved, he is the correct weight, and he is a lot more energetic. They were feeding him straight carbs in China and it was not working for him at all. He was an orphan though with a special need so at least they fed him something.

    I’m glad you’ve got him on a nourishing diet.

  28. Shannon

    I adopted a little 15 month old boy from China. He was overweight, short, and malnourished. I have fed him a high fat, rich in protein, low in carbs diet and he has grown 4 inches in less than 6 months, his hair, skin, and nails are much better, his memory has improved, he is the correct weight, and he is a lot more energetic. They were feeding him straight carbs in China and it was not working for him at all. He was an orphan though with a special need so at least they fed him something.

    I’m glad you’ve got him on a nourishing diet.

  29. Hope

    All I have to say is at 25 years old, 5’6″ and 135lbs I was by no means ‘fat’ just had more ‘body fat’ than I’d like.

    I normally tried the calorie deficit/low fat approach. I’d lose 5 pounds in the beginning, mostly because I upped my water intake; however, there were no other results other than being constantly fatigued. Even my normal eating habits left me constantly fatigued and lacking energy.

    So after doing a lot of research in bodybuilding forums [i’m not a bodybuilder,b ut it was obvious the ‘girl’ way to diet doesn’t work.] I decided I’d try Low Carb. I stayed under 10g of carbs/day for 3 months, then relaxed a bit up until today. All my fatigue, laziness, etc..disappeared within 1 week of doing Low Carb. After getting my body into Ketosis, along with lifting weights at the gym, I lost 20lbs of solid fat. I will never go back.

    I then forced my 62 year old father to watch Fat Head. A couple years ago he was told he has High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, then a month later, Diabetes 2. They could never get the numbers down and he was spending $300 on medication every month for it! After talking to him it became blindingly apparent to me that he only got Diabetes AFTER following the doctors advise to cut out meat, eggs, cheese, etc..so he was eating lot of pasta, potatoes, rice, etc…instead.

    He was impressed by Fat Head, and started Low Carb as well, though not as strict as mine; He just cut out alot of bread, pasta, rice, but wouldn’t pass on them if at a restaurant.

    We were counting days until he went in for his routine blood work, and when the results came in, the Dr and nurses all said ‘I don’t know what the heck you’ve been doing, but keep doing it. Your numbers are the lowest they have ever been. They are better than good.’

    He is no longer on any medication for any of the aforementioned issues.

    Outstanding! Your father is lucky you were there to intervene.

  30. Hope

    All I have to say is at 25 years old, 5’6″ and 135lbs I was by no means ‘fat’ just had more ‘body fat’ than I’d like.

    I normally tried the calorie deficit/low fat approach. I’d lose 5 pounds in the beginning, mostly because I upped my water intake; however, there were no other results other than being constantly fatigued. Even my normal eating habits left me constantly fatigued and lacking energy.

    So after doing a lot of research in bodybuilding forums [i’m not a bodybuilder,b ut it was obvious the ‘girl’ way to diet doesn’t work.] I decided I’d try Low Carb. I stayed under 10g of carbs/day for 3 months, then relaxed a bit up until today. All my fatigue, laziness, etc..disappeared within 1 week of doing Low Carb. After getting my body into Ketosis, along with lifting weights at the gym, I lost 20lbs of solid fat. I will never go back.

    I then forced my 62 year old father to watch Fat Head. A couple years ago he was told he has High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, then a month later, Diabetes 2. They could never get the numbers down and he was spending $300 on medication every month for it! After talking to him it became blindingly apparent to me that he only got Diabetes AFTER following the doctors advise to cut out meat, eggs, cheese, etc..so he was eating lot of pasta, potatoes, rice, etc…instead.

    He was impressed by Fat Head, and started Low Carb as well, though not as strict as mine; He just cut out alot of bread, pasta, rice, but wouldn’t pass on them if at a restaurant.

    We were counting days until he went in for his routine blood work, and when the results came in, the Dr and nurses all said ‘I don’t know what the heck you’ve been doing, but keep doing it. Your numbers are the lowest they have ever been. They are better than good.’

    He is no longer on any medication for any of the aforementioned issues.

    Outstanding! Your father is lucky you were there to intervene.

  31. Parag

    Friends,

    You don’t need to believe Dr. Campbell. Just read The China Study, slowly and completely, and figure out the truth for yourself. Facts speak for themselves.

    I, and a few of my acquaintances, tried a whole-foods plant-based diet (coupled with biweekly exposure to sunlight in noon and some physical activity) for a year (strict compliance), and it had been working wonders for us after the first few months itself, so we continue to be on it. Some of my friends failed, because they were mostly eating junk (plant-based) foods.

    The China Study book is not just about Dr. Campbell’s work, but more than that it describes the work and results of numerous other research studies, independent and unbiased, that point to the undeniable benefits of a whole-foods plant-based diet.

    Denise has adopted a detailed but very narrow view that is insufficient to relate to the larger context. This approach will only add to confusion and misleading conclusions.

    Warm Regards,
    Parag.

    Compared to the crappy diet most people eat, the diet you described would no doubt be a big improvement. As you yourself pointed out, a plant-food diet diet that includes junk doesn’t produce the same benefits. So the benefit is clearly in giving up the junk, not in giving up meat. Go from a junk diet to a whole-foods paleo diet, and you would also experience a great improvement in health.

  32. Parag

    Friends,

    You don’t need to believe Dr. Campbell. Just read The China Study, slowly and completely, and figure out the truth for yourself. Facts speak for themselves.

    I, and a few of my acquaintances, tried a whole-foods plant-based diet (coupled with biweekly exposure to sunlight in noon and some physical activity) for a year (strict compliance), and it had been working wonders for us after the first few months itself, so we continue to be on it. Some of my friends failed, because they were mostly eating junk (plant-based) foods.

    The China Study book is not just about Dr. Campbell’s work, but more than that it describes the work and results of numerous other research studies, independent and unbiased, that point to the undeniable benefits of a whole-foods plant-based diet.

    Denise has adopted a detailed but very narrow view that is insufficient to relate to the larger context. This approach will only add to confusion and misleading conclusions.

    Warm Regards,
    Parag.

    Compared to the crappy diet most people eat, the diet you described would no doubt be a big improvement. As you yourself pointed out, a plant-food diet diet that includes junk doesn’t produce the same benefits. So the benefit is clearly in giving up the junk, not in giving up meat. Go from a junk diet to a whole-foods paleo diet, and you would also experience a great improvement in health.

  33. Hai-Ming Ma

    I am a Chinese-American and found out that The China Study by T. Colin Campbell is full of bias and errors about Chinese diet. Most of the ABC (American Born Chinese) are much stronger, taller, healthier than their parents and ancestors. I believe having more meat and protein in their diet plus more access to physical activities and more exercises contributed to that. Fake Science and misinterpretation of data by these so called experts bring more harm to people than a balance diet mixed with junk food and health food.

  34. Hai-Ming Ma

    I am a Chinese-American and found out that The China Study by T. Colin Campbell is full of bias and errors about Chinese diet. Most of the ABC (American Born Chinese) are much stronger, taller, healthier than their parents and ancestors. I believe having more meat and protein in their diet plus more access to physical activities and more exercises contributed to that. Fake Science and misinterpretation of data by these so called experts bring more harm to people than a balance diet mixed with junk food and health food.

  35. Justin Bean

    I am a fan of Dr. Atkin’s work. He was a giant in the field. He was right about sugar. I am also a fan of Dr. Campbell’s work. I found “The China Study” to be very compelling. I am a clinician and not a researcher and practice acupuncture. I admit difficulty understanding the sorts of statistical analysis required to determine which of these interpretations is correct.

    Dr. Campbell’s work was peer reviewed the rebuttal was not. While peer review does not constitute proof of any research conclusion, the lack of peer review make the acceptance of the rebuttal impossible. Without adequate vetting by professional scientists, the only justification for accepting any such conclusion would be our previously held attitudes or prejudices.

    We of course tend to accept the research conclusions that we want to accept and find reasons to discard those we already don’t agree with.

    There are problems with both Dr. Atkin’s dietary approach and a vegan starch based plan like Dr. McDougal’s plans. No plan works out clinically for every individual. Variation exists in the way we digest and metabolize or food. We should not expect one size fits all. I wouldn’t tell an Eskimo to eat like a Guatemalan.

    Low fat, low protein, plant based diets are powerful tools I use clinically to improve my patient’s health. I also have them avoid exposure to concentrated forms of carbohydrate. Some go more low carb, others more low fat/protein.

    We are all trying to find ways to protect ourselves from the tsunami of disease overtaking our population. If we can work together without hostility and admit that there is more than one way to make yourself more healthy by changing your diet, it will help all of us find the right way for ourselves.

  36. lukespack

    You can distort The China Study all you like. Nathan Pritikin, in the 60s and 70’s, showed people can recover from heart disease by a low fat diet, meat free and eating complex carbo- hydrates. We live in the age of overindulgence as seen by the number of overweight young people and diabetic patients. I have been on a vegan type diet for two years and I am much more active and lost 25 pounds. I believe Carl Lewis is a vegan and he holds the record for most track and field gold medals. Everyone is certainly free to eat whatever they like to eat.

    1) Minger didn’t “distort” Campbell’s work. She pointed out, using his own data, that one could draw conclusions opposite to Campbell’s by using the very same statistical techniques he used.

    2) Pritikin, Ornish, Oz, etc. have indeed helped people recover from heart disease by adopting a lifestyle that includes cutting out sugar and white flour, quitting smoking, and taking up exercise … and oh yeah, giving up meat, too. Many other doctors, including Dr. William Davis, have helped people recover from heart disease by adopting a lifestyle that includes cutting out sugar and white flour, quitting smoking, and taking up exercise … while eating plenty of meat and eggs. So guess which lifestyle changes actually matter?

    3) In the one major clinical study that actually put diets against each other (Atkins, Ornish, and AHA) in a controlled environment, the lead researcher reported that the Atkins dieters lost the most weight and showed the greatest improvement in cardiovascular and metabolic markers. Ornish came in last in that category. The lead researcher, by the way, is a vegetarian who admitted the results shocked him.

    4) Carl Lewis set world records in the 1980s and later became a vegan in 1990. He wrote that he had one of his years as an athlete the same year he turned vegan. That may be true, but we don’t know what kind of athlete he would’ve been if he’d been a vegan since, say, 1970. We do know, however, that the guy who set world records in the 1980s was still a meat-eater at the time … so the idea that eating meat is bad for your body isn’t exactly supported by bringing up Carl Lewis.

  37. Stephen

    It is not appropriate for a critic like Ms Minger to publish a technical critique of a scientific work without first subjecting it to evaluation by her peers through a peer-reviewed study because the public is not as equipped to analyze it as well as trained professionals. It is not appropriate to scribe equal credibility to her statements and those of the author either. If and when she does that I will be happy to read her critique and compare it to the original work and the peer review.

    Ah yes, the old appeal to authority. And we can’t trust the public, because they’re stupid, ya see, so Dr. Campbell doesn’t have to answer her critique until she can get a peer-review council to take it on. Riiiiiight … because as we all know, that peer-review process is flawless. Nobody would ever, say, make arrangements to limit peer review to fellow researchers known to already agree with the conclusions. (Hey, wait … didn’t we just find out that’s exactly what happened with the global-warming crowd?)

    Science is everyone’s business. Math is everyone’s business. If Ms. Minger uses math to show that Campbell’s own statistical techniques and Campbell’s own data can produce correlations opposite of those he chose to highlight, then the math is what it is. If you want to dismiss her work, do it with math. Don’t hide behind some crap about how you’ll only deign to read it after it’s been peer-reviewed. Go ahead, be brave, read it now. Only takes an hour.

    Waving her away with appeals to authority so you can cling to your existing beliefs might make you feel good, but to those of us with functioning brains, it merely makes you look foolish.

  38. Alex

    As has been pointed out several times on Denise’s site, the book she is reviewing, The China Study, is not a peer-reviewed study. It’s a book written for and sold to the general public. The speculation is that TC had to take his hypothesis to the general public because the scientific community, for the most part, isn’t buying it. And, when you actually look at how crappy his “science” is, it’s no wonder that real scientists are not impressed.

    And for those who want to consider his conclusions objectively, all they have to do is see if his theories hold up in populations around the world … which they clearly don’t.

  39. Justin Bean

    I am a fan of Dr. Atkin’s work. He was a giant in the field. He was right about sugar. I am also a fan of Dr. Campbell’s work. I found “The China Study” to be very compelling. I am a clinician and not a researcher and practice acupuncture. I admit difficulty understanding the sorts of statistical analysis required to determine which of these interpretations is correct.

    Dr. Campbell’s work was peer reviewed the rebuttal was not. While peer review does not constitute proof of any research conclusion, the lack of peer review make the acceptance of the rebuttal impossible. Without adequate vetting by professional scientists, the only justification for accepting any such conclusion would be our previously held attitudes or prejudices.

    We of course tend to accept the research conclusions that we want to accept and find reasons to discard those we already don’t agree with.

    There are problems with both Dr. Atkin’s dietary approach and a vegan starch based plan like Dr. McDougal’s plans. No plan works out clinically for every individual. Variation exists in the way we digest and metabolize or food. We should not expect one size fits all. I wouldn’t tell an Eskimo to eat like a Guatemalan.

    Low fat, low protein, plant based diets are powerful tools I use clinically to improve my patient’s health. I also have them avoid exposure to concentrated forms of carbohydrate. Some go more low carb, others more low fat/protein.

    We are all trying to find ways to protect ourselves from the tsunami of disease overtaking our population. If we can work together without hostility and admit that there is more than one way to make yourself more healthy by changing your diet, it will help all of us find the right way for ourselves.

  40. Melanie

    Amazing how people will use any means possible to discredit the truth. My youngest daughter had her childhood snatched from her spending most of it in the hospital and on chemo medication for five and a half years. After reading The China Study and all of us including my husband who is a physician, changing our diet, she is one hundred per cent healthy. So for those of you who choose to discredit the science and want to believe your bologny, it is for one reason and one reason only because you like to eat dead parts of animals, because you do not want to believe the truth, because you want to keep eating animal products. Go ahead and do what you want. I am so sick and tired of people like you trying to discredit the truth and having the large corporations obviously coining the billions of dollars from you, go ahead! You can all spend your lives taking medications being owned by the pharmaceutical industry. Keep making the cruel corporations rich, keep supporting the pharmaceutical industry. But, leave the truth alone!!!

    Spoken like a true religious zealot. We’re very sorry we applied math, logic, and other forms of voodoo to challenge Campbell’s conclusions. We will immediately cease visiting your blog and tossing out evidence contrary to your beliefs, since it makes you so upset. (No wait … I seem to be answering this on my own blog. I must be lost.)

    I take it you also tried a whole-foods paleo diet, the kind we recommend here, and it did nothing for your daughter’s health? Because it’s done wonders for mine, whereas my vegetarian phase was a disaster. It was during that phase that my asthma, psoriasis, arthritis, gastric reflux and pre-diabetes did a great job of supporting the pharmaceutical industry. (And if you think we’re fans of the pharmaceutical industry around here, I suggest you read a few more posts and see how well that belief holds up.)

    I have this crazy notion that there’s no single diet that works for everyone. It’s almost as if our ancestors all come from different parts of the world where people consumed different diets. That might explain, for example, why 90% of Europeans can drink milk, whereas 90% of Asians are lactose intolerant.

    Campbell’s diet made me fat and sick. That’s why I returned to eating dead parts of animals, as well as parts of dead animals, and especially animals that were made dead around these parts. Plus I think it’s immoral to kill innocent plants.

  41. lukespack

    You can distort The China Study all you like. Nathan Pritikin, in the 60s and 70’s, showed people can recover from heart disease by a low fat diet, meat free and eating complex carbo- hydrates. We live in the age of overindulgence as seen by the number of overweight young people and diabetic patients. I have been on a vegan type diet for two years and I am much more active and lost 25 pounds. I believe Carl Lewis is a vegan and he holds the record for most track and field gold medals. Everyone is certainly free to eat whatever they like to eat.

    1) Minger didn’t “distort” Campbell’s work. She pointed out, using his own data, that one could draw conclusions opposite to Campbell’s by using the very same statistical techniques he used.

    2) Pritikin, Ornish, Oz, etc. have indeed helped people recover from heart disease by adopting a lifestyle that includes cutting out sugar and white flour, quitting smoking, and taking up exercise … and oh yeah, giving up meat, too. Many other doctors, including Dr. William Davis, have helped people recover from heart disease by adopting a lifestyle that includes cutting out sugar and white flour, quitting smoking, and taking up exercise … while eating plenty of meat and eggs. So guess which lifestyle changes actually matter?

    3) In the one major clinical study that actually put diets against each other (Atkins, Ornish, and AHA) in a controlled environment, the lead researcher reported that the Atkins dieters lost the most weight and showed the greatest improvement in cardiovascular and metabolic markers. Ornish came in last in that category. The lead researcher, by the way, is a vegetarian who admitted the results shocked him.

    4) Carl Lewis set world records in the 1980s and later became a vegan in 1990. He wrote that he had one of his years as an athlete the same year he turned vegan. That may be true, but we don’t know what kind of athlete he would’ve been if he’d been a vegan since, say, 1970. We do know, however, that the guy who set world records in the 1980s was still a meat-eater at the time … so the idea that eating meat is bad for your body isn’t exactly supported by bringing up Carl Lewis.

  42. Stephen

    It is not appropriate for a critic like Ms Minger to publish a technical critique of a scientific work without first subjecting it to evaluation by her peers through a peer-reviewed study because the public is not as equipped to analyze it as well as trained professionals. It is not appropriate to scribe equal credibility to her statements and those of the author either. If and when she does that I will be happy to read her critique and compare it to the original work and the peer review.

    Ah yes, the old appeal to authority. And we can’t trust the public, because they’re stupid, ya see, so Dr. Campbell doesn’t have to answer her critique until she can get a peer-review council to take it on. Riiiiiight … because as we all know, that peer-review process is flawless. Nobody would ever, say, make arrangements to limit peer review to fellow researchers known to already agree with the conclusions. (Hey, wait … didn’t we just find out that’s exactly what happened with the global-warming crowd?)

    Science is everyone’s business. Math is everyone’s business. If Ms. Minger uses math to show that Campbell’s own statistical techniques and Campbell’s own data can produce correlations opposite of those he chose to highlight, then the math is what it is. If you want to dismiss her work, do it with math. Don’t hide behind some crap about how you’ll only deign to read it after it’s been peer-reviewed. Go ahead, be brave, read it now. Only takes an hour.

    Waving her away with appeals to authority so you can cling to your existing beliefs might make you feel good, but to those of us with functioning brains, it merely makes you look foolish.

  43. Alex

    As has been pointed out several times on Denise’s site, the book she is reviewing, The China Study, is not a peer-reviewed study. It’s a book written for and sold to the general public. The speculation is that TC had to take his hypothesis to the general public because the scientific community, for the most part, isn’t buying it. And, when you actually look at how crappy his “science” is, it’s no wonder that real scientists are not impressed.

    And for those who want to consider his conclusions objectively, all they have to do is see if his theories hold up in populations around the world … which they clearly don’t.

  44. Melanie

    Amazing how people will use any means possible to discredit the truth. My youngest daughter had her childhood snatched from her spending most of it in the hospital and on chemo medication for five and a half years. After reading The China Study and all of us including my husband who is a physician, changing our diet, she is one hundred per cent healthy. So for those of you who choose to discredit the science and want to believe your bologny, it is for one reason and one reason only because you like to eat dead parts of animals, because you do not want to believe the truth, because you want to keep eating animal products. Go ahead and do what you want. I am so sick and tired of people like you trying to discredit the truth and having the large corporations obviously coining the billions of dollars from you, go ahead! You can all spend your lives taking medications being owned by the pharmaceutical industry. Keep making the cruel corporations rich, keep supporting the pharmaceutical industry. But, leave the truth alone!!!

    Spoken like a true religious zealot. We’re very sorry we applied math, logic, and other forms of voodoo to challenge Campbell’s conclusions. We will immediately cease visiting your blog and tossing out evidence contrary to your beliefs, since it makes you so upset. (No wait … I seem to be answering this on my own blog. I must be lost.)

    I take it you also tried a whole-foods paleo diet, the kind we recommend here, and it did nothing for your daughter’s health? Because it’s done wonders for mine, whereas my vegetarian phase was a disaster. It was during that phase that my asthma, psoriasis, arthritis, gastric reflux and pre-diabetes did a great job of supporting the pharmaceutical industry. (And if you think we’re fans of the pharmaceutical industry around here, I suggest you read a few more posts and see how well that belief holds up.)

    I have this crazy notion that there’s no single diet that works for everyone. It’s almost as if our ancestors all come from different parts of the world where people consumed different diets. That might explain, for example, why 90% of Europeans can drink milk, whereas 90% of Asians are lactose intolerant.

    Campbell’s diet made me fat and sick. That’s why I returned to eating dead parts of animals, as well as parts of dead animals, and especially animals that were made dead around these parts. Plus I think it’s immoral to kill innocent plants.

  45. John Hansen

    The China Study have the facts right. This web site is dead wrong and you will to if you follow it. I have stop all meds because I am following the what is recommended in the China Study. All my doctor stated it is the right thing to do!!!!!

    You need to read the facts for yourself. Do not take it from a bogger who know not!

    Appeals to authority, attacking the critic, no willingness to dispute Minger’s math … very convincing argument, sir.

  46. John Hansen

    The China Study have the facts right. This web site is dead wrong and you will to if you follow it. I have stop all meds because I am following the what is recommended in the China Study. All my doctor stated it is the right thing to do!!!!!

    You need to read the facts for yourself. Do not take it from a bogger who know not!

    Appeals to authority, attacking the critic, no willingness to dispute Minger’s math … very convincing argument, sir.

  47. Splinter

    Can someone explain why Ms. Minger’s critique can’t be peer-reviewed? I think her degree is in English. Does she (do you all) think maybe a conspiracy of pro-whole grain and anti-raw meat propagandists has undermine all the available options for publication in a journal?

    Or maybe it is that her argument is inadequate. Campbell’s rebuttal is more pro.

    She didn’t ask for it be peer-reviewed. Some moron said he wouldn’t deign to read UNTIL it had been peer-reviewed. I’ve read Campbell’s reply and he still doesn’t dispute her math. He chided her for using univariate correlations, neatly ignoring the fact that she did some of those specifically because Campbell did as well, and she was showing how worthless they are.

  48. Splinter

    Can someone explain why Ms. Minger’s critique can’t be peer-reviewed? I think her degree is in English. Does she (do you all) think maybe a conspiracy of pro-whole grain and anti-raw meat propagandists has undermine all the available options for publication in a journal?

    Or maybe it is that her argument is inadequate. Campbell’s rebuttal is more pro.

    She didn’t ask for it be peer-reviewed. Some moron said he wouldn’t deign to read UNTIL it had been peer-reviewed. I’ve read Campbell’s reply and he still doesn’t dispute her math. He chided her for using univariate correlations, neatly ignoring the fact that she did some of those specifically because Campbell did as well, and she was showing how worthless they are.

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